Bringing Expert Execs to Campus

CAFNR's Executive-in-Residence, Professor-for-a-Day programs give students access to thought leaders

Since its inception 20 years ago, CAFNR’s Executive-in-Residence program has hosted 48 executives from diverse segments of the business world, and is set to welcome its 49th executive in April.

It’s one of only two similar programs at the University of Missouri. A related program is also a unique offering at CAFNR – Professor-for-a-Day.

“Executive-in-Residence is usually a two-day commitment by a senior-level executive who may or may not be an MU alum,” said Lisa Thompson, CAFNR donor relations coordinator. “The Professor-for-a-Day is usually a one-day commitment by someone who is a leader in their field, who may or may not be at the senior level – but definitely has expertise and knowledge to share with students, faculty and staff.” While Thompson’s office typically handles all arrangements for Executives-in-Residence’s visits, typically the nominator handles Professors-for-a-Day’s arrangements, as the “professor” typically visits the nominator’s classes, for example.

Robert (BS Ag ’57) and Carol Reich had the vision to create the program in CAFNR to bring industry leaders to the college to share their knowledge and experiences with the students, faculty and staff, Thompson said.

Through class lectures, roundtable discussions, one-on-one meetings and other informal interactions, students learn first-hand about career paths and choices they may not have dreamed possible.

“The Executive-in-Residence Program gives our students access to thought leaders across a number of disciplines and industries. It is inspiring to hear these executives’ stories and for our students to learn that they can aspire to lead, too,” said Stephanie Chipman, director of CAFNR Career Services.

A call for potential Executives-in-Residence is made each February. Faculty are welcome to submit nominations each year (there is still time this year if you have an idea). Ideas for Professors-for-a-Day can be submitted at any time – contact Thompson at if you have ideas for either program.

The Executive-in-Residence board will meet this month to discuss nominations and vote on them; the top two vote receivers are invited to visit by Dean Tom Payne – one in the fall and one the next spring.

The Reichs established the Robert O. Reich Family Executive-in-Residence Program in 1996 and the first Executive-in-Residence, Mr. Alvin McQuinn, Chairman and CEO of QuinStar Investment Partners, visited CAFNR in early 1997.

This spring CAFNR will host Roger Gardner (BS Ag Ed ’83), Executive Vice-President and Chief Culture and Communications Officer at Learfield Sports, as Executive-in-Residence April 11-13. He will bring insights into the world of agricultural media and collegiate sports marketing and interact with broad audiences in CAFNR, the School of Journalism and the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics.

For more information about either program or Gardner’s visit, go to