New MU chancellor talks about plans for the future

COLUMBIA, Mo. - The new MU chancellor is only two weeks into the job, but already has big plans for the future.

Many people know Dr. Bowen Loftin as a bow tie lover and Twitter guru, but the media got to know him a little better on Friday.

Loftin arranged a conference with the media and discussed everything from Mizzou's recent spotlight from both Michael Sam and Sasha Menu Courey to tuition prices to a new dean for the journalism school.

"You've got to believe in your institution and I believe in Mizzou," Loftin said.  "I'm still learning about it, but I know this is a great place."

Loftin joked around, saying the hardest part of being chancellor so far was not falling on the ice.  

But he got serious when asked about his plans for Mizzou's future.

"It's really important to me to be accessible.  It's really important to me to pay attention to the campus from a student's perspective," he said.

He touched on tougher topics - like tuition, which is garnering a lot of attention from state lawmakers.  Governor Nixon has asked schools to help freeze tuition to make it affordable.

"If you know my history, access is very important to me.  I came from a poor family so without financial support I wouldn't have been able to make it," Loftin said. "I really feel strongly about people getting in here and money not being a factor in that."

He also talked about his feelings about the controversy surrounding former MU football player Michael Sam's announcement he is gay.

"This is Mike Sam who wanted to tell the world and that's his business," he said. "Here at the university, it was well-known but nobody thought it was a big deal.  I think speaks highly of Mizzou that we're a respectful, accepting community here without anybody worrying about these kinds of things if there private issues of an individual."

Loftin started the position Feb. 1.

He comes as former Texas A&M president.

ABC 17 News called Texas A&M and spoke to faculty there.  They said he was well loved and very missed by both faculty and students.

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