COLUMBIA, Mo. - A Texan who led one of the country's largest universities has been hired as the University of Missouri's new chancellor.
R. Bowen Loftin, the outgoing president of Texas A&M, succeeds Brady Deaton, who retired in November after overseeing the Columbia campus since 2004.
UM System president Tim Wolfe formally announced Loftin's hiring Thursday.
"It has been said that when actions inspire others to dream more, do more, learn more, and become more, you are a leader," Wolfe said. "Our next chancellor is just that - a dynamic leader who will step in and inspire, and take our university to new heights."
The 64-year-old Loftin stepped down as Texas A&M University's president in July after leading his alma mater for four years. He had planned to remain in College Station to direct an academic institute focused on homeland defense.
Loftin will begin at MU on Feb. 1.
"There weren't many schools I would've thought about associating with after Texas A&M, but Missouri fit all the pieces," Loftin said. "Karin and I are so happy to merge here as a family. We look forward to meeting all of you over time and truly embracing this wonderful university and make the difference we can make with your help."
Loftin earned his doctorate from Rice University and spent four years as the vice president and chief executive officer of Texas A&M's branch campus in Galveston.
ABC 17 News talked to some faculty members after the announcement. They said they were excited about the choice because of Loftin's background.
"The faculty not only approved this but they're excited about this hire," Craig Roberts, chair of faculty council said. "We're hoping he can help us move into these new areas like economic development and solving our budget problems."
Texas A&M and Missouri both joined the Southeastern Conference in 2012 after leaving the Big 12 Conference together.
Stay with ABC 17 News and abc17news.com for the latest on this developing story.