MU leaders expected to name Mun Choi as new UM System president today

source confirms reports of Dr. Mun...

COLUMBIA, Mo. - The University of Missouri is expected today to announce its new president, about a year after the resignation of the previous leader amid protests over racial issues.

Sources tell ABC 17 News that reports indicating Mun Choi from the University of Connecticut will be the next UM System President are accurate.

Choi started at the University of Connecticut in 2008 as the dean of engineering and also as a professor of mechanical engineering. He then took the position as provost and vice chancellor of academic affairs in 2012.

Choi received his undergraduate degree at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Choi went on to receive his doctorate in mechanical and aerospace engineering from Princeton.

Unlike his predecessors, Choi's background is in education. Both Tim Wolfe and Gary Forsee, the previous two permanent system presidents, worked extensively in the private sector before taking the job.

After the unrest that plagued MU starting in August 2015, the position of president has been highly controversial. ABC 17 News put together a timeline of events from the beginning of the the August 2015, and has updated it with the most recent and prominent events.

August 2015:

  • The University of Missouri announced it would no longer pay for graduate students' health insurance. The decision was ultimately reversed, but it sparked rallies with hundreds students demanding change and voicing concerns over racial issues on campus .

September 2015:

  • Former Missouri Student Association President Payton Head posts on Facebook that he has experienced discrimination at MU.
  • Former MU Chancellor R. Bowen Loftin issues a statement denouncing "recent incidents of bias and discrimination" but students later protest saying nothing has been done to address their concerns.

October 2015:

  • Loftin orders diversity and inclusion training for all students and staff in 2016.
  • Days later, protesters block Wolfe's car during Mizzou's homecoming parade to express their concerns. Tensions escalate when Wolfe doesn't immediately respond to a claim from graduate student, Jonathon Butler, that he was bumped by Wolfe's vehicle in that parade. 
  • The group Concerned Student 1950 issues a list of demands that includes an apology from Wolfe as well as his resignation. 

November 2015: 

  • Wolfe issues a statement addressing race issues as graduate student Jonathon Butler continues a hunger strike protesting "inequalities, inequities and obstacles faced by students, faculty and staff at the University of Missouri." At the same time, protesters set up a tent city on campus. 
  • Professor Melissa Click is caught on camera harassing a student journalist and calling for "muscle" to have him removed from Carnahan Quadrangle. 
  • Several MU football players tweet their support of the protests, as well as Butler, announcing they will boycott any future football related activities until Wolfe resigns. 
  • MU head football coach Gary Pinkel comes out in support of his player's actions. 
  • UM System President Tim Wolfe resigns. MU football players resume team activities. 
  • The University of Missouri Board of Curators announces Mike Middleton as the interim President for the UM System. At the same time, the board turns over MU Chancellor responsibilities from R. Bowen Loftin to interim Chancellor Hank Foley. 
  • MU head football coach Gary Pinkel announces he will retire from his position at the end of the season due to health concerns. 

December 2015: 

  • Rep. Rick Brattin files a bill that would revoke the scholarship of any college athlete who refuses to play for non-health reasons. He later withdraws the bill amid backlash. 

January 2015: 

Wolfe fires back at MU officials in a biting email. 

  • Senator Kurt Schaefer, as well as other lawmakers, address Wolfe's claims in his email. 
  • The UM System Board of Curators suspends Professor Melissa Click without pay after she is charged with third-degree assault. Click was caught on camera grabbing a student's arm during the November protests. 
  • University of Missouri's Student Association president-elect Hayden Gomez resigns. Vice president Christopher Hanner briefly takes over president responsibilities, appointing former MSA president Payton Head as vice president before he subsequently resigns. Head is now serving as interim MSA president.

January 2016:

  • Ad Hoc Joint Committee on Protests, Public Spaces, Free Speech, and the Press is formed by Interim Chancellor Hank Foley and Faculty Council Chairman Ben Trachtenberg.

February 2016:

  • Mizzou and UM System officials testify at State Capitol about their strides in diversity.

April 2016:

  • MU holds open forum to help search for new president.
  • Search committee approves qualifications for next UM system president.

July 2016:

  • University of Missouri Review Commission holds first meeting.

August 2016:

  • University of Missouri holds forum on speech, protest policy recommendations.
  • University of Missouri Review Commission meets for second time.


Photo Credit: LinkedIn

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