MU/Rock Bridge son returns home to take UM helm

Dec 13, 2011

After almost a year of searching, the University of Missouri has a new system president.

Timothy Wolfe, a graduate of MU’s Trulaske School of Business and Columbia’s Rock Bridge High School begins work as the University of Missouri system president in mid-February.

At an announcement celebration on MU’s campus today, Wolfe said he is proud of the University of Missouri for its high graduation rates and strong research focus. Wolfe whose bio includes more than 20 years at IBM Corporation doesn’t have a background in higher-ed leadership, so he says stepping in the position will involve a learning curve. But he says he feels confident he’s the man for the job. “Being from Missouri, I know these cities, I know the people, I know the universities, not to the degree I need to so I think it’s a little bit easier for me to get up on my learning curve because of my background as compared to someone that’s not a Missourian or didn’t have the parents in higher education.”

MU Chancellor Brady Deaton says he’s excited to work with Wolfe in the new year. He says Wolfe brings fresh perspective to the university and is … likable. “He’s someone I think who can voice that in ways that can be understood statewide, nationally. He’s a great person to work with; I have gathered that from my own interaction with him so far.”

Wolfe is married to Molly Wolfe- they’re the parents of 16-year-old twins.Molly Wolfe says when the opportunity came through, it was one their family had to take. “He’s always wanted to come back here and we’ve always wanted to come back to the Midwest. Since this is his hometown, it’s more exciting.”

Wolfe’s base salary as UM system president is $450,000 dollars, according to curator Warren Erdman, with up to $100,000 tagged to performance. Until February, UM Interim President Steve Owens will continue in system leadership.