Tim Wolfe takes office as UM System president


Former IBM executive Tim Wolfe took office as the new University of Missouri System president on Wednesday. The businessman has old ties to Columbia. 

By Harum Helmy (Columbia, Mo.)

For Tim Wolfe, accepting the job as the new UM System president is a decision to come home. Wolfe is a graduate of both Rock Bridge High and the MU School of Business. He has 30 years of experience in business leadership positions. He takes the helm as the UM system is facing as much as an 8 percent budget cut from the state. Wolfe says though he has no concrete measures to address these cuts yet, he does have the big picture in mind.

"What we're trying to do is make sure that the strategies and the goals that have been defined by each of our four campuses, health care system and extensions -- make sure that those goals are supported by the financial plan. Not vice versa," Wolfe said.

UM System General Counsel Stephen Owens served as the interim president before Wolfe signed on. Owens says since the announcement, the board had been preparing Wolfe to hit the ground running.                          

"He's spent I think almost everyday since the first of the year either in Columbia or in one of our campuses. And in addition to that, the general officers and I have served as a transition team to get him up to speed," Owens said.

Most recently, Wolfe served as the president of the Americas region for Novell, an international software company. Wolfe's father is a retired professor in MU's Department of Communication.