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University of Central Missouri
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Warrensburg, MO 64093
Phone: 660-543-4640
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Ambrose Begins Chairmanship of Missouri Council on Public Higher Education

Contact: Jeff Murphy
WARRENSBURG, MO (June 8, 2017) – A strong advocate for collaboration among Missouri’s public four-year institutions of higher education, University of Central Missouri President Chuck Ambrose this week assumed a leadership position within an organization that supports a unified voice for state-supported universities. On  Wednesday, June 7, he began a two-year term as chair of the Missouri Council on Public Higher Education (COPHE), making him the first UCM president to hold this position.

UCM President Chuck Ambrose
UCM President Chuck Ambrose

“Dr. Ambrose is a very innovative thinker and very collaborative spirit. He has leadership qualities that will serve COPHE well,” said Paul Wagner, executive director of COPHE. “We’re all looking forward to him being our chair.”

COPHE is a nonprofit organization that includes as members the presidents and chancellors at Missouri’s 13 public four-year universities, as well as the president of the University of Missouri system. The organization is represented by institutions that are focused on the delivery of excellent undergraduate and graduate education for nearly 150,000 students, according to its website. COPHE’s primary mission is to support and advance the mission of the state-supported universities, while increasing the understanding and appreciation of public higher education by state leaders and the public at-large.

Wagner said COPHE represents the interests of Missouri’s public universities in a variety of forms, including reaching out to the General Assembly, the state’s governor, the general public and other entities on matters related to higher education. It enables institutions to work on behalf of students to “find common ground and speak with one voice in the public policy process.”

“I’m grateful for the opportunity to serve as COPHE’s chair,” Ambrose said. “Our member institutions face similar issues, with the greatest challenge being how can we best serve our students?  We must work together to build consensus and ensure our voice is heard in the General Assembly and among others who can make a difference in higher education. I look forward to seeking out opportunities together.”

He added, “Clif Smart, president of Missouri State University, has provided COPHE great leadership, and we will rely on each of our member’s collective voice to advocate for our students.”     

Ambrose became UCM’s 15th president on Aug. 1, 2010. A career educator who is a fervent advocate of servant leadership and engaged learning, he is committed to promoting academic quality, excellence in teaching, and the collegiate experience. Throughout his tenure at UCM, he has been committed to making education more accessible and affordable for students, while also seeking out education, business and community partnerships that will allow students to accelerate their degrees and graduate with less debt.