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University Relations

University of Central Missouri
Administration 302
Warrensburg, MO 64093
Phone: 660-543-4640
Fax: 660-543-4943


Provost George Wilson Announces Plan to Retire in 2012

Contact: Jeff Murphy
WARRENSBURG, MO (Aug. 18, 2011) – George Wilson, provost and chief learning officer at the University of Central Missouri, has announced his retirement. He will be leaving his post June 30, 2012, after devoting more than 39 years to the university and its students.

 “I feel good about the progress the university is making, and for having opportunities to contribute over the years as a faculty member and administrator,” Wilson said. “I look forward to retirement and more time to devote to family and other interests, while also being grateful to the many friends and colleagues who have made UCM a very special place to work.” 

George Wilson
George Wilson

University President Charles Ambrose notified the campus community today of Wilson’s decision, noting that an invitation for negotiation has been issued for consulting services to assist UCM with the search to fill the provost and chief learning officer’s post. He said the national advertising and recruitment process will begin sometime in September or October after the consulting firm is selected by a representative campus committee.

Ambrose praised Wilson’s exceptional service to the university, noting, “George’s dedication and commitment to our students and to our university over the years has left a lasting impression on the lives of many people and has helped to make our institution a much better place.  I am particularly appreciative of George’s support to me during my first year as president and for his leadership as we transitioned to the Strategic Governance for Student Success Model.”

A native of Wichita, KS, Wilson joined the university in 1972 after working for three years as a National Science Foundation Fellow in the Oklahoma State University Department of Economics. His first role at UCM was as an assistant professor of economics, which was followed by promotion to associate professor in 1982  and professor in 1986. Over the next 25 years, he held positions such as acting chair of the former Department of Economics and Finance, associate dean and dean of the Harmon College of Business and Professional Studies, interim provost and vice president for Academic Affairs, executive assistant to the president, and provost and vice president for Academic Affairs.

Wilson’s title changed again in 2011 when he was named provost and chief learning officer, effective July 1. The new role came as the university successfully completed an academic and administrative review designed to help the institution realize $3.1 million in base budget expense savings for Fiscal Year 2012 while still meeting strategic goals and providing a quality learning experience for students.

 As provost during the administrative review, Wilson was part of a four-member lead facilitators group that worked with members of six rapid response teams charged with making recommendations to improve student service support and identify and create new efficiencies. He also provided leadership in the academic review that enabled the university to streamline the number of colleges and departments to generate savings.  

Wilson’s duties as provost and chief learning officer include responsibility for academic programs and support services, including the academic colleges. He also oversees units covering institutional effectiveness/assessment, student experience/engagement, enrollment management, and technology. He serves on the president’s cabinet and chairs the university’s Strategic Planning and Resource Council.

While Wilson has served as provost, the university has strived to make education more accessible to students, including adding many new online courses and degree programs. In addition, student enrollment has increased every year for six consecutive years, and the university has engaged in new partnerships with other higher education institutions such as State Fair Community College and Metropolitan Community College to provide students a smoother, seamless transition from two-year institutions to UCM’s four-year degree programs.