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Board Approves Re-Assignment of Individuals in Two Key Leadership Roles

By Jeff Murphy, November 20, 2017

WARRENSBURG, MO – In its closed session Friday, Nov. 17, the University of Central Missouri Board of Governors approved two personnel actions that  involve changes in duties for two key university administrators. These are strategic appointments designed to provide continuity as one administrator prepares to begin a new position elsewhere, while also helping the university through current and future budget planning amidst many funding challenges.

“At the same time we congratulate Deborah Curtis, provost-chief learning officer, for her new role as president of Indiana State University, we are initiating administrative leadership changes that I believe can help continue UCM’s forward momentum at a very critical financial time,” said UCM President Charles Ambrose.

With Board support, he is appointing Roger Best to serve as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer (EVP/COO) effective Jan. 1, 2018, and Mike Godard, vice provost for enrollment management, to serve as Interim Provost-Chief Learning Officer Jan. 1, 2018 through June 30, 2019. Future plans include a national search to fill the provost’s position on a permanent basis.

“We are very pleased with the recommendations Dr. Ambrose brought to the board,” said Gus Wetzel II, board president. “Both  Dr.  Best and Dr. Godard  have proven records of strong leadership in their respective areas. They know the institution and understand the needs of its faculty, staff and students, and we have great confidence in their ability to help UCM make forward progress despite many challenges we face as an institution.”

Since his appointment as Interim Senior Vice President for Finance and Administration August 1, 2017, Best has demonstrated exceptional leadership in the area of finance and administration and has proven to be a highly valued and respected member of the senior leadership team, Ambrose said. As EVP/COO, he will lead and manage the university infrastructure, reporting and compliance initiatives, and oversee the areas of Facilities Planning and Operations, Human Resources, Accounting and Financial Services, Budget Planning and Administration, Procurement and Materials Management, Office of Technology and Institutional Planning and Research.

Prior to his current interim assignment, Best served since 2010 as dean of the Harmon College of Business and Professional Studies. He joined UCM in 1995 as assistant professor of finance, and climbed the faculty ranks to become a professor in 2005. He was named chair of the Department of Economics and Finance in 2003, and became associate dean in 2008.

Godard, who joined UCM in 2012, has played an integral part in student success initiatives, growth in undergraduate enrollment and increases in student retention and is highly knowledgeable about units associated with the Provost-Chief Learning Officer. He will have responsibilities associated with the entire learning environment at UCM including academic experience, Student Experience and Engagement, and Enrollment Management.   

Godard became Vice Provost for Enrollment Management in 2015, where his responsibilities have included supervising the directors of the offices of Admissions, Student Financial Assistance, Graduate and International Student Services, and Registrar to ensure the university delivers quality student services and meets its enrollment targets. Prior to that, he was chair of the Department of Kinesiology, overseeing undergraduate and graduate programs and faculty members in athletic training, physical education pedagogy, exercise science, community health, pre-physical therapy and occupational therapy, sport management and dietetics programs in the College of Health, Science and Technology.


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