A key GOP Missouri lawmaker wants Mizzou’s interim chancellor to be considered for the permanent job.

UM Board of Curators Chair Pam Henrickson (left) and incoming UM System President Dr. Mun Choi address reporters on November 2, 2016 at Jefferson City's Capitol Plaza Hotel

UM Board of Curators Chair Pam Henrickson (left) and incoming UM System President Dr. Mun Choi address reporters on November 2, 2016 at Jefferson City’s Capitol Plaza Hotel

State Rep. David Wood (R-Versailles) says the University of Missouri Board of Curators and the incoming UM System president should consider Mizzou Interim Chancellor Dr. Hank Foley for the permanent position.

Wood, who is the Joint Committee on Education vice chairman, tells Missourinet Foley has been accessible to legislators.

“I think he’s done a very good job in this interim position. He’s been very straightforward, his answers have been very honest with the Legislature. Not always popular, but very honest and straightforward and I think we can appreciate that,” Wood says.

Wood notes Foley is already in Columbia.

“I have no reservations in recommending Chancellor Foley to be permanent. I think he’s done a very good job and I’m very impressed,” says Wood. “So, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t other candidates that would do an equally good job, but this is a proven candidate that’s here.”

Incoming UM System President Dr. Mun Choi told reporters at Jefferson City’s Capitol Plaza Hotel on Wednesday that Foley is an “outstanding leader” who has led the Mizzou campus during difficult times.

Rep. Wood attended Choi’s introductory news conference. President Choi will select the MU Chancellor, and the UM Board of Curators must approve the hire.

The Board of Curators’ hire of Choi is praised by Wood, who says it’s a step in the right direction.

“And I’m glad to see the University of Missouri get past this point now, that we have a president, that we can look to the chancellor, we can start building the trust back that seems to have been damaged in the past couple of years,” Wood says.

Wood also serves as the vice chairman of the Select Committee on Education.

The UM System has four campus locations: Columbia, Kansas City, St. Louis and Rolla. Total enrollment this fall is 75,999. The UM System’s entire budget is about $3.1 billion, and that includes the University of Missouri Health System.

Enrollment at Mizzou is 33,239. Foley notes MU has about 13,000 employees.