A national search is underway at the University of Missouri for Mizzou’s next chancellor. The UM system announced Monday that it has hired Isaacson Miller, the same search firm used in hiring incoming President Mun Choi.

MU Interim Chancellor Hank Foley

MU Interim Chancellor Hank Foley

Dr. Hank Foley has been serving as the interim chancellor of MU since November 12, 2015. In a statement he has released, Foley says he’s interested in the position on a permanent basis.

“I have been honored and privileged to serve as interim chancellor of Mizzou this past year. The team we’ve built to lead Missouri’s premier public university is strong and uniquely positioned to continue to move MU in the right direction. The opportunity to work alongside our tremendous faculty, staff and students – to grow research, seek new funding models and improve our best-in-class programs — is an honor I’d cherish,” says Foley. “While it is my hope to continue serving as chancellor, I understand that a national search for a permanent chancellor of this university is necessary, and I applaud and support President Middleton’s and President-designate Choi’s choice to do so. I look forward to participating in the process.”

In an earlier interview with Missourinet, State Rep. David Wood (R-Versailles) says the University of Missouri Board of Curators and Choi should consider Foley for the permanent position. Wood is the vice chair of the legislature’s Joint Committee on Education. He says 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. “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.”

State Rep. Courtney Allen Curtis (D-Ferguson) said on Twitter that Mizzou needs to go in a different direction.

Interim President Mike Middleton says one of Dr. Choi’s early priorities is to establish permanent leadership Mizzou.

“We will begin the process of selecting the next great leader of MU by launching a national search which is the customary approach for a prestigious public, land-grant AAU institution,” says Middleton.

“We believe in the tradition of shared governance, and the position of chancellor at MU demands that we honor that tradition by instituting a national search that is clear in its structure and process,” says Choi. “A detailed, comprehensive national search benefits MU’s status as one of the nation’s top public universities.”

The system also will assemble a search committee that will recommend finalists to Dr. Choi.