Kicking off his first full semester as interim chancellor, Henry C. “Hank” Foley talked to the Mizzou community in a State of the University Address Jan. 27. Foley, who took Mizzou’s helm Nov. 10 after UM System President Tim Wolfe and MU Chancellor R. Bowen Loftin stepped down, has assumed the role in the wake of a tough semester marked by student protests and media scrutiny. In his talk, the chancellor addressed recent unrest, promised improved conditions for graduate students, and called for greater inclusion as part of a culture of respect.
State of the University Address
Interim UM System President Mike Middleton and Interim MU Chancellor Hank Foley take a moment to review their notes before addressing the Mizzou community.
Interim UM System President Mike Middleton introduces Interim MU Chancellor Hank Foley.
Students, faculty, staff and journalists packed Memorial Union’s Stotler Lounge to hear the State of the University Address.
Middleton and Foley share a laugh.
Journalists cover the event from a raised podium at the back of the room. Foley joked with them about sensationalism in news coverage.
Foley discussed the plans put into action by Chuck Henson, interim vice chancellor for inclusion, diversity and civil rights (center). He also introduced VIPs such as, from left, Interim Vice Chancellor Jennifer Hollingshead, Provost Garnet Stokes, Dean Mike O’Brien and Missouri Rep. Caleb Rowden of Columbia.
Karin Foley and Julie Middleton, wives of Hank Foley and Mike Middleton, watch from the audience. Karin Foley, who holds a doctorate in chemistry, recently retired as associate director of regulatory affairs at the UM Research Reactor. Julie Middleton works with MU Extension as an extension professional and director of organizational development.
Graduate students react to the news that the university plans to continue offering them health insurance benefits and to raise the minimum stipend by $6,000 over the next two fiscal years. Some students came dressed in red prepared to protest against benefit cuts proposed last semester.
Lt. Col. Brent J. Unger, recruiting commander for the Navy ROTC program, listens to Interim Chancellor Hank Foley’s speech. Foley applauded Mizzou’s student veterans and the university community’s efforts to support them with the MU Veterans Center, tuition discounts and help from law students in procuring disability benefits.
Middleton chuckles at one of Foley’s many jokes.
Mizzou graduate students began protesting potential health insurance cuts in August. Insurance benefits have been restored, and Foley has promised to keep Mizzou graduate students’ benefits and stipends competitive with those of peer institutions.
Interim UM System President Mike Middleton retired from his job as MU deputy chancellor in August. He returned to the university in November to take over as interim system president after Tim Wolfe stepped down.
State of the University Address attendees packed Stotler Lounge. Some stood for more than an hour at the back of the room, while others listened from the hallway. The event also was broadcast on Livestream.
Mike Middleton and Hank Foley.