March 26, 2020

Dear Mizzou Staff and Faculty,

As you learned this morning, the Board of Curators has asked me to serve as interim chancellor of Mizzou. I am honored to step into this new joint role and look forward to working with all of you. I want to thank Chair Julia G. Brncic and the rest of the Board for their quick, decisive actions that will help us continue to attend to the challenges of the pandemic and also address the future of Mizzou.

Through extensive collaboration at all levels, we will find the best ways to unite these two key leadership functions. I will reach out, remotely initially, and then in-person, for your innovative ideas and solutions. And I know you will have many. In the meantime, please email any initial ideas to president@umsystem.edu with the subject line: Chancellor/President Joint Role Ideas.

In the last two weeks, our university community has been in a constant state of pivot. Yet, at each new challenge, our various teams responded with incredible resolve and resilience. In the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak, many of you and your teams, in a matter of days, moved our teaching online.

At the same time, our outstanding medical and research teams – both human and veterinary – scrambled to figure out how MU Health Care could ease the statewide COVID-19 testing shortage. With the most recent crises of medical equipment shortages and foodbank demands, the students, themselves, jumped up to help. These are only a few examples just in the last two weeks. I expect these incredible acts of community to continue and I know our communications teams throughout campus will help us tell those stories that demonstrate the caring Tiger spirit.

It was just three years ago this month that I arrived in Columbia to become part of this exceptional university and community. Since then, I have worked closely with Provost Latha Ramchand and many of you and watched you chart a ground-breaking future for Mizzou and our state. Your spirited collaboration, witnessed in spades right now, is exactly what brought me here in the first place.

This kind of work can only happen at a leading, public, research, land-grant university. Mizzou is on a trajectory of excellence, and I look forward to working with all of you. Together, we will build on our pioneering history and move forward to serve Missouri and the world as one of the nation’s best universities.

Thank you for your tremendous support.

Sincerely,

Mun Y. Choi
President, UM System and Interim Chancellor, University of Missouri