Dec. 21, 2017


It is my pleasure to announce that Dr. Jim Spain has agreed to serve as interim provost and executive vice chancellor for academic affairs, effective Feb. 1. A member of the University of Missouri faculty since 1990, Dr. Spain has extensive administrative experience, including service as vice provost for undergraduate studies; vice provost for eLearning; assistant dean of academic programs for the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources; and director of the MU Student Success Center.

Dr. Spain, who received his bachelor’s degree in animal sciences from North Carolina State University and his master’s and doctorate degrees in animal sciences from Virginia Tech University, has a strong track record on enhancing educational outcomes for our students and is dedicated to the success of faculty and students at Mizzou. He also has been a principal investigator or co-investigator on research totaling more than $6 million, co-authored 26 peer-reviewed articles and three book chapters, and served as senior section editor for the Journal of Dairy Science, the top impact journal in the animal science discipline.

Dr. Spain displays a passion and dedication for Mizzou that is unmatched, and I am confident that he will serve the university well in this role. He has received several awards for his work as an educator, and I’m very grateful that he has agreed to step into this position at this time. He will be returning to his current position as vice provost for undergraduate studies at the conclusion of the search.

I want to thank the campus community for their input on this decision. I received many thoughtful nominations, and I’m appreciative to everyone who took the time to engage in this process.

I also want to take this opportunity to thank Dr. Garnett Stokes for her service over the past three years. Under her leadership, she has been responsible for hiring 10 of our 12 deans, led a very complex budgeting process this summer and established MU’s Office of Civil Rights and Title IX. I am grateful for the time I was able to spend working with her and will miss her as she moves on to become the next president of the University of New Mexico.

Please join me in wishing Dr. Spain congratulations on this position.


Alex N. Cartwright, PhD