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David Russell named interim Missouri higher ed commissioner

Springfield News-Leader
June 13, 2010
The Coordinating Board for Higher Education on Thursday announced the selection of David R. Russell as interim commissioner of higher education for Missouri to replace retiring Commissioner Robert B. Stein, a state news release said.

Coordinating Board Chair Lowell Kruse described Russell as a consensus-builder and diplomat who will work across all sectors of higher education while aligning with the systems of preschool, K-12 and higher education.

“David understands the complex nature of higher education,” Kruse says. “He also sees ways to improve the continuum of preparation so every student, from preschoolers through adults, has the education needed to succeed in today’s challenging economy.”

Search Committee Chair Craig Van Matre said that an interim commissioner is needed while state government explores options relating to changes in governance and efficiencies to be gained in higher education.

Russell, of Columbia, currently serves as senior associate vice president and chief of staff for the University of Missouri System, where he acts as liaison between the university and the Coordinating Board for Higher Education and its administrative arm, the Missouri Department of Higher Education.

He has worked in the University of Missouri System for 19 years, first as associate director of university relations, assuming ever-greater responsibility for communications, strategic planning and public policy positions. He served as director of university relations and chief of staff before assuming his current position, where he works with the president and all four university campuses to integrate finance and administration, human resources, general counsel, government relations, information technology, communications and academic and student affairs.
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