Dr. Robert Schwartz, interim provost and executive vice chancellor for academic affairs at Missouri S&T, has been named chief of staff for the University of Missouri System, UM President Tim Wolfe announced today (Thursday, March 22).
“This is an important position for the UM System, and Bob is exactly the right fit to serve as a trusted advisor to me and the university’s leadership team,” Wolfe said this morning. “He will help execute the priorities of the UM System and the university’s mission statement, represent me and the office of the president in a variety of settings, and coordinate various staff and office support. I am delighted he has accepted the position.”
Schwartz also will serve as the custodian of records for the UM System, assist in the university’s strategic planning process, coordinate with the office of strategic communications in advancing the president’s statewide communications, and serve as a liaison with general officers and the board of curators. He will begin his duties April 1.
Since becoming interim provost at Missouri S&T last September, Schwartz has been instrumental in recent budget preparations and strategic planning, student recruitment, eLearning and enhancing international partnerships. While serving as academic affairs vice provost since June 2007, he helped with the academic restructuring of the campus, enhanced corporate partnerships, established cooperative degree programs with another institution, led campus efforts for ABET accreditation, and served on various task forces and committees.
Schwartz joined Missouri S&T in May 2002 as professor of ceramic engineering, and later became the associate chair of the department and served as faculty senate president. He began his career as an advanced research and development engineer at the B.F. Goodrich R&D Center and later as a senior member of the technical staff at Sandia National Laboratories in New Mexico.
“I have worked closely with Bob for several years now, and however complicated the task or important the priority, Bob’s integrity and commitment, creative thinking and steadfast nature have been a major factor in the success of whatever he was doing,” said Missouri S&T interim Chancellor Warren K. Wray. “He will be a missed daily presence on our campus, but his leadership will be a major asset for the entire University of Missouri System.”
Bob earned a doctorate degree in ceramic engineering from the University of Illinois and a bachelor of science degree in science education and a master of science degree in chemistry, both from North Carolina State University. He has received numerous honors and awards, including several faculty excellence and teaching awards, and he holds the rank of fellow in the American Ceramic Society. He currently serves on the American Ceramic Society Board of Directors.
Following the arrival of new Missouri S&T Chancellor Cheryl B. Schrader on April 2 and Schwartz’s new role as chief of staff, Wray will return to his previous position as provost. Because of Schwartz’s appointment, Dr. Philip Whitefield will continue to serve as interim vice provost for academic affairs at Missouri S&T, and Dr. Klaus Woelk will continue to serve as interim chair of the chemistry department. Current UM System chief of staff Kathy Miller is leaving to spend more time with her family.