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MU Provost Announces Inaugural Dean for Truman School of Public Affairs

March 21st, 2012

Story Contact: Nathan Hurst, 573-882-6217,

By Kate McIntyre

COLUMBIA, Mo. – University of Missouri Provost Brian Foster has announced that Barton Wechsler has been named the inaugural dean of the Truman School of Public Affairs. MU officially reclassified the Truman School as a free-standing academic unit on March 15. Wechsler has served as a professor of public affairs and director of the Truman School and the Institute of Public Policy since 2000. He will serve a two-year term as dean.

“As one of very few presidential schools of public policy nationwide, the Truman School has the potential to bring together the campus’s major assets in public policy and administration into an effective policy network,” Foster said. “Promoting it to an independent school will re-position the school within the campus and in the broader, national policy community.”

“My colleagues and I are deeply appreciative of the confidence the university has shown in the Truman School,” Wechsler said. “We are excited to continue our positive trajectory and become even more central to the campus, as well as relevant and valuable to the public policy community.”

Before coming to MU, Wechsler served as the founding dean of the Muskie School of Public Service at the University of Southern Maine, where he managed a staff of more than 200 and a $15 million budget. As dean, he was responsible for developing programming, working with constituencies, and fundraising. He also has worked as a visiting professor to Inner Mongolia University, director of the public management program at the University of Illinois-Chicago, and director of graduate programs at Florida State University and Wright State University.

Wechsler holds a doctorate in public policy and management from The Ohio State University and a master’s degree in social and applied economics from Wright State University. During his term as director of the Truman School, he has taught courses on research methods, organizational dynamics and analysis, and strategic planning and productivity measurement.

Wechsler’s research on public management has been published in several journals, including Public Administration Review, Administration and Society, Journal of the American Planning Association, and Public Productivity and Management Review. He serves on the editorial boards of Public Productivity and Management Review and The Journal of Public Affairs Education, and has been a strategic planning and management consultant to nearly 40 public and nonprofit organizations, educational institutions, and boards and commissions throughout the U.S. Recently, he facilitated a community-wide visioning and strategic planning process for the city of St. Charles. He also is a member of the Academy of Management, the American Society for Public Administration, the Midwest Political Science Association, and the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management.

Wechsler has been the recipient of many awards, including Florida State’s University Teaching Excellence Award, the University of Missouri and University of Illinois chapters of Pi Alpha Alpha, and The Ohio State University chapter of Phi Kappa Phi and School of Public Policy and Management Alumnus of the Year award.