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MU Chancellor Brady J. Deaton Announces Upcoming Retirement

June 12th, 2013

Story Contact: Christian Basi, 573-882-4430,

COLUMBIA, Mo. – University of Missouri Chancellor Brady J. Deaton announced today that he will retire from the position of MU chancellor, effective Nov. 15, 2013. The son of a Kentucky farm family who glimpsed the outside world through 4-H, Deaton is the 21st chief executive officer of MU. He will continue to serve the University as chancellor emeritus with a focus on the university’s role in international development.

“I am extraordinarily honored and privileged to have led the University of Missouri through the last nine years of exciting, eventful and rewarding times,” Deaton said. “Any success attributed to my leadership is due to the wonderful support of my family; the skilled and dedicated work of my staff; the unmitigated, common commitment of deans and faculty to providing a world class education to our students; and the amazing spirit of our alumni.”

“Chancellor Deaton has been an extraordinary leader and has worked diligently to increase access to MU while at the same time maintaining the utmost quality among our academic programs,” University of Missouri Board of Curators Chair Wayne Goode said. “He has been an asset to Mizzou and the entire University of Missouri System.”

“Throughout my time as president, Dr. Deaton has been a trusted adviser and an effective advocate for the University,” UM System President Tim Wolfe said. “His knowledge of the University and passion for our mission as the state’s premier land-grant, public research institution is unmatched. Finding a leader with the academic background and leadership prowess exhibited by Dr. Deaton will be our top priority.”

Deaton became chancellor of MU on Oct. 4, 2004, bringing more than 30 years of experience in public higher education, an international perspective and a record of national leadership to the position.

Under Deaton’s leadership since 2004:

  • MU’s total enrollment grew by 7,745 students (28.7 percent), and minority enrollment rose by 113 percent.
  • Research expenditures (the measure of MU’s research activity) grew by 47.5 percent, and the amount awarded in research grants to MU rose by 46 percent.
  • Since 2007, when the Office of Technology Management and Industry Relations was created, a significant growth in economic development activity has occurred, including 77 new patents to MU’s faculty for inventions and intellectual property and $43.6 million in licensing income.
  • MU’s For All We Call Mizzou campaign’s goal was increased to $1 billion in 2005, and Deaton announced in 2008 that the goal had been reached one month early.
  • As a result of Deaton’s commitment to reducing the carbon footprint of the university, he signed the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment in 2009 and submitted MU’s first Climate Action Plan with the goal of eventually achieving carbon neutrality. MU recently installed a biomass boiler at the campus’ Power Plant and is actively investigating other alternative energy initiatives. Since 2008, emissions from the university’s Power Plant have decreased by 35 percent and are projected to decrease by 45 percent by 2017.
  • Mizzou joined the prestigious Southeastern Conference, a highly successful, stable athletic conference that offers exciting opportunities and unparalleled visibility for MU and its student-athletes.
  • MU opened 21 new buildings, including the Thompson Center for Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders, the International Institute of Nano and Molecular Medicine, the Mizzou Student Athletic Training Complex, the Schweitzer Hall addition, the Life Science Business Incubator, three housing complexes, the MU Student Center, and MU Health Care’s Missouri Orthopaedic Institute and Patient Care Tower. Thirteen buildings have been renovated, including nine residence halls, and Tate and Switzler Halls using the Mizzou Stewardship Model.

Deaton served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Nan, Thailand, from 1962 to 1964, where he taught vocational agriculture in the Thai language and first became interested in international relations. He graduated from the University of Kentucky with a degree in agricultural economics in 1966 and earned a master of arts degree in diplomacy and international commerce there in 1968. He received master’s and doctorate degrees in agricultural economics from the University of Wisconsin.

Deaton served six years as an assistant and associate professor of agricultural economics and rural sociology at the University of Tennessee, where he was appointed staff director of the Special Task Force on Food for Peace for the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Washington, D.C. In 1978, Deaton took a professorship position at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in the Department of Agricultural Economics, where he also served as coordinator of the rural development research and extension program.

He spent 12 years at Virginia Tech, the last four as associate director of the Office for International Development. In March 1989, he joined the University of Missouri as professor and chair in the Agricultural Economics Department. He was appointed chief of staff in the Office of the Chancellor in 1993 and became deputy chancellor in 1997. In January 1998, Dr. Deaton was appointed interim provost and was named to the permanent position in October of that year.

Deaton holds leadership roles in many university, community and national organizations. He served as chair of the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities (APLU) Council on International Initiatives and Council on Academic Affairs and is a member of the board of the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center and the International Committee of the Association of American Universities (AAU). President Barack Obama appointed Deaton chair of the Board for International Food and Agricultural Development (BIFAD) in 2011 and reappointed him in 2012 for a four-year term. Deaton has authored more than 100 articles, presentations and book chapters and has co-authored three books.

For his contributions to MU and higher education, Deaton has been awarded the Outstanding Commitment to Multiculturalism and Diversity certificate by the Association of Black Graduate and Professional Students, honored as an invited lecturer at the Japan International Agricultural Council and recognized by Gamma Sigma Delta with an Award of Merit for Outstanding Administrator. He has received the Malone Award from APLU for furthering international education in public higher education, and has received honorary degrees from Chonnam National University in Korea, from SHIATS University in India, and from two institutions in Thailand — Prince of Songkla University and Khon Kaen University.

Deaton and his wife Anne, MU’s first lady who holds an Ed.D. from Virginia Tech and is an adjunct professor in the College of Education, College of Human Environmental Sciences and Sinclair School of Nursing, are the parents of four grown children, three of whom are Mizzou graduates, and the grandparents of five grandsons and two granddaughters.