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MU College of Engineering Dean to Step Down in September

June 9th, 2014

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

COLUMBIA, Mo. ­— University of Missouri Interim Provost Ken Dean announced today that James Thompson, dean of the MU College of Engineering, will step down as dean effective Sept. 1, 2014. Thompson has served as dean of the college since 1994.

“Dean Thompson leaves the College of Engineering well positioned to move to the next level in research and cutting-edge, market-responsive educational programs,” Dean said. “He has built a strong engineering program, and we are indebted to him for his years of tireless work on behalf of MU.”

“I appreciate Dean Thompson’s long and dedicated service to both the College of Engineering and Mizzou,” MU Chancellor R. Bowen Loftin said. “Much has changed during his leadership, and we look forward to building on the college’s excellent reputation in all of its disciplines.”

While dean at MU, faculty research activity and funding were substantially increased, and new research, academic and diversity programs were successfully implemented.

“It has been an honor and a privilege to have served as dean for nearly 20 years,” Thompson said. “The college has amazing students and excellent faculty and staff who will assure that the reputation of the college will continue to grow in teaching and research.”

Undergraduate student enrollment in the College of Engineering increased substantially, more than doubling since 1994. New academic programs were initiated and grown, including bioengineering, computer science and information technology. Teaching innovations important to the students have grown, including undergraduate research, hands-on laboratory based teaching, many student teams, and the growth of international involvement for MU students and students from abroad. Research has grown consistent with AAU performance levels, producing a faculty and student research culture. Entrepreneurship also has been introduced for students and faculty to strengthen their capabilities in support of business and economic development.