Morale Low at Mizzou; Many Blame Chancellor

Jeanne A. Curley

Many faculty members at the University of Missouri view Chancellor Mun Choi as responsible for their low morale, according to a report released Thursday by the campus Faculty Council, The Missouri Independent reported.

The report was based on a survey, to which 547 faculty responded. Respondents were asked to rank Choi in various areas, and he received an overall ranking of 2.26 on a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being superior performance. Among ranked faculty without administrative duties, 208 said Choi should not be retained as chancellor, while 87 said he should remain.

Choi is also president of the University of Missouri System.

“I found reading through the comments pretty disheartening, to see how much frustration and kind of genuine sadness there is by so many, so many community members about our institution and the direction we’ve been going,” said Chuck Munter, an associate professor in the university’s college of education and human development. “But I don’t think I was surprised.”

One commenter said, “I have watched the most talented people leave this institution in the last three years because the climate hinders their accomplishments, especially in research. I believe that in some respects the faculty and its morale has been irreparably damaged.”

A minority of respondents said they appreciated Choi’s work for the university, citing his good relationship with political leaders and clear plans for the campus. They said, “It is refreshing and exciting to have somebody have a vision.”

Choi, in his response to the report, said he found some parts of the survey to be “thoughtful and helpful.”

But he had also heard many expressions of appreciation of his leadership and suggested that the sample wasn’t large enough to be representative of the whole faculty, which has about 2,400 members.

“After reviewing the results, I am interested in finding ways for my cabinet and I to collect more constructive input on a variety of topics from a broader group of faculty,” Choi said.

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