Last African-American University of Missouri curator steps down

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COLUMBIA, MO (KTVI) - The University of Missouri Board of Curators lost another member Monday, the third to resign in as many months. That will mean an additional workload for the remaining six board members until Missouri Governor Jay Nixon can name replacements. St. Louis businessman David Steward resigned with one year left on his six-year term of office. He said he needs to devote more time to growing his business World Wide Technology. Steward’s firm is in the process of constructing a new headquarters building at West Port Plaza in Maryland Heights. His departure leaves the board with no African-American members at a time when diversity issues on the Columbia campus have drawn national attention.

In addition to that, the remaining curators face numerous challenges ranging from budget issues and potential layoffs to a search for a new university wide president. Student protests last fall prompted the resignation of the four campus president Tim Wolfe. At the same time the chancellor at the MU campus was removed. It is anticipated the selection process for both jobs could take anywhere from 12 to 18 months.

The governor’s nominees must be approved by the Missouri Senate.