R. Bowen Loftin
R. Bowen Loftin
R. Bowen Loftin
Richard Bowen Loftin
June 29, 1949
|Residence||Columbia, Missouri, U.S.|
|Alma mater||Texas A&M University|
|Occupation||academic administrator, professor, businessman|
|Salary||$337,500 in 2016|
|Title||Former Chancellor of University of Missouri|
President Emeritus of Texas A&M University
Richard Bowen Loftin, better known as R. Bowen Loftin, is a US academic and the former chancellor of the University of Missouri in Columbia, Missouri. He came to Missouri in 2013 after serving as the 24th President of Texas A&M University.
Loftin was born in Hearne, Texas. He graduated from Texas A&M University in three years with a degree in physics, with highest honors, in 1970, and was a staff member of the MSC Student Conference on National Affairs. He earned a master's degree (1973) and Ph.D. (1975) in physics from Rice University.
Prior to being appointed interim president, he served as the vice president and CEO of Texas A&M University at Galveston, where he also held the position of professor of maritime systems engineering. In fall 2008, when Hurricane Ike hit the Texas Gulf Coast, Loftin oversaw evacuation of the multi-site campus and relocation of almost all of the 1,500 students, along with many of the faculty and staff, to the main Texas A&M campus in College Station, approximately 150 miles inland. This is believed to be the first time that an entire institution of higher education was transposed onto another for an extended period of time.
He previously served at Old Dominion University as professor of electrical and computer engineering and professor of computer science, and also was responsible for graduate programs in modeling and simulation. He also served as executive director of the Virginia Modeling, Analysis and Simulation Center. Previously, he chaired the Department of Computer Science and was director of the NASA Virtual Environments Research Institute at the University of Houston.
Loftin is a consultant in modeling and simulation, advanced training technologies, and scientific/engineering data visualization. He is the author or co-author of more than 100 publications and has served as principal investigator in grants and contracts totaling millions of dollars. He has received awards[which?] for teaching and research excellence.
MU Deans met with UM System President Timothy Wolfe on October 9 and 13 to ask for Loftin's resignation. On October 21, the Curators met behind closed-doors in what was speculated by some to be related to be proceedings about Loftin's role in shutting down ties between Planned Parenthood and MU. State Rep. Caleb Jones, R-Columbia, speculated on Twitter that Loftin would be fired for his role in shutting down MU's connections to Planned Parenthood. On November 3, The MU English department faculty unanimously voted no confidence for Loftin. Then on November 9, nine deans called on the UM System Board of Curators for Loftin's removal. Citing Loftin's handling of race and cultural issues, the firing of the dean of the School of Medicine, the abrupt cancellation of graduate student health insurance subsidies in August, and the elimination of the vice chancellor for health sciences, they wrote that Loftin had created a “toxic environment through threat, fear and intimidation." That same day, amid protests which culminated with the resignation of Wolfe earlier that day, Loftin announced that he would resign at the end of 2015 and take a research role at MU. On November 11, the Curators voted to hasten his departure from January 1 to be effective immediately. Loftin's responsibilities were transferred to Interim Chancellor Hank Foley. In his new role, Loftin's annual salary will be $337,500.
- "Loftin Leadership: Outgoing Texas A&M president becomes Mizzou's new chancellor". University of Missouri. December 5, 2013. Retrieved January 29, 2014.
- "Texas AandM Chooses Interim President as Sole Finalist for Job". Dallasnews.com. Retrieved April 21, 2013.
- Blatchford, Taylor (24 November 2015). "Administrative, faculty and student discontent led to Loftin's downfall". The Maneater. Retrieved 14 January 2016.
Former UM System President Tim Wolfe had stepped down just hours before. The narrative of his resignation is well-known: Graduate student Jonathan Butler began a hunger strike, students rallied behind him, the football team boycotted in support and national media came calling. But Loftin’s resignation was the result of a different movement that had been steadily gaining momentum behind the scenes for months. This one was caused by administrators.