By BRENT MARTIN
St. Joseph Post
Northwest Missouri State University has chosen a long-time administrator and academic from a university in Alabama to become its next president.
Lance Tatum comes to Northwest from Troy University, where he is senior vice chancellor for academic affairs and chief academic officer.
Tatum says the reputation of Northwest among its peers attracted him to the school.
“Providing access to students who won’t have the opportunity perhaps to go out of state or to go a larger, research one university. And so, really the mission and what they stand for was what drew me to them at the end,” Tatum tells KFEQ/St. Joseph Post in a phone interview.
Tatum began at Troy University in 1998 as an assistant professor. Tatum has served in his current role at Troy since 2019 while also a professor in its Sorrell College of Business-School of Hospitality, Sport, and Tourism Management.
Tatum begins his duties on the Maryville campus June 1st.
Tatum says he is incredibly excited to get started.
“The opportunity to impact the lives of students is just something that I’m drawn to,” Tatum says. “I have a real passion for students and student success.”
Tatum says he was attracted to the mission of Northwest to provide access to college for the region’s youth and provide the higher education so vital to the region’s workforce.
“It’s regionals who provide the nurses and provide the teachers and provide the accountants and provide the business professionals that go back into those communities and really build the foundation of success for the communities where they live,” according to Tatum.
A lot is going on in the Tatum household as the family gets ready to make the move from their longtime home in southern Alabama to a new environment in the northwest Missouri community of Maryville.
Tatum says he’s incredibly excited to get started.
“We’re making preparations now so that we can get ourselves moved from Alabama and be in Missouri in enough time so that when we get there June 1st we’re ready to hit the ground and be ready to learn and understand so by the time we get to the fall, I’ll feel like I’m in a good position to start the fall semester,” Tatum says.
Tatum was in Maryville last week to be formally introduced to the Northwest Missouri State community.
NWMSU Vice President for Culture, Clarence Green, who also serves as the Chief of University Police has served as interim president since the Board of Regents declined to renew the contract of John Jasinski.