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Missouri State Names New President

Missouri State Names New President

Missouri State Names New President

(Springfield’s News Talk 104.1) – MSU named it’s 12th president earlier this morning.

Dr. Richard “Biff” Williams will take the helm of the university on July 1.

“We’re confident Dr. Williams is the right person to lead MSU into the future,” said board Chair Lynn Parman. “He is very student focused. He also has proven success in strategic planning, community engagement, legislative advocacy and fundraising.”

MSU launched a nationwide search for a new president last fall after MSU President Clif Smart announced that he will retire this summer after 13 years on the job.

“I am humbled by the honor and excited by the opportunity to lead Missouri State University toward a future where innovation, collaboration and excellence define our educational journey,” said Williams.

Williams has 25 years of leadership experience in higher education. He has served as a faculty member, dean, provost and, most recently, president.

Williams was president of Utah Tech University (previously Dixie State University) from 2014 through early 2024. During his tenure, he expanded the university’s footprint – increasing enrollment more than 40% and adding more than 200 academic programs.

He also guided the university through a name rebranding and a move to Division I athletics.

Previously, he served as provost and vice president for academic affairs and founding dean of the College of Nursing, Health and Human Services at Indiana State University. Prior to Indiana State, Williams served as an associate dean of the College of Education at the University of Northern Iowa, where he was a faculty member; executive associate director of the School of Health, Physical Education and Leisure Services; and athletic training division chair.

Williams has a PhD in curriculum and instruction from New Mexico State University, a master’s in athletic training from Indiana State University and a bachelor’s in lifestyle management from Weber State University.

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