October 18, 2004: Headlines: COS - Thailand: University Administration: Kansas City Star : While in college, Brady Deaton served in the Peace Corps in Thailand, teaching vocational agriculture in the Thai language

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Thailand: Peace Corps Thailand: The Peace Corps in Thailand: October 18, 2004: Headlines: COS - Thailand: University Administration: Kansas City Star : While in college, Brady Deaton served in the Peace Corps in Thailand, teaching vocational agriculture in the Thai language

By Admin1 (admin) (pool-141-157-21-111.balt.east.verizon.net - on Saturday, November 06, 2004 - 2:39 pm: Edit Post

While in college, Brady Deaton served in the Peace Corps in Thailand, teaching vocational agriculture in the Thai language

While in college, Brady Deaton served in the Peace Corps in Thailand, teaching vocational agriculture in the Thai language

While in college, Brady Deaton served in the Peace Corps in Thailand, teaching vocational agriculture in the Thai language

Top Tiger is on the job, ready to listen

By LYNN FRANEY The Kansas City Star

Brady J. Deaton has come a long way from his two years living in the dairy barn at the University of Kentucky.

In the 1960s, the eastern Kentuckian from a family of nine children took care of the cows 20 to 30 hours a week in exchange for a roof over his head and wages he used to pay most of his tuition. He became the first in his family to earn a college degree.

Now Deaton is running Missouri's top public university, wrapping up his second week as chancellor at the University of Missouri-Columbia.

What began with responsibility for a few cows has morphed into a job that keeps him on call practically 24 hours a day, seven days a week handling a yearly budget of roughly $1.2 billion.

He is in charge of keeping everybody satisfied: thousands of alumni, more than 1,500 professors and the state legislators who send millions of dollars to the school.

And, of course, he can't forget the students.

This quiet, unassuming man now must ensure that 27,000 students get what they need inside their classrooms, their residence halls and their student clubs, while trying to keep tuition in check.

He's going to have to lead MU's $600 million fund-raising campaign and oversee the athletic department so MU has sports teams that bring glory to the Tiger name.

He's been so busy with out-of-town trips in his first days as chancellor that he's asked reporters to wait to interview him about his new post until next week.

But discussions with people who know Deaton reveal him to be a trustworthy, hard-working administrator who listens well, takes his time making decisions, and brings an interest in global diversity to the job.

Like University of Missouri system President Elson Floyd, who tapped him to lead the system's flagship campus, Deaton used education as a way out of modest family circumstances.

“He's very grounded in a sense of values, family, honesty, and hard work,” said Deaton's wife, Anne, a director at the Missouri Department of Mental Health. She is retiring her post to devote time to being the university's “first lady” and take care of her elderly parents, who just moved in with the Deatons in Columbia.

“He came from humble beginnings — a family that had challenges around income, but a family rich in love. He really valued and gained from teachers who were dedicated to helping students who were capable and interested in advancing themselves.”

While in college, Deaton served in the Peace Corps in Thailand, teaching vocational agriculture in the Thai language.

After graduating from the University of Kentucky, Deaton earned a doctorate in agricultural economics from the University of Wisconsin. He went straight into teaching, spending time at several colleges before arriving at MU in 1989 as the leader of the agricultural economics department.

He moved into campuswide administration in 1993 as the chancellor's chief of staff; the title later changed to deputy chancellor. His next post was MU provost, the campus' chief academic officer who represented Chancellor Richard Wallace in his absence.

In those years, he's taken many trips abroad, boosting MU's visibility among European Union countries, working to develop a joint agribusiness project in Bulgaria, and training Russian university leaders.

And he hasn't forgotten his friends in Thailand; in 1999, he helped lead a strategic planning exercise with 50 administrators at a university in the southeast Asian nation.

Last year, when Floyd said he would explore combining the jobs of system president and Columbia campus chancellor, Wallace said he would retire this summer.

Deaton was to serve as interim chancellor while Floyd conducted a nationwide search for a permanent replacement for Wallace.

The search never happened.

Floyd announced Oct. 1 that Deaton would lose the word “interim” in his title Oct. 4.

He introduced Deaton as chancellor on Oct. 1, before he had the formal approval of the governor-appointed Board of Curators. The curators, who run the four-campus university system, approved Floyd's choice three days later.

“Dr. Floyd came to the conclusion that all three groups (students, faculty and staff) will be very comfortable with Dr. Deaton in the leadership position,” said Joe Moore, a university system spokesman. “He had the right person at the right time for this institution. Dr. Deaton has been an instrumental part in many different initiatives that MU has going currently. And essentially there will be no interruption of leadership.”

Richard Oliver, the dean of MU's School of Health Professions, said he appreciates the stability in leadership. He said Deaton has supported collaboration between the University of Missouri campuses, including approving a new partnership between Oliver's school and the School of Pharmacy at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

Oliver praised Deaton for not “rubber-stamping” things that come across his desk.

When you send him a report to read, Oliver said, you know when he discusses it with you later that he's read the entire thing, not just perused the executive summary.

Although personable, Deaton tends to come across as serious and a bit intense.

Michael Roberts, director of MU's new Life Sciences Center, remembers when he was negotiating his contract with Deaton, who was provost at the time.

“When we were finishing up, I said, ‘Oh. One more thing. My wife asked me to get season tickets to basketball,'” Roberts recalled of a request the men knew was probably impossible to fulfill. “He looked terribly upset. He looked rather crestfallen. He thought I was probably going to turn the job down. I said, ‘Just a joke.'”

In a recent talk before the Faculty Council — whose members had grumbled when the national search was called off — Deaton laid out his priorities as chancellor: recruit and retain the best professors; make MU affordable; increase enrollment; expand MU's global reach; improve campus diversity and communication with alumni; and collect more outside money for research.

Students also have been presenting their needs to the new chancellor. The No. 1 priority: Stop the rapid rise in tuition. Undergraduates from Missouri now pay $6,276 a year in tuition for a full class load.

“Any of the students I know who have actually worked with Chancellor Deaton think he's excellent for the position,” said student body vice president Kara Heppermann, who is from St. Louis. “He's student-friendly and very willing to talk with students about any concerns he has. As soon as he started in his position as interim chancellor, he set up appointments with the student leaders.”

Oliver echoed those comments; even when professors disagree with Deaton's decision, they trust he's talked to the people involved and researched the topic sufficiently to decide what's in the best interest of MU as a whole, not just a particular group.

“I'm glad he's at the helm right now,” Oliver said.

To reach Lynn Franey, higher education reporter, call (816) 234-4927 or send e-mail to


When this story was posted in November 2004, this was on the front page of PCOL:

Your vote makes a difference Your vote makes a difference
Make a difference on November 2 - Vote. Then take our RPCV exit poll. See how RPCV's are voting and take a look at the RPCV voter demographic. Finally leave a message on why you voted for John Kerry or for George Bush. Previous poll results here.
Kerry reaches out to Returned Volunteers Kerry reaches out to Returned Volunteers
The Kerry campaign wants the RPCV vote. Read our interview with Dave Magnani, Massachusetts State Senator and Founder of "RPCVs for Kerry," and his answers to our questions about Kerry's plan to triple the size of the Peace Corps, should the next PC Director be an RPCV, and Safety and Security issues. Then read the "RPCVs for Kerry" statement of support and statements by Dr. Robert Pastor, Ambassador Parker Borg, and Paul Oostburg Sanz made at the "RPCVs for Kerry" Press Conference.

RPCV Carl Pope says the key to winning this election is not swaying undecided voters, but persuading those already willing to vote for your candidate to actually go to the polls.

Take our poll and tell us what you are doing to support your candidate.

Finally read our wrap-up of the eight RPCVs in Senate and House races around the country and where the candidates are in their races.

Director Gaddi Vasquez:  The PCOL Interview Director Gaddi Vasquez: The PCOL Interview
PCOL sits down for an extended interview with Peace Corps Director Gaddi Vasquez. Read the entire interview from start to finish and we promise you will learn something about the Peace Corps you didn't know before.

Plus the debate continues over Safety and Security.
Schwarzenegger praises PC at Convention Schwarzenegger praises PC at Convention
Governor Schwarzenegger praised the Peace Corps at the Republican National Convention: "We're the America that sends out Peace Corps volunteers to teach village children." Schwarzenegger has previously acknowledged his debt to his father-in-law, Peace Corps Founding Director Sargent Shriver, for teaching him "the joy of public service" and Arnold is encouraging volunteerism by creating California Service Corps and tapping his wife, Maria Shriver, to lead it. Leave your comments and who can come up with the best Current Events Funny?
 Peace Corps: One of the Best Faces of America Peace Corps: One of the Best Faces of America
Teresa Heinz Kerry celebrates the Peace Corps Volunteer as one of the best faces America has ever projected in a speech to the Democratic Convention. The National Review disagreed and said that Heinz's celebration of the PCV was "truly offensive." What's your opinion and can you come up with a Political Funny?

Read the stories and leave your comments.

Some postings on Peace Corps Online are provided to the individual members of this group without permission of the copyright owner for the non-profit purposes of criticism, comment, education, scholarship, and research under the "Fair Use" provisions of U.S. Government copyright laws and they may not be distributed further without permission of the copyright owner. Peace Corps Online does not vouch for the accuracy of the content of the postings, which is the sole responsibility of the copyright holder.

Story Source: Kansas City Star

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; COS - Thailand; University Administration



Add a Message

This is a public posting area. Enter your username and password if you have an account. Otherwise, enter your full name as your username and leave the password blank. Your e-mail address is optional.