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Welcoming a new UM System president

Tim Wolfe

New University of Missouri System President Tim Wolfe grew up in Columbia, where he was quarterback at Rock Bridge High School. In January, Wolfe’s campus tour included stops on Francis Quadrangle. Photo by Nicholas Benner

Tim Wolfe started Feb. 15, 2012, as president of the University of Missouri System, and the job is a homecoming of sorts. Wolfe’s high-flying business career wrested him from the Midwest, but he grew up in Columbia and graduated from MU with a bachelor’s degree in business administration in 1980. After graduation, Wolfe joined IBM Corp., where he rose in the company to vice president and general manager of its global distribution sector. He left IBM in 2000 and for three years served as executive vice president of Covansys, where he led a global consulting team of more than 1,300 employees with $125 million in revenue. In 2003, he joined infrastructure software company Novell as president of the Americas, and he led more than 3,000 employees and partner firms in the United States, Canada and Latin America.

His career has prepared him to deal with tight budgets. “For the majority of my 30 years, I’ve had to lead organizations that were resource-constrained — we had limitations in terms of funding,” he says. “We had to talk about how we could meet budget expectations — in many cases, it was an efficiency statement. At the same time, we had to have conversations about how we could drive the revenue line up top. So we had to have conversations about how we could increase the revenue. We have to, as we move forward, find new sources of revenue to fund our growth.”

He plans to boost the use of technology, increase research, seek new revenue streams and work with leaders in business and government to shape an economic development agenda that creates more Missouri jobs.