Longtime MU administrator who oversaw campus buildings retires with no fanfare | news

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After 16 years of service at MU, Gary Ward has quietly retired as Vice Chancellor of Operations.

In this role, Ward oversaw the management and renovation of many older buildings, as well as the construction of many new facilities, including the NextGen Precision Health Institute.

Ward’s resignation, effective February 28, was marked only by the announcement of his successor and a couple of congratulatory messages from University of Missouri President Mun Choi.

Ward will be succeeded by Sarah Chinniah as vice chancellor for operations and strategic initiatives, the Missourian reported.

Ward first announced his retirement last fall, according to a memo sent out by Choi. In the memo, Choi Ward expressed his gratitude and listed some of his achievements.

He cited Ward’s management of the renovation of older buildings and his work in establishing the sustainability office. Choi also noted Ward’s oversight of the construction of new projects such as the Sinquefield School of Music, the Patient-Centered Care Learning Center and the Roy Blunt NextGen Precision Health Building.

“Gary has ensured that our beautiful campus is always ready to serve the needs of our community,” Choi said in a Feb. 24 blog post. “His forward-thinking vision also prepared us to do even more for future generations of tigers and Missourians.”

Attempts to solicit Ward for comment on his resignation have been unsuccessful.

Choi said in the Post that Ward’s ministry would be commemorated with a tribute bench on the south side of Jesse Hall. A date for the placement of this bank has not been announced.

“I also want to personally thank Gary for his dedication and for being a great manager of Mizzou,” Choi said in the Post.

Ward became MU’s vice chancellor of operations and chief operating officer in 2014, having served in that role in the interim following the retirement of Jacquelyn Jones, the Missourian reported.

MU’s retirement isn’t the end of managerial life for Ward. Choi also mentioned in his blog post that Ward is transitioning to a position at Love Columbia, a nonprofit organization that helps local residents with homelessness, car repairs, job searches, and other needs.

“I’m thrilled,” Williams said. “It’s just so amazing for us as he has all this wealth of experience and really feels called to be here. We’re delighted he’s here and he seemed thrilled to be here so it seems like a perfect match.”

“I think we can really be a place where he just loves to be as he moves into the next phase of his career,” Williams said.

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