Melvin D. George

President Emeritus

University of Missouri System Administration

Melvin D. George's website

Melvin D. George is President Emeritus of the University of Missouri, President Emeritus of St. Olaf College, and Professor Emeritus of Mathematics, University of Missouri-Columbia. After receiving a Ph.D. in Mathematics from Princeton University, George joined the faculty of the University of Missouri in 1960. He became Associate Dean of the Graduate School in 1967, then moved to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 1970 as Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. He returned to the University of Missouri as systemwide Vice President for Academic Affairs in 1975, serving as Interim President in 1984 before moving to St. Olaf College in Minnesota as President in 1985. Following his retirement from St. Olaf nine years later, George served for nearly two years as Vice President for Institutional Relations at the University of Minnesota. He returned to Missouri in 1996 and served a second time as Interim President of the University of Missouri system in 1996-97. During the period 1994-96, he chaired the National Science Foundation’s review of undergraduate science, mathematics, engineering, and technology education, culminating in the report “Shaping the Future: New Expectations in Undergraduate Education in SMET.” George also chaired (1997-99) the Missouri K-16 Coalition, a statewide group appointed by the State Board of Education, the Missouri Coordinating Board for Higher Education, and the Curators of the University of Missouri to make K-16 education in the state more seamless, with higher expectations for student learning, beginning with mathematics. George has served as a member of the Mathematical Sciences Education Board of the National Research Council, the Advisory Board of the NRC’s Center for Education, and the NRC’s Division for Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education. He has served as a panelist for NSF programs in STEM education, as chair and member of regional accreditation teams in higher education, and as a consultant to colleges and universities.. He has several times taught a University of Missouri Honors College course “On Mathematics and Music” and continues to speak on topics of teaching and learning, especially in the areas of science and mathematics. He recently served as a member of the planning group for an NSF project entitled “Mobilizing STEM Education for a Sustainable Future:. He often sings in the University of Missouri’s Choral Union, and he loves hiking and river-running in the west.

Communication in reform
Do not let a good idea founder on the rocks of criticism that there has been inadequate communication. A communications plan will not guarantee success, but the lack of one will certainly make failure much more likely. Be inclusive, be open to the views of others, and be strategic.
Leaders need to communicate
All too often, a leadership team thinking about new directions fails to think through and put in motion a communication plan as an integral prelude to and part of the anticipated change. Developing a thoughtful communication plan and carrying it out effectively are vital aspects of any successful significant change. Communication, with different levels of intensity and of varying breadth and scope, must occur as the process proceeds.
Leadership in the Context of Shaping a Meaningful Career
This essay outlines six essential characteristics of a good leader. By identifying each characteristic, Mel George examines the personal qualities that should be cultivated in all those developing leadership skills.
The Politics of Educational Change
During this session we will relate learning processes to politics and change in higher education, identify individual and organizational forces that support and hinder change, and apply learning principles to affect organizational change. n politics, learning, and change. All learning is about change and the politics of change is the fundamental activity of educational leadership.