In a surprise move Tuesday, a University of Texas vice president was named the new chancellor of the University of Missouri-Kansas City, getting the nod over the woman who held the post on an interim basis and was a candidate for the job.
C. Mauli Agrawal, who is vice president for academic affairs at the University of Texas at San Antonio and has a background in research and entrepreneurship, was chosen chancellor by UM System President Mun Choi.
UMKC Provost Barbara Bichelmeyer, who has served as interim chancellor since August, was considered a front-runner for the job.
A mechanical engineer specializing in orthopedic and cardiovascular devices, Agrawal has 15 patents issued and 13 more pending. He is a co-founder of cardiovascular device company Cardiovate Inc. and a medical device company now known as Diabetica Solutions Inc., and he has launched several startups, according to his resume.
Bichelmeyer was named interim chancellor when, after nine years, Leo Morton stepped away from the post to take a job with DeBruce Companies, a grain firm in Kansas City.
“I know there are people who are surprised that Dr. Bichelmeyer is not the choice that Dr. Choi made, but nevertheless this was a splendid choice,” said Professor Linda Mitchell, chair of the UMKC Faculty Senate.
“The best outcome was to have Dr. Agrawal as our chancellor and Dr. Bichelmeyer as our provost. They are the dream team.”
Bichelmeyer will return to her duties as university provost once Agrawal is in place June 20. She said in a statement she was excited to partner with Agrawal.