Dr. Jeanne Daffron ’75, provost and vice president for academic affairs, retired on June 30, 2018, but will continue working part-time for a year to assist in the transition. Dr. Doug Davenport, associate provost for research, planning and institutional effectiveness, is serving as interim provost. A national search for a
permanent replacement will take place next year.
Dr. Daffron joined Missouri Western in 1977, and had been serving as provost since 2009. She oversaw the creation of two new schools (the School of Fine Arts in 2013 and the School of Nursing and Health Professions in 2016), the growth of graduate programs, and numerous successful accreditation and reaccreditation efforts.
Also under Dr. Daffron’s leadership, opportunities for applied learning experiences for students expanded. Missouri Western also created the Buchanan County Degree Attainment Initiative with an Innovative Campus grant from the State of Missouri in 2012, and the University has signed cooperative agreements with a number of other universities in the U.S. and abroad.
She began her career as a faculty member in the Department of Nursing. She chaired the department in 1996-97, and then served as dean of the College of Professional Studies from 1997 to 2004. Dr. Daffron became assistant vice president for academic and student affairs in 2004 and twice served as interim provost and vice president before being named to the position permanently in 2009. She also served as interim dean of graduate studies when the first graduate degree programs were offered in 2007.
“It has been one of the true highlights of my career to work side by side with Jeanne for the last 10 years,” said Dr. Robert Vartabedian, Missouri Western’s president.
In addition to her duties at Missouri Western, Dr. Daffron was active in professional and community organizations. She served on the Missouri Life Sciences Research Board, the Northwest Missouri P-20 Council, and the Heartland Foundation board of directors, the EmPower U advisory committee, the Healthy Communities Investors Council, the Northwest Missouri Area Health Education Center advisory board, the Community Alliance board of directors and the Heartland Regional Medical Center technology committee. She also served on the board of directors for the St. Joseph Area Chamber of Commerce from 1998-2005, including a term as chair in 2004.
Changes in dean positions
Dr. Kathleen O’Connor retired as dean of Professional Studies on June 30, 2018. She became a member of Missouri Western’s faculty in 1980, and had been in the dean position since 2013. Prior to that, she chaired the Department of Nursing for 15 years, leading the development of the University’s Master of Science in Nursing program and helping create a partnership with Metropolitan Community College for an RN-to-BSN program.
With the retirement of Dr. O’Connor, Dr. Ben Caldwell became dean of Professional Studies, but continues to serve as dean of the Graduate School. Dr. Dan Shepherd will continue as chair of the Department of Education, but assumed additional responsibilities as assistant dean of Professional Studies. Additionally, last spring, Dr.
Crystal Harris was named associate dean of the School of Nursing and Health Professions within the College of Professional Studies.
Dr. Logan Jones, a business faculty member and director of the MBA program, became dean of the Craig School of Business on July 1, 2018, replacing Dr. Michael Lane, who retired June 30 after five years at Missouri Western.
Dr. Lane’s accomplishments include guiding the creation of the Center for Entrepreneurship and the re-accreditation of the CSB.
Dr. Jones joined Missouri Western in 2015 and has served on the Graduate Council and the Faculty Senate. He was a member of the committee that conducted a feasibility study and drafted a proposal for adding an MBA program at Missouri Western. As director, Dr. Jones developed an online MBA program that launched this fall.