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Missouri Western provost announces retirement

Dr. Jeanne Daffron, provost and vice president for academic affairs

Dr. Jeanne Daffron, provost and vice president for academic affairs since 2009, has announced plans to retire effective June 30.

“Dr. Jeanne Daffron has been a vital part of Missouri Western State University for more than 40 years, and has overseen some monumental changes on our campus” said Dr. Robert Vartabedian, Missouri Western’s president. “Her commitment to academic excellence and community service has set the hallmark campus-wide, and she is really going to be missed.”

“I am so proud of this institution, and of our faculty, staff and students who have worked so hard to make Missouri Western the wonderful place that it is,” Dr. Daffron said. “It has been very rewarding to watch the institution mature.”

During her time as provost, Missouri Western has created two new schools: the School of Fine Arts in 2013 and the School of Nursing and Health Professions in 2016. Graduate programs, which began in 2007, have expanded to include 15 master’s degrees and six graduate certificate programs. In 2010, the Craig School of Business attained AACSB International accreditation, a distinction shared by fewer than five percent of business schools worldwide, and that accreditation was maintained in 2016. The quality of many other academic programs has been validated through re-accreditation by national accrediting organizations.

Also under Dr. Daffron’s leadership, opportunities for applied learning experiences for students expanded, including internships and research with faculty. 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.

Dr. Daffron has worked at Missouri Western since 1977, starting as a faculty member in the department of nursing. She chaired the department in 1996-1997, 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 such a blessing to me,” Dr. Daffron said. “Every time I’ve been ready for a new challenge, there was a new opportunity for me.”

In addition to her duties at Missouri Western, Dr. Daffron has been active in professional and community organizations. She has served on the Missouri Life Sciences Research Board, the Northwest Missouri P-20 Council, 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 chairperson in 2004. She was the second woman and the first educator to become Chamber chair.

Dr. Daffron, a registered nurse, received an associate’s degree in nursing and a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Missouri Western, a bachelor’s in nursing from Northwest Missouri State University, a master of public administration degree with an emphasis in health policy and planning from the University of Missouri-Kansas City and a doctorate in nursing from Texas Woman’s University.

Dr. Daffron will continue working part-time for a year to aid the transition. Dr. Doug Davenport, associate provost for research, planning and institutional effectiveness, will serve as interim provost effective July 1. A national search for a permanent provost will take place next year.

Missouri Western State University is a comprehensive regional university providing a blend of traditional liberal arts and professional degree programs. The university offers student-centered, high quality instruction that focuses on experience-based learning, community service, and state-of-the-art technology. Missouri Western is located in St. Joseph, Mo., and is committed to the educational, economic, cultural and social development of the region it serves. Visit