Skip to main content
Skip to navigation

Jan. 24, 2013 Volume 35, No. 16

The University of Missouri budget director gradually settling in to new role

Alternate text

Rhonda Gibler became the new budget director Jan. 1. Gibler has worked for MU for nearly 20 years, serving the past 15 years in MU Extension. She helped manage extension’s grant portfolio from approximately $2 million in 1997 to more than $20 million today. Photo by Shane Epping.


Gibler earned her master’s degree and doctorate at the university

Rhonda Gibler is still knee deep in transitioning to her new position as MU’s budget director, succeeding Tim Rooney, who retired in December after 36 years.

 “I’m happy to follow Tim,” Gibler said. “I think one of the strengths he has brought to the position that I want to emulate is that he has been open with people about the budget and what is driving some of the funding concerns.

Gibler is confident that with continued campuswide collaboration, the university will meet its fiscal responsibilities despite the challenging public-funding climate. 

“There is a lot to be done,” she said. “We know that the environment we live and work in can be difficult. But with the kinds of minds we have at this university working together to tackle concerns and issues, I am confident that we can plot a course that accomplishes more amazing things.” 

Gibler has worked for MU for 19 years, serving the past 15 years in MU Extension. She helped manage extension’s grant portfolio from approximately $2 million in 1997 to more than $20 million today. 

Over time, her roles changed and other responsibilities were added, including serving on numerous University of Missouri System and MU committees that deal with budget issues, human resources, benefits and retirement plans. 

In April 2011, she was appointed associate vice provost of extension, where she oversaw information technology for the statewide extension network, news reporting, and web and internal communications.

“I’ve enjoyed my time in extension, but I also have a passion for research and instruction,” she said. “I am excited about getting to contribute to all the missions of the university.” 

Gibler is a native Missourian, growing up on a farm on the Macon–Randolph County line. After graduating from high school, she earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Truman State University. She went on to earn a master’s degree in economics and doctorate in consumer and family economics at MU. 

Before joining the university, Gibler taught college algebra part time at Moberly Area Community College. Many of her students were 18 to 22 years old. 

Her students held down day jobs while pursuing a college degree at night. 

“It was rewarding to work with them and help them relate mathematics to what they did in their daily lives,” she said. 

Gibler hopes to return to teaching one day because she’s seen firsthand what a “tremendous difference higher education can make in individuals’ futures, our state and its citizens,” she said. 

For several weeks in December, Gibler shadowed Rooney to learn more about the daily duties of the MU budget director. She admits she’s still learning, but her transition was made easier by the gracious help of her predecessor.

“Tim has spent a significant amount of time showing me where things stand on certain issues and trying to ensure that we have a smooth transition,” Gibler said.

 “The initial hand off of day-to-day responsibilities was smooth, and I feel I have been given a great start to be successful.”

— Sue Richardson