Skip to main content
Skip to navigation

Nov. 14, 2013 Volume 35, No. 13

Administrators Foster and Jones honored at retirement reception

Alternate text

Dean of the School of Journalism Dean Mills speaks at the retirement reception Nov. 8 for Provost Brian Foster and Jackie Jones, sitting next to each other in front row. Photo by Rob Hill.

A joint retirement reception was held Nov. 8 for Provost Brian Foster and Jackie Jones, vice chancellor of Administrative Services, in the Jesse Hall Rotunda. 

During his remarks, Chancellor Brady J. Deaton said that Foster and Jones are known among administrators at American universities and colleges for their knowledge of “how to run a university.” He said Foster was “a perfect fit” as provost and Jones was “a tremendous team player.”

Foster, who has a doctorate in anthropology from the University of Michigan, was appointed MU’s provost in August 2005. He has moved the university forward in economic development, research, the hiring of top deans and faculty, and increasing enrollment, Deaton said. He was instrumental in the creation of Mizzou Advantage, which launched in 2010 to aid and promote interdisciplinary research partnerships on campus. 

Jones has worked for MU for 34 years. She is responsible for the administrative oversight of financial and service operations. She has done everything from coordinating aspects of the biomass boiler installation to working with MU police officers, Deaton said. She has spent her entire career in Administrative Services, beginning as manager of Business Services.

Foster and Jones will remain in their positions until the end of the year.

Deputy Provost Ken Dean spoke of Foster’s accomplishments and how the provost “brought a rich and deep knowledge” to his position.

Mixed with the accolades was light-heartedness.

Dean told of Foster’s “Brianisms.” Foster would often say, “It’s huge,” “That’s just delusional,” “I need a reality check on this,” and recommend looking at a problem from “40,000 feet,” Dean told a rotunda brimming with people. 

Lerke Foster, Brian’s wife, said that her husband has many talents, including making coffee, washing dishes, wrapping gifts and “making shopping at Dollar Tree look like an art.”

Speaking of Jones, Paul Toler, associate vice chancellor of Administrative Services, said he’s thinking of ordering bracelets that say WWJD — What Would Jackie Do? — to remind staff how to handle problems after she’s retired. 

During their turns at the podium, Foster thanked the MU community and hoped he’d made some impact on the campus, and Jones expressed appreciation to all staff members.

“They work behind the scenes making individual choices that make the campus run,” Jones said. 

A lover of the arts, Foster was presented with a framed city of Columbia’s 1992 Commemorative Poster, an untitled watercolor by the Midwest artist Keith Crown. Jones was honored with having a botanical garden bench dedicated to her.

Beginning Jan. 1, 2014, Gary Ward, associate vice chancellor of Campus Facilities, will begin serving as interim vice chancellor of Administrative Services, and Dean will serve as interim provost.