The first Asian-American and 24th president of the University of Missouri System began work on Wednesday.
Mun Choi’s appointment is a departure from previous appointments of presidents with primarily business backgrounds.
Former University of Missouri Curator David Wasinger says Choi’s academic knowledge, amongst other requirements, is one of many vital presidential skills.
“Certainly academia is a very important quality for a university president to the extent he has experienced or knowledge of academia, I think it adds to his talent level,” he said.
Mizzou Asian American Association President Tessa Miles said the school is taking a step in the right direction by appointing Choi.
“With the help of the organizations we do have on campus and making sure that those organizations are visible and getting the funding they need then it will definitely attract more students of different backgrounds,” she said.
Choi was born in South Korea before he immigrated to the United States as a young child. He is a former provost at the University of Connecticut.