Tuesday morning, the University of Missouri Board of Curators announced the resignation of Ann Covington effective immediately. This decision is a result of personal reasons including her husband’s death, her hip replacement surgery and her granddaughter’s major surgeries.
Spokesperson for the UM System John Fougere said Covington has been pondering this decision for a while, and her presence on the board will be difficult to replace.
“Anybody who has worked with Ann or knows Ann knows of her passion for higher education in general, but also the University of Missouri,” Fougere said. “She certainly will be greatly missed by the board.”
Fougere said serving on the board was one of many accomplishments for Covington.
“You look back at the things she has done in her life,” Fougere said. “Making history back in 1989 as the first female judge to serve on the Missouri Supreme Court. She’s somebody who has been a great member to have on the board.”
Fougere said Gov. Nixon will need to appoint a replacement curator to serve for the remainder of Covington’s term, which ends January 1, 2019.
Missouri Senator Kurt Schaefer says it is unfortunate to lose Covington, and hopes Gov. Nixon will find a qualified replacement.
“I would hope he would find somebody that has the background to understand the workings of a multi-billion dollar institution like the University of Missouri and has an understanding of academics as well as business and brings a background that will serve the University of Missouri well,” Schaefer said.
Schaefer is one of the 34 senators that will vote on Nixon’s appointment and said the person selected will have major responsibility within the UM Systems.
“There’s critical decisions that the curators make and ultimately all decisions that take place at all four campuses rest with them,” Schaefer said. “I’m hopeful that he’ll find the right person for the position.”
Until a replacement is found, the board will operate with eight members.