The contract for UM System President Mun Choi has been extended by two years, to 2024.
The UM System Board of Curators approved the extension at a meeting Friday in Springfield.
At a news conference Friday, board chairman David Steelman said the decision to extend Choi’s contract was unanimous. Choi did not want a raise, Steelman said.
"I am well compensated," Choi said. "We have a lot of employees at the university, whether they are faculty or staff, who are underpaid. We really have to have the priority to increase their salaries and bring them up to market rates."
His original five-year contract included a base salary of $530,000, a car and a housing stipend.
Choi, who came from the University of Connecticut, began his duties March 1, 2017.
Since then, he has led the system through a painful period of budget shortfalls caused in part by reduced funding from the Missouri legislature, including a $38 million cut in fiscal year 2018. MU has seen hundreds of positions cut.
The system has also seen growth in research, such as the Translational Precision Medical Complex at MU, increased enrollment and two new chancellors, a system news release said.
That is part of the reason the curators offered the contract extension, which has been in the works for two to three months.
"The transformation to the University of Missouri —all four campuses — has been nothing short of remarkable," Steelman said.
He said that by extending Choi’s contract, the board is demonstrating Choi is the leader who will take the UM System to the next step. Steelman said he believes extending Choi's contract will lead to extra financial support from the state.
Choi said that during the next five years, he plans to work to improve student success, research, engagement, innovation and inclusion on throughout the system.
The contract news capped two days of meetings by the curators at the White River Conference Center in Springfield.
Also Friday, a task force led by board vice chair Darryl Chatman presented a plan that, according to the news release, would organize roles and responsibilities for the UM System, all four campuses and their leaders. The plan defines specific roles to leaders to remain transparent and accountable.