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Buffkin / Baker Seeks General Counsel for University of Missouri System  

Buffkin / Baker Seeks General Counsel for University of Missouri System  
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January 12, 2022 – Executive search firm Buffkin/Bker has been selected to hire the next General Counsel for the University of Missouri (MU) at Columbia. The mission is being led by Martin M. Baker, Managing Partner. General Counsel Steve Owens announced last month his plans to step down in March. The chairman of the board, Daryl Chatman, has appointed a search committee, which will be led by moderator Robin Winker.

The General Counsel reports directly to the Board of Directors and is charged with providing legal advice and services to the Board and the University. “This is a critical position for the university and requires thorough and thorough research,” said Mr. Chatman. “I am delighted that the curator has agreed to chair the search committee, and I look forward to a successful conclusion of this process. We are looking for someone who can build on the success and leadership of Steve Owens.” The individual selected for this position will be expected to demonstrate proven legal experience combined with a deep knowledge of legal issues related to the evolving higher education landscape.

Pufkin/Becker has assisted UM with several executive searches over the past several years including MU vice presidents at the University of Missouri-Columbia and deans of Missouri University of Science and Technology and the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

positive momentum

“Our goal is to select someone who will continue to promote the University of Missouri during a period of positive momentum for the university system,” said Ms. Winker. “We are fortunate to have a strong and talented legal team already serving the University. I look forward to working with my colleagues and the Bofkin/Becker Executive Research Company as we work hard to find the best individual for this important position.”

The research firm said the general counsel, who reports directly to the board of directors, serves as the executive leader of the four university system as well as an advisor to the university system’s president and senior leadership team. In addition, the General Counsel will be an ambassador for the university, demonstrating its commitment to its academic missions and values.

Bofkin/Becker said the successful candidate will demonstrate strong management skills to work collaboratively as a key member of a talented leadership team. The ability to communicate legal advice and present options succinctly to the Board of Directors and the entire university is essential.

Key qualifications

Bofkin/Becker said, candidates must have a law degree from an ABA accredited law school and a minimum of 10 years of law experience with significant specialized experience in at least one field. Must also be a member of the Missouri Bar, licensed to practice in the federal and state courts in Missouri, and have at least 10 years of active practice in the state..


Hiring first-class higher education leadership

In this all-new episode of Talent Talks, Hunt Scanlon Media host Rob Adams joins Martin Baker, Managing Partner and Ken Carrick, Partner from Buffkin Baker. Mr. Baker and Mr. Carrick took an in-depth look at the current state of executive recruitment for the higher education sector and how the sector has been affected by COVID-19. listen now!


Preferred qualifications for this role include broad and in-depth knowledge of a range of legal issues, including but not limited to employment and benefits, constitutional law, legal and regulatory compliance, business, intellectual property, research/technology transfer, governance, cybersecurity, and data protection. Candidates must have knowledge of issues related to higher education, along with the ability to clearly communicate legal advice and options. Experience in managing legal and administrative personnel is also preferred.

Founded in 1839, the University of Missouri-Columbia was the first public university located west of the Mississippi River. Today, the University of Missouri system is one of the largest institutions of higher learning in the country, with more than 75,000 students on four campuses, a health care facility and an expansive program whose activities reach each of the state’s 114 counties. A recent study indicated that the UM system has an economic impact of $5.4 billion on Missouri.

Specialized boutique company

Buffkin / Baker is a boutique research firm comprised of industry leaders in their respective fields each with over a decade of research experience. Their focus as research professionals is on recruiting leaders in digital marketing/advertising, technology, healthcare, media/entertainment, finance, higher education, and nonprofits. The company serves public and private companies, ventures and private equity-backed companies. Its office locations include Nashville, Tennessee; New York; Washington, DC; and Winston-Salem, North Carolina, with subsidiary offices in London.

Bofkin/Becker is a member of Panorama Search, an international consortium of retained companies with 18 companies and more than 30 offices globally. Buffkin / Baker was formed in 2017 by the merger of the Buffkin Group and Baker and Associates LLC.

Headquartered in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, Mr. Baker Looking for CEOs for over 22 years. In addition to his role as a managing partner, he is also the head of the company’s higher education practice. Previously, he worked for the Korn Ferry office in Atlanta, where he developed a search strategy and carried out searches for several high-profile appointments. He began his career as Research Associate at Saxton Bampfylde, a London-based research and assessment management executive. He has conducted searches for CEO, CFO, CIO, Dean, Director and Professor positions, having worked on more than 350 searches throughout his career.

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Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor in Chief; D. M. Zubsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media

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