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News Release

March 17, 2023

Tatum introduced as 11th president, looks to build on ‘solid foundation’

Northwest Missouri State University on Thursday formally introduced Dr. Lance Tatum as its next president.

Tatum, who serves as senior vice chancellor for academic affairs and chief academic officer at Troy University in Troy, Alabama, is joined by his wife, Jill, and begins his tenure at Northwest on June 1.

“I can tell you it’s a positive sign when you leave an interview wanting the job more than you did when you arrived, and that was certainly true for Jill and I in our visit to Maryville,” Tatum said in remarks he presented to a crowd filling the J.W. Jones Student Union Boardroom. “I could not be more grateful to all the members of the Board of Regents and the Northwest university community for trusting me with the profound responsibility of leading this great university.”

This month’s announcement is the culmination of a search process the University began last June. Regents selected Tatum after gathering input from Northwest stakeholders, including a University search committee. Tatum was among four finalists who visited the Maryville campus in February for a series of interviews with stakeholder groups and public forums.

“He brings with him considerable experience and success in strategic planning, student recruitment and retention, community involvement, classroom teaching, and fundraising, just to name a few,” said John Moore, who is the chair of the Board of Regents and served as chair of the Presidential Search Committee. “When speaking to others about him as part of our due diligence process, there were two consistent themes that came through from every person we talked to. Number one, that he is authentic. What you see and what you hear from him, you get. And number two, he’s a servant leader. It is not about him, it’s about the organization. My own observation is that he is a highly competent, can-do person with a big dose of humility blended in.”

John Moore, right, introduced Dr. Lance Tatum as Northwest's next president. (Photos by Todd Weddle/Northwest Missouri State University)

John Moore, right, introduced Dr. Lance Tatum as Northwest's next president. (Photos by Todd Weddle/Northwest Missouri State University)

Saying he is humbled and honored for the opportunity to lead Northwest, Tatum thanked his family – which includes Jill and their two children, Thad and Zoe – and mentors for their transformative impacts on his life.

“I began my career in administration because I wanted to have a greater impact and a broader influence on students, much like the mentors I mentioned have impacted and influenced my life,” Tatum said. “Over my career and at each administrative stop, I've been able to widen my influence and deepen my impact on the lives of those around me.”

Tatum reflected on his work at Troy University, saying its success “was accomplished through an inclusive and transparent process with faculty, students, staff and colleagues” and that he intends to approach his work at Northwest similarly.

“My goal is to build upon the solid foundation that exists here at Northwest,” Tatum said. “I have loved my life at Troy. I’ve had lots of reasons to stay and little push to leave, which tells you the strength of the pull that Jill and I felt drawing us to Northwest. It was overwhelming to hear how the people love this university and the pride that they showed in being part of it. For someone who is drawn to opportunities to serve others and to help individuals succeed, it was impossible to resist the invitation to join this great university.”

Dr. Clarence Green, left, joins Dr. Lance Tatum for conversation with Northwest community members Thursday.

Dr. Clarence Green, left, joins Dr. Lance Tatum for conversation with Northwest community members Thursday.

During his remarks, Moore also thanked members of the Presidential Search Committee and Dr. Clarence Green, who served as interim president at Northwest during the search process. Moore noted Green is the first person of color to lead Northwest.

“He kept the ship sailing true when the waters were choppy,” Moore said of Green. “This individual is the definition of an unselfish leader. He epitomizes our culture and all that’s good about Northwest day in and day out.”

In addition to Thursday’s introductory conference, the Tatums attended the afternoon Board of Regents session and that evening’s “Voices in Green” concert at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts in Kansas City, Missouri, which featured performances by Northwest’s Jazz Ensemble, Tower Choir and Wind Symphony.

For more information about Northwest’s presidential search, visit

Northwest presidents
  • Frank Deerwester, 1906-1907
  • Homer Martien Cook, 1907-1909
  • Henry Kirby Taylor, 1909-1913
  • Ira Richardson, 1913-1921
  • Uel Lamkin, 1921-1945
  • J.W. Jones, 1945-1964
  • Robert Foster, 1964-1977
  • B.D. Owens, 1977-1984
  • Dean Hubbard, 1984-2009
  • John Jasinski, 2009-2022
  • Dr. Clarence Green, 2022-2023 interim president

About Dr. Lance Tatum

Tatum has served in his current role at Troy University since January 2019 while holding the rank of professor in its Sorrell College of Business—School of Hospitality, Sport and Tourism Management. He is responsible for all aspects of the university’s academic mission, including strategic planning, budgeting, supervising, and reviewing programs of instruction, research and continuing education. He oversees 32 academic departments housed in five academic colleges in addition to the supervision of leaders overseeing undergraduate and first-year studies, the graduate school, academic support, three non-traditional campuses, libraries, registrar, institutional research, planning and effectiveness, and sponsored programs.

Tatum joined Troy University as a faculty member in 1998 and went on to serve as vice chancellor for its campus in Montgomery, Alabama; vice chancellor for its Global Campus; dean of the College of Education; and chairperson of the Department of Kinesiology and Health Promotion as well as a Faculty Athletics Representative. Throughout his career, he has held faculty positions in sport and fitness management at Troy University, and he began his academic career as an assistant professor of physical education at Gordon College in Barnesville, Georgia.

He earned a Ph.D. in sport management at Florida State University. He has a Master of Science in Education degree in foundations of education and a Bachelor of Science degree in physical education, both from Troy University.


Dr. Mark Hornickel
Administration Building
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