David R. Russell

Former Chief of Staff & Custodian of Records at University of Missouri System

David R. Russell

David R. Russell

Former Chief of Staff & Custodian of Records at University of Missouri System

Biography

Dr. David R. Russell brings 50 years of cumulative public service to Columbia College’s governing board, which he joined in 2016. He began a four-year term as chair of the College’s governing board on July 1, 2020. He has most recently served on committees responsible for Finance and Investments, Academic Affairs, and Plant and Facilities. He and his wife belong to the College’s President’s Society and the Capstone Club.

Russell was appointed Missouri’s Commissioner of Higher Education and CEO for the Missouri Department of Higher Education in 2010. He oversaw a statewide system that served 430,000 students attending both public and independent two-year and four-year colleges and universities. He was the architect of a new blueprint for Missouri higher education called "Preparing Missourians to Succeed." He also launched initiatives eliminate barriers to college completion for Missouri’s students, make a college education attainable and affordable and promote career pathways in such high-demand areas as the sciences, education and the health professions. Russell was designated Commissioner Emeritus of Higher Education upon his retirement from state service in 2016.

Prior to joining the Department of Higher Education, Russell spent 20 years as a senior administrator in the Office of the President at the four-campus University of Missouri System. He served as the System’s first chief of staff from 2004-2009, when he was promoted a general officer and senior associate vice president of the University. In this role he provided leadership in public affairs, strategic and operational planning, and coordinating activities of the president’s office with members of the UM Board of Curators, general officers and the university’s many internal and external stakeholders.

Russell was commissioned a second lieutenant of infantry in the U.S. Army on the day he graduated from college in 1969. He held command and staff positions in infantry, personnel management and public affairs, including two combat tours in the Republic of South Vietnam, Germany and the Pentagon in Washington D.C. He completed a 22- year Army career in 1991, retiring with the rank of lieutenant colonel. Russell’s personal decorations include the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star, Purple Heart, Meritorious Service Medal, Joint Service Commendation Medal, Army Commendation Medal for Valor and Combat Infantryman’s Badge.

Russell holds a Bachelor of Science in Education degree from Henderson State University (Ark.), a Master of Arts degree in communications and public affairs from The American University in Washington, D.C., and a doctoral degree in educational leadership and policy analysis from the University of Missouri-Columbia. David and his wife, Lee, live in Columbia and have six sons, 19 grandchildren and two great grandchildren.

Overview
RelSci Relationships

1496

Number of Boards

1

Relationships
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Grants Coordinator, Academic Affairs at Columbia College of Missouri

Relationship likelihood: Strong

President at Columbia College of Missouri

Relationship likelihood: Average

Executive Director of Plant & Facilities at Columbia College of Missouri

Relationship likelihood: Average

Executive Director Administrative Services at Columbia College of Missouri

Relationship likelihood: Average

Chief Financial Officer at Columbia College of Missouri

Relationship likelihood: Average

Chief Information Officer at Columbia College of Missouri

Relationship likelihood: Average

Provost & Senior Vice President at Columbia College of Missouri

Relationship likelihood: Average

Provost & Vice President for Academic Affairs at Columbia College of Missouri

Relationship likelihood: Average

Vice President & General Counsel at Columbia College of Missouri

Relationship likelihood: Average

Dean of the School of Humanities, Arts & Social Sciences at Columbia College of Missouri

Relationship likelihood: Average

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David R. Russell
Former Chief of Staff & Custodian of Records at University of Missouri System
Career History
Chief of Staff & Custodian of Records
Prior

The mission of the University of Missouri, as a land-grant university and Missouri’s only public research and doctoral-level institution, is to discover, disseminate, preserve, and apply knowledge. The university promotes learning by its students and lifelong learning by Missouri’s citizens, fosters innovation to support economic development, and advances the health, cultural, and social interests of the people of Missouri, the nation, and the world.

Other Affiliations

David R. Russell is affiliated with University of Missouri System

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