Missouri State University has recently made two new leadership hires. Zora Mulligan will begin as executive vice president on July 5. Brad Bodenhausen will begin as vice president for community and global partnerships on July 1.
“I’m very excited about these two additions to my leadership team,” said Missouri State President Clif Smart. “I selected Zora because of her leadership abilities, creativity and broad experience in higher education. We are beyond fortunate that Zora accepted this position, and I look forward to working with her.
“Brad is deeply connected in the Springfield community and has helped drive many new international connections. He will help the university develop more local and international partnerships.”
Mulligan is first to serve as executive vice president
The executive vice president position is new to the university. Mulligan will serve as the second in command to Smart. She will oversee many administrative areas and lead efforts to redesign the university to meet modern educational needs.
The Missouri State Board of Governors asked to have someone on the leadership team who could run the university in Smart’s absence. The board and Smart point to Mulligan’s experience, including her successful tenure as Missouri’s commissioner of higher education, in support of her ability to lead Missouri State.
“We asked President Smart to develop a position that would be a clear second in command and hire someone who could run the university,” said Board Chair Carol Silvey. “We also asked him to hire someone who would be a strong candidate for president when he retires.
“Zora’s reputation and accomplishments clearly demonstrate that she meets these requests.”
Board member Anson Elliott said Mulligan is a consensus builder.
“Zora has a unique ability to mediate through conflicts and find creative solutions to problems,” said Elliott. “As commissioner of higher education, she negotiated the compromise that allows Missouri State to more easily offer new professional doctoral programs.”
Board member Jay Wasson points to her accomplishments as commissioner of higher education.
“Zora is highly regarded by legislators and policymakers throughout the state and country,” said Wasson. “She is also a good steward of state resources. She proposed consolidating Missouri’s Department of Higher Education with the Division of Workforce Development. That benefits Missourians and saves the state money.”
Smart outlines his reasons for selecting Mulligan in his May 24 Clif’s Notes.
Mulligan is the commissioner of higher education for the State of Missouri, a position she has held since 2016. She served as chief of staff for the University of Missouri system from 2014 to 2016.
Prior to that she was the executive director for the Missouri Community College Association from 2010 to 2014. She also served as assistant commissioner, general counsel and legislative liaison for the state of Missouri from 2007 through 2010.
Mulligan earned a bachelor’s degree in political science and psychology from Drury University and a master’s degree in education and law degree from the University of Kansas.
Bodenhausen will replace Jim Baker
Bodenhausen will replace Dr. Jim Baker as vice president for community and global partnerships when he retires on June 30.
Bodenhausen is currently associate vice president of international education and training. He’s served in that position since 2017. Before that he served as director of Missouri State’s International Leadership and Training Center since July 2014.
Prior to working at Missouri State, Bodenhausen was executive vice president of the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce, where he worked for 21 years.
Bodenhausen has a bachelor’s degree in mass communication from University of Central Missouri and a master’s degree in international affairs and administration from Missouri State.