Since her arrival at the University of Missouri of Missouri–St. Louis last summer, Marie Mora has proven to be a strong support for faculty members, launching the Women’s Faculty Network and an Associate-to-Full initiative to help associate professors take the next step in their careers.
She’s also worked tirelessly in her role as associate provost for academic affairs to ensure that the university is fulfilling its educational mission and meeting the needs of its students.
On Wednesday, Chancellor Kristin Sobolik tapped Mora to lead UMSL’s academic and research programs, giving her a two-year appointment to serve as provost and executive vice chancellor for academic affairs.
“You have seen her passion and drive to foster an inclusive learning environment where students and faculty members of every background, particularly women and traditionally underrepresented minorities, can grow and thrive,” Sobolik said in a message announcing the appointment to faculty and staff. “Her vision is well aligned with the university’s fundamental purpose to educate and graduate diverse students as they seek different and better lives.”
Tanisha Stevens, the director of the Office of Academic Integrity and interim director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, chaired a committee – including Xavier Blackwell, Alice Hall, Tiffany Izard, Andrew Kersten, Joe Rottman, Edward Munn Sanchez, McKenzie Schuessler and Natissia Small – that interviewed Mora and recommended her appointment.
“Dr. Mora brings an exceptional background in research and scholarship, administrative oversight and leadership experience with a unique ability to build strong collaborative partnerships with all constituents,” Stevens said. “She has been recognized nationally for cultivating inclusive excellence for diverse populations while understanding the needs, challenges and opportunities available that contribute to maintaining the excellence of who we are at UMSL.”
Mora has been representing Academic Affairs on the COVID-19 Unified Command pandemic response team over the past two months and has served on the Chancellor’s Council Academic Affairs Committee.
She previously served as the associate vice provost for faculty diversity at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley from 2015 through 2019 and has also been a tenured faculty member in the Department of Economics and Finance at the University of Texas–Pan American and the Department of Economics and International Business at New Mexico State University.
Her reputation for scholarship is well established in her field of economics. She received bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of New Mexico and a PhD from Texas A&M University. Throughout her career, she has earned $3 million in external research funding as a principal investigator or co-PI.
Mora also has co-authored two books and numerous refereed journal articles on Hispanic socioeconomic outcomes, has been named one of the “75 Top Economics Influencers to Follow” by FocusEconomics and is a past president and founding member of the American Society of Hispanic Economists.
Her expertise has been sought, both by national and international media as well as policy makers at the highest levels of government. She was invited to the White House most recently in 2016 and the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System most recently in 2017.
As Sobolik noted in her message to faculty and staff, Mora is assuming her new post at an unprecedented time, as the country faces great public health and financial challenges. But her appointment brings the university stability and allows it to continue to make progress for the future.
“I am excited and honored that Chancellor Kristin Sobolik selected me as provost, and I look forward to serving on her leadership team in this role and continuing to work collaboratively with our faculty, staff and students and with colleagues across the University of Missouri System,” Mora said. “There is no question these are unprecedented times, but I feel all of my experiences have brought me to this key moment, to not only work through the challenges but also realize the tremendous opportunities.”