VP seat welcomes newcomer McCallum

Dr. Richard McCallum came from Central Connecticut State University and began his job as vice president for academic affairs July 1.

Dr. Richard McCallum came from Central Connecticut State University and began his job as vice president for academic affairs July 1.

Nate Billings

New faces come in all shapes, sizes and ranks.

Missouri Southern has a new vice president for academic affairs.

Dr. Richard McCallum took over the position on July 1, after leaving Central Connecticut State University where he was associate vice president of academic affairs.

“My wife and I are delighted to be here,” McCallum said.

Julie McCallum, Richard’s wife, came two and a half weeks early to help the movers set up things in their new home.

Julie has three sisters in the Southeast Missouri area and Richard has family in Nebraska.

“From the personal side of life, it was a chance to come back to Missouri,” Richard said.

He said it gave he and his wife an opportunity to be near their families – a chance other jobs had not provided before.

Richard said he has many goals for his new position.

“I want to be an ambassador to the students,” he said.

He has already attended many of the events on campus including the Fresh Start and Campus Crawl activities.

He spoke with students at the activities and introduced himself around campus as time permitted.

“He’s a real get-about kind of guy,” Julie said. “People will see a lot of him.”

Richard is not the only member of his family in the teaching profession.

Julie teaches first grade at Diamond Elementary School in Diamond.

“I need to be doing something with my free time,” she said.

She said she enjoys teaching and is happy to work with the children.

Julie also considers herself a representative of Missouri Southern. She attends games with her husband and supports him in his work.

“It’s not always easy to be a participant, but you need to be there, especially if you care about education,” Julie said.

Richard said another of his goals at Southern is to see the graduate programs develop.

“We (the University) have a progressive spirit,” he said.

Even though there are many administrative tasks that must be done in his job, Richard said he will listen to student organizations and the Student Senate as guides for what must be done on campus.

Richard’s education comes from his home state of Nebraska.

He earned his bachelor’s degree at Wayne State College in Wayne, Neb., and he gained his masters of education at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln.

Richard has studied in Norway.

He has made several trips to Germany and London.

He also said, though he is no longer as fluent as he used to be, he studied Spanish for three years.

The international focus of the University helped attract Richard’s attention.

“It (the International Mission) is one of the things that sets us apart as a unique institute,” he said.

Julie said the year will bring many changes, but mostly time settling into their positions. They both said they enjoy their new home and hope to be ambassadors to the students.

“You do the best you can,” Julie said.