TSPA congratulates Dean Emeritus Bart Wechsler on his induction into Mizzou’s prestigious Rollins Society

This spring, 84 students, faculty and staff were “tapped” into various Mizzou honor societies on the 91st annual Tap Day.  Among them was Truman School’s own Dean Emeritus Bart Wechsler, who was tapped into the Rollins Society as an honorary member in recognition of his service, leadership and commitment to the MU community.

The Graduate Professional Council established the Rollins Society in 1994 to recognize graduate and professional students who have significantly advanced the well-being of self-defined communities beyond the scope of their academic work.  The society is named after former Missouri Senator James S. Rollins.  Rollins is often referred to as the “Father of the University” due to his tireless legislative efforts advancing the interests of the university and his generous financial contributions.

TSPA student Brett Dinkins nominated Dean Wechsler for this honor.  Brett first met Dean Wechsler as an undergraduate when Dr. Wechsler gave Brett permission to take a graduate course he was teaching on leadership, ethics and service.  “I could immediately tell he was a Dean deeply invested in the success of his students,” Brett noted.  Brett credits these early interactions with Dean Wechsler as the driver behind his decision to pursue his graduate degree at the Truman School.  His time at the Truman School confirmed his first impressions.  “He had what we called the “open door policy,” meaning you could always pop in and visit with him when he was in the office.  Many times, I found myself in the Dean’s office asking him advice on how to navigate the nonprofit sector,” Brett observed.  “When Dean Wechsler found out I was interested in strategic planning, he went out of his way to incorporate me into a strategic planning project we was working on with a local community church.  He gave me the opportunity to actively participate and facilitate parts of the planning sessions.  He truly wanted to see me learn, grow and succeed.”

Dean Emeritus Barton Wechsler served as the chief academic and administrative officer of the Truman School of Public Affairs at the University of Missouri-Columbia from 2000 to 2017.  Previously he served as the founding dean of the Muskie School of Public Service at the University of Southern Maine and as a faculty member at the University of Illinois and Florida State University. While at Florida State, he received the University’s Award for Teaching Excellence. Dr. Wechsler taught graduate courses in public management, including strategic planning and performance measurement, organization dynamics and leadership, and social innovation. He conducted leadership development programs for public officials, fire and police officers, and nonprofit executives. His research on public management has been published in Public Administration Review, Administration and Society, Journal of the American Planning Association, Public Productivity and Management Review, Review of Public Personnel Administration, other academic and practitioner journals, and numerous edited books.  Dr. Wechsler currently serves on the editorial board of Public Productivity and Management Review.

The Truman School faculty, staff and alumni offer their sincere congratulations to Dean Emeritus Wechsler on this well-deserved recognition of his distinguished record of service to the university and the community.