After serving for eight years, UCM President Charles Ambrose has found a new job as president and CEO of KnowledgeWorks in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Ambrose said his last day with the university will be Aug. 31, according to his resignation letter to the board of governors. He begins his new job Sept. 1.
Ambrose informed the board of governors Thursday.
“Yes, it was a shock. No, we didn’t see it coming whatsoever,” said John Collier the new chair for the board of governors. “He made us aware this week. We officially heard it from him as a board yesterday.”
Ambrose said he heard about KnowledgeWorks through a mutual friend and that he began talking with the company in May.
He said the company’s mission is to teach others and provide best practices and affect policy on a national level.
“So it’s really complementary to a lot of the efforts that have been made by a lot of people in Missouri and I am really excited about bringing resources and awareness back to the (Missouri) Innovation Campus,” he said.
Collier said the search for an interim president has begun.
“Our number one priority is to make sure the university has the leadership to continue to take us into the upcoming school year and into the future,” he said.
Collier said they would like to determine an interim president as soon as possible to work in tandem with Ambrose during his remaining time at the university.
Collier said the board does not know who the interim president will be yet. However, he said they have people in mind and are meeting next week in a closed session to discuss the issue.
Once that position has been filled, Collier said the search for a full-time president will begin around the time school gets back in session.
“That will include a search committee made up of representatives from the campus leadership, faculty, community members, and students to make sure that there is representation of all parties possible,” Collier said.
Collier said Ambrose will be missed.
“He’s an amazing president, an amazing individual, and he is going to be missed, but we’re very happy for him,” he said.
Ambrose said he is excited to be starting the new job.
“One of the things that gets my energy going better than anything is trying to create the future and ask what’s possible through education that helps all students and that’s KnowledgeWork’s mission,” he said. “To go to a place where that’s your job and to really think forward, it’s pretty exciting.”
KnowledgeWorks promotes competency-based education by working “alongside policymakers, educators, business leaders and community stakeholders to create policies that promote transformation in their education system,” according to the company’s website.