Leo E. Morton was named Chancellor of the University of Missouri-Kansas City on December 15, 2008. Prior to assuming the Chancellorship, Morton had been senior vice president and chief administrative officer for Aquila Inc. Morton has been a University of Missouri-Kansas City trustee since 2000 and was in his third year as chairman of the Trustees Board when he stepped down to become interim chancellor and then permanent Chancellor.
Morton's management career spanned 40 years in a wide range of engineering and manufacturing positions with Aquila, AT&T Microelectronics, Bell Laboratories, General Motors, Rust Engineering Co. and Corning Glass.
Morton is on the board of directors for the Urban Neighborhood Initiative, Union Station, MRIGlobal, Truman Medical Centers, the Civic Council of Greater Kansas City, the H&R Block Bank Board, Kansas City No Violence Alliance (KCNoVA), and the National Association of Corporate Directors.
He is currently executive committee chair of the Western Athletic Conference (WAC), UMKC's NCAA alliance. In addition, he serves on the advisory board of Prep-KC, a major regional youth educational development organization; is a member of the Business & Education for Schools of Tomorrow (B.E.S.T) in the Blue Valley School District; and is a member of the Pembroke Hill School Board.
For his commitment to justice, Morton received the Henry W. Bloch Human Relations Award from the Jewish Community Relations Bureau/American Jewish Committee. The Black Family Technology Awareness Association presented Morton with the prestigious African American STEM Pioneer Award. And in 2014, the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce named Morton Kansas Citian of the Year.
Morton has a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from Tuskegee University, and a master's degree in management from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.