Dear University community,
Welcome to another spring semester at the University of Missouri System! We have much to look forward to in the New Year.
A new calendar year means the start of a new legislative session. Our priorities and funding requests from the state include support for our core teaching and research mission at $416.5M; continued $10M investment in the NextGen Precision Health Initiative; approval of $6.2M in MoExcels proposals that will advance workforce development in key STEM fields; and $8.3M in deferred maintenance support to improve our learning and working environments systemwide.
The NextGen Precision Health Initiative is our highest priority. Our breakthrough research in cancer, vascular, neurological and emerging areas in precision health will improve and save lives—efforts our citizens desperately need. Missouri ranks 39th in cancer mortalities, 40th in cardiovascular mortalities and 39th in frequent mental distress. We can and must improve these statistics for the health of our state and the future of every Missourian our work has the opportunity to save.
Students, faculty, staff and alums often ask how they can support our initiatives. I have one answer: contact your legislators, friends and colleagues. Advocate for our legislative priorities. Use our legislative priorities resources to help share the importance of our work and the incredible return on investment our University makes. Your advocacy can change the trajectory of health and education in our state. It is that important.
Our elected officials recognize the significance our work offers to Missouri and the world. I thank Governor Parson, who recently reinforced our value in his proposed budget, and other state legislators for their support of public higher education.
I couldn’t be more proud of the positive impact that you make each and every day. To prepare for another successful year of compelling work that reaches beyond the confines of our community, please take a moment to review the following updates and reminders.
In April, we will all be asked to participate in the 2020 Census, an important process for our University. An accurate count ensures federal support is appropriately distributed to areas essential to our community, including funding for Federal student loans, campus improvements, health and social services, public safety and more. The data also helps provide proportional representation for our community in federal, state and local legislatures. You’ll receive additional information about completing the 2020 Census from the University later in the semester.
On-Campus Safety and Security
The actions you should take to keep yourself safe and secure in the event of an active shooter depend on your situation to the threat. If you are on campus and receive an alert, or if you have not received an alert but hear the sound of gunfire, determine if you should:
- Run - Get away from the shooter(s). Leave your things behind and run. If safe, warn others nearby. When out of danger, call 911.
- Hide - If you can’t get away safely, hide. Get out of the shooter’s view and stay quiet. Silence devices, lock/block doors and turn off lights. Don’t hide in groups— spread out or hide separately until law enforcement gives you instructions.
- Fight - A last resort. Act decisively and aggressively. Distract and disarm the shooter if you can by using makeshift weapons or heavy objects.
If you are off campus and receive an alert, do not come to campus.
Accountability and Integrity Hotline
To work toward a culture of even greater respect and inclusivity, we ask if you witness or experience inappropriate behaviors, policy or regulatory non-compliance, safety issues, financial misconduct or any other unethical activity or concerns, you report it to the Integrity and Accountability Hotline at secure.umsystem-accountability.ethicspoint.com or (866) 447-9821. This hotline is managed by a third party to maintain anonymity and confidentiality. All reports are taken seriously and retaliation is not tolerated.
Claims of discrimination or harassment based on protected class, including claims of sexual misconduct, should be directed to the Title IX Coordinators/Equity Officers at your university.
Thank you for the role you play at our University. I hope you’ll use the coming months to build upon our collective momentum; enrich yourself with learning; and pursue new opportunities and achievements.
President, UM System