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Board approves updated mission statement and new leave policy for employees

Dear colleagues,

This morning, the University of Missouri Board of Curators approved two agenda items that I want to bring to your attention including an updated mission statement for the entire UM System as well as a new Collected Rule and Regulation (CRR) to benefit our employees. Additionally, I want to update you on two other opportunities that support our employees.

Mission Statement
At the conclusion of its report in July 2018, the University Task Force, led by Curator Darryl Chatman, suggested review of the UM System mission statement for possible revision. Since that time, we have collected thoughtful input from chancellors, provosts, general officers and senior leaders, as well as faculty, staff and students through shared governance and the work of the Intercampus Faculty Council, Intercampus Staff Advisory Council and the Intercampus Student Council. After careful vetting, the updates to our mission statement emphasize our values of excellence and leadership and renew our commitment to academic freedom and the freedom of expression. Today, the Board approved the proposed UM System mission statement.

Effective today, the revised UM System mission statement is as follows:

The mission of the University of Missouri System, as a land-grant university and Missouri’s only public research and doctoral-level institution, is to achieve excellence in the discovery, dissemination, preservation and application of knowledge.

With an unwavering commitment to academic freedom and freedom of expression, the university educates students to become leaders, promotes lifelong learning by Missouri’s citizens, fosters meaningful research and creative works, and serves as a catalyst for innovation, thereby advancing the educational, health, cultural, social and economic interests to benefit the people of Missouri, the nation, and the world.

New CRR: Organ and Bone Marrow Donor Leave
CRR 340.035 allows a leave of absence with pay to eligible employees for organ and bone marrow donor donation and recovery effective Dec. 1, 2019. If you are benefit-eligible faculty or staff and have completed at least one year of continuous benefit-eligible employment, you can receive up to 30 consecutive calendar days of paid leave for a solid organ donation or up to seven consecutive calendar days of paid leave for a bone marrow donation. This program has life-saving impacts for Missourians and beyond.

Shared Leave Program
In December, 2017, the Board approved CRR 340.055, which established the Shared Leave Program to give employees the option to donate accrued vacation to a shared pool. I’m pleased to report that, to date, this program has helped support 45 employees systemwide with more than 5,800 hours granted covering $150,000 in wages. To learn more about how to donate or apply for shared leave, visit: umurl.us/ShrdLv.

Mental Health App
During a Critical Issues Discussion at the June board meeting, we discussed the importance of addressing student mental health and well-being. As a follow-up, we launched full access for our faculty, staff and students systemwide to Sanvello, a mobile- and web-based application that offers clinically validated techniques and support to relieve mental health symptoms and promote health habits and behaviors. For free access, download Sanvello from the App Store, Google Play or the Sanvello webpage and register with your university-affiliated email address.

As we enter the holiday season, I want to thank each of you for your dedication to the UM System and for the work you do to improve the lives of our students and the citizens of Missouri.

Reviewed 2019-11-21