Dear University community,
This month has been historic and demanding. University leaders and government officials at all levels are working to soften the impact of COVID-19 on public health and the economy. Within the University system, we are determining the best path forward while facing disruptions and revenue losses that have meant difficult decisions and sacrifices. At the same time, we are striving to improve life for Missouri and the nation by continuing our mission of education, research and engagement. I continue to be impressed when I learn more about the many ways we are responding to this global pandemic.
"I continue to be impressed when I learn more about the many ways we are responding to this global pandemic."
I’m overwhelmed with respect for the many individuals who are making sacrifices and working together to make a difference, especially in what I know is a difficult time. The future is uncertain, and that uncertainty brings fear. While w[EC3] e don’t have all the answers right now, our leaders, myself included, will be direct, transparent and accountable. This past month, I’ve been holding weekly town halls for several MU communities and UM System employees. These are posted online in case you missed them. I also encourage you to keep up with the open forum communications at MU Health Care, UMKC, Missouri S&T and UMSL.
"While we don't have all the answers right now, our leaders, myself included, will be direct, transparent and accountable."
Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, it has been abundantly clear that faculty and staff at each university have prioritized carrying forward our mission to educate and improve life in Missouri. One of our most important advocacy groups, the Missouri 100, reached out to tell me how much they appreciate the tireless efforts of our employees during this unusual time and requested I share their support. After asking how they could contribute to our efforts, Missouri 100 members [EC4] donated $5,000 to each of the food pantries on all four campuses. The donation is allowing them to continue the critical work of nourishing those who need support during these challenging times, including the families of MU Health Care and MU Extension employees in Columbia.
"Missouri 100 members donated $5,000 to each of the food pantries on all four campuses. The donation is allowing them to continue the critical work of nourishing those who need support during these challenging times."
I know we will get through these difficult times. While we face many challenges, every day, we are working towards a stronger future. It’s a good time to remember causes for celebration, such as George Smith’s election to the National Academy of Sciences. We are also looking forward to continuing the NextGen Precision Health Initiative, a critical part of our strategic vision to ensure the University’s future. Next month, Dr. Richard J. Barohn will officially begin his duties as executive vice chancellor for health affairs, which will include leadership responsibilities for the NextGen Precision Health Institute. Five Faculty Research Leads (FRLs) will work closely with Dr. Barohn to coordinate research activity at the NextGen Institute. You can learn more about the chosen FRLs and their responsibilities in our press release.
I am so grateful to you all for your continued dedication. If you have a story about how you or our University community is continuing our mission or supporting the community, please send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.