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Campus Highlights - January 2020

Dear University community,

With the start of the New Year, we’re reaffirming our commitment to improving life and well-being in our state and nation. This month, I have been meeting with members of the Missouri legislature to share our priorities for important projects to meet the state’s greatest needs in educational opportunities, health care and economic development.

I often get asked by our alums, students, faculty and staff how they can support the University. There is one important way that you can support our initiatives: advocate on our behalf. We ask each of you to reach out to community members and civic and legislative leaders to champion the priorities of our University community. Our priorities and funding requests from the state include support for our core teaching and research mission at $416.5M; continued $10M investment (rolled into the core budget) 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.

"We ask each of you to reach out to community members and civic and legislative leaders to champion the priorities of our University community."

Let me illustrate why support for NextGen is so critical: Missouri ranks 39th in cancer mortalities, 40th in cardiovascular mortalities and 39th in frequent mental distress. The breakthrough research in cancer, vascular, neurological and emerging areas in precision health being conducted at our universities will improve and save lives in our state.

Please support our efforts by using the resources we have developed to share our key messages in support of our funding requests. For specific examples of our benefit to the state, our updated Impact Data Sheets include information about the students we serve and the services we provide systemwide. Please contact your legislators, friends and colleagues and advocate for our UM System priorities. Share the incredible return on investments we make. We will continue to make our case to our legislators as often as we can, including during UM System Legislative Day at the Capitol on Tuesday, February 18.

Advocacy can be challenging. For me, reflecting on the success others have found through their hard work can be a motivating force. I recently found inspiration in the work of Ash Sampath, a student in the MU School of Medicine Rural Track Clerkship Program. Working with boxing instructor Danny

"Ash’s relentless efforts to keep the program free and sustainable are a powerful example of the spirit and resilience that the UM System strives to maintain."

In the coming year, our institution will continue to advance our initiatives, especially when it comes to economic development. Together, we’ll build on the success of programs like KCSourceLink and MOSourceLink, which are supporting Missouri entrepreneurs with personalized business plans and yearround, business-focused educational events throughout the state. MOSourceLink has also released the Show Me Capital and Show Me Jobs reports to highlight the impact and needs of Missouri’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. We’re seeing other exciting updates in our economic development initiatives, such as a new location for UMKC’s Bloch VentureHub in the Plexpod to facilitate collisions with other Kansas City entrepreneurs, and MU Extension’s continuing partnership with Missouri Small Business Development Centers (SBDC) that helped start more than 770 business and increased sales by $234 million from 2017-2019. We’ll also continue to facilitate the entrepreneurial spirit of our students with the 2020 UM System Entrepreneur Quest Student Accelerator competition, set for April 8 at Missouri S&T. These programs cement our commitment to game-changing workforce development in the state.

Economic development is supported by our systemwide research, as well. The NextGen Precision Health Initiative is set to improve health care for future generations through work like Dr. Bret Ulery and Dr. Mark Daniel’s research to find better forms of cancer treatment. However, efforts like these will have the added benefit of generating a $5.6 billion impact to Missouri’s economy by 2045. The Institute for Data Education, Analytics and Science (IDEAS) is positioning UMKC for partnerships with regional companies like H&R Block and Cerner to provide students valuable training experiences and bring the latest in data science to industry. Bill Buttlar at MU and John Myers at Missouri S&T, together with the MO Department of Transportation, are developing “smart” infrastructure that will revolutionize the construction and maintenance of roads, power plants and other civic resources. Some of their work will help accelerate the newly established Missouri Center for Transportation Innovation, too. UMSL is addressing economically draining health care challenges with new approaches, such as drone delivery of vaccines. These initiatives have the potential to transform our state and fuel future prosperity.

"Efforts like these will have the added benefit of generating a $5.6 billion impact to Missouri's economy by 2045."

I know that 2020 will be a year full of hard work and accomplishment. As a community, we will work together to advance our core missions of student success, transformational research and meaningful engagement with Missourians. Thank you for your hard work and dedication to our goals.

Reviewed 2020-01-31