Dear university community,
Welcome back! With the start of a new year, we approach our mission of teaching, research and engagement with a refreshed sense of purpose and hope. Earlier this week, I testified in front of the Higher Education Sub-Committee of the Appropriations Committee and highlighted the many ways we provide value for Missouri. It is often said that UM System universities receive more state support per student than any other university. That is true. But, we’re also asked to do far more, and I’m proud to say we deliver! In many ways, we go above and beyond what is expected of a typical university because of our research and extension missions. I’m grateful to our state representatives for the support they have provided in a difficult year, and I look forward to working with them as we continue to deliver on our mission. My full testimony can be found on our website.
"I testified in front of the Higher Education Sub-Committee of the Appropriations Committee and highlighted the many ways we provide value for Missouri."
As we all know, this extraordinary moment presents considerable challenges. It also provides major opportunities. Tune in on Feb. 4 for “A Healthy Conversation: Keeping Missouri COVID-19 Free,” a webinar for anyone interested in learning how to speak with community members about the COVID-19 vaccine. As we navigate the months ahead, I’m glad we’ll work together to uphold our shared principles of respect and compassion. While we look forward to a vaccine, it’s not an answer to our immediate health and safety challenges. Our community must continue to address the pandemic with the proven precautions we practiced last semester, including wearing face coverings, observing social distancing and practicing good hygiene.
NextGen Precision Health, a project that unites our strengths toward the goal of revolutionizing health care, will continue to be our highest priority initiative this year. The grand opening of the building will be in October, the first wave of researchers to populate the new building has been announced and that’s just the beginning. This month, we also announced a new partnership between the MU Research Reactor (MURR) and Advanced Accelerator Applications International, SA (AAA), a Novartis company, to provide a key ingredient for targeted therapy in certain types of cancer. To learn the latest about NextGen, please attend the inaugural NextGen Discovery Series lecture, “NextGen Precision Health: Where are we now? Where are we going?” given by NextGen Executive Director Dr. Barohn on Feb. 10. More information about the lecture, including Zoom access, is available at the NextGen Discovery Series webpage.
"The grand opening of the [NextGen Precision Health] building will be in October, the first wave of researchers to populate the new building has been announced and that’s just the beginning."
There are many other activities across the system making a positive impact on society. Online programs at all four UM System universities were recognized among the best in the nation by the U.S. News & World Report 2021 rankings. The UM System’s Broadband Initiative is continuing work to bring high speed internet access to rural Missouri by identifying resources and expertise within the university community. UM System Presidential Engagement Fellows are connecting with Missourians, from radio interviews on KBIA to presenting online courses for the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute. UMKC’s Dr. Yusuf Sarwar Uddin helped develop an award-winning data analysis program to understand how human mobility affects the spread of COVID-19. Missouri S&T is searching for applicants for the new Kummer Innovation and Entrepreneurship Doctoral Fellows Program, which will support students pursuing doctoral degrees in science, technology, engineering or mathematics. And at UMSL, Dr. Carl Bassi invented a lower-cost optics kit to allow College of Optometry students to continue learning virtually.
“The UM System’s Broadband Initiative is continuing work to bring high speed internet access to rural Missouri by identifying resources and expertise within the university community.”
The ingenuity and drive at our four universities are inspirational to so many. For specific examples of our benefit to and reach across the state, our updated Impact Data Sheets are now available and tell our story of commitment and service to Missourians. I’d like to end by sharing a performance of “When We Love” by the UMKC Conservatory Singers, which can be found at this link. If you have a story about our university’s impact, email it to firstname.lastname@example.org.