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Campus Highlights - September 2018

September has been an exciting month for the University of Missouri System. As many of you know, on September 14, I delivered my first public address, “Excellence through Innovation: A New University of Missouri System.” During that event, the Board of Curators and I announced $260 million in investments that will be realized over the next five years. These investments, the result of saving, reallocating and transforming our operations, will go toward specific initiatives that will enrich our University and help us fulfill our land grant mission to benefit the state of Missouri and the world. This plan will be made possible through the continued efforts of the UM System universities to raise matching funds, generate additional revenue and continue holding down administrative costs. If you were unable to attend or watch online, I encourage you to visit the event webpage and learn more about the exciting path we’re taking as a University system. I also encourage you to share our new anthem video in your networks. It encapsulates just what it means to be a new UM System!

The investments announced in the speech support the strategic plans from each of our four universities and will help advance the areas of student success, research and creative works, engagement and outreach, inclusive excellence and planning, operations and stewardship. During last week’s board meeting at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, each chancellor provided highlights from their university’s strategic plan. The full plans, designed to help us reach our goals and focus and refine our efforts in these vital areas, were unanimously approved by the curators. You can find more information about each plan on the university webpages: MU, UMKCMissouri S&T and UMSL.

As we work to strengthen our foundation, we’re also focusing on timely collaborations that benefit our University and our state. Prior to the board meeting, UMKC hosted the UM System’s third collaborative research summit: Human in the Digital Age. More than 100 faculty, staff, students and visitors came together to engage in breakthrough research outcomes and discuss how humanities and the arts have been interwoven with technology in teh digital age. View presentations from each faculty member and watch the three panel discussions in UMKC Today.

Finally, the UM System is proud to help foster student innovation and entrepreneurship that will power our future through Entrepreneur Quest Student Accelerator. Student innovators across all disciplines will work with talented alumni entrepreneurs to start new companies right here in Missouri. For more information, visit

I’d like to reaffirm something I mentioned in my remarks on September 14: In all we do, we must put our students and Missourians first. There are so many ways we are currently advancing student success. Below, you will find examples of how we serve our students by providing access to affordable, high quality education and resources while they attend one of our four universities. If you have an update or story about your student experience, please send it to

Mizzou’s freshman enrollment increase among highest in SEC
Mizzou is one of only two Southeastern Conference universities to experience double-digit growth in new freshmen, while several institutions saw declines in their incoming classes this fall. Surging by 13 percent, the increase represents the second-largest jump in Mizzou’s freshman class during the past quarter-century.

UMKC School of Computing and Engineering breaks ground of new $32 million research center
On September 20, in honor of the long-awaited virtual groundbreaking of the school’s new research and laboratory building, students flew drones and demonstrated robotics around steel bridges and racing buggies to give guests just a glimpse of the talent that comes out of the UMKC School of Computing and Engineering. The Robert W. Plaster Free Enterprise and Research Center will be a 57,800-square-foot building designed to provide leading-edge, high-tech teaching and research and development capabilities for both the university and the Kansas City community at large.

A record year for S&T Fall Career Fair
More proof that Missouri S&T students are in high demand: a record number of employers attended the Missouri S&T Fall Career Fair on Tuesday, September 25. Over 330 employers registered for the event. The average starting salary for undergraduates with a Missouri S&T degree is over $63,000, while master’s and Ph.D. graduates’ salaries average over $70,000.  

Long-term planning and sense of resolve have UMSL moving in the right direction for students, community
During his annual State of the University Address on September 12, Chancellor Tom George shared that UMSL is poised to expand its role as the region’s largest public research institution by educating more students and better facilitating economic development and community renewal. George told an audience of students, faculty, staff and supporters that the institution had realized a budget surplus for the second consecutive year. The theme of his address was UMSL’s mission, We Transform Lives, which is carried out in the university’s new strategic plan.

Reviewed 2019-04-18