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University of Missouri-Columbia professor receives Presidents Award for Leadership

Award recognizes faculty who provide exemplary leadership to one of the four University of Missouri System campuses

COLUMBIA, Mo. – University of Missouri System Interim Vice President for Academic Affairs Bob Schwartz today awarded the second of eight UM System President’s Awards to be presented to faculty in 2016 to Chi-Ren Shyu, chair and Shumaker Endowed Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Missouri-Columbia.

Schwartz — in front of colleagues gathered for a faculty open forum — surprised Shyu with the President’s Award for Leadership, which includes a $5,000 prize. The award recognizes faculty who have provided exemplary leadership to one of the four UM System campuses through commitment to excellence and integrity in their leadership roles.

In addition to serving as chair of the MU Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Shyu has served as the director of the MU Informatics Institute since its origins in 2008. Due to its impressive growth, the institute’s doctoral program is considered one of the most successful interdisciplinary degree programs at MU. Through his work, Shyu strives to put the institute at the forefront of big data training and research.

Shyu has led an interdisciplinary team that received a National Science Foundation Major Research Instrumentation grant to improve the computational research infrastructure at MU. This grant added high-performance computing capacity for informatics and big data research at the university. Shyu has also led the development of an interdisciplinary master’s degree program in data science and analytics, which has been approved by the UM Board of Curators and is awaiting state approval.

“Through all of my interactions with Dr. Shyu, he has consistently shown an exceptional commitment to excellence and integrity in every respect. I have found Dr. Shyu to be generous with his time and energies and to bring the utmost integrity to all of his interactions,” wrote nominator Jerry Parker, associate dean for research at the MU School of Medicine.

Shyu joined the MU faculty in 2000 and was named to the Paul K. and Dianne Shumaker Endowed Professorship in 2010. During his time at the university, he has accumulated many awards, including the MU Faculty Interdisciplinary Entrepreneurial Award and a NSF CAREER Award. He is a seven-time winner of the Outstanding Computer Science Professor Teaching Award and a two-time winner of the MU College of Engineering Faculty Excellence in Teaching Award.

“Dr. Shyu is a natural leader, an engaged, detail-oriented big thinker – and those are quite rare. He has the vision to lead a team forward but also keep his eye on the small details needed to see an idea home,” wrote nominator Charles Davis, dean of the Grady College at the University of Georgia. “He’s also delightfully collegial, enthusiastic and humble.”

The UM System President’s Awards are presented annually to faculty members across the four campuses of the UM System who have made exceptional contributions in advancing the mission of the university. Shyu will be formally recognized by UM System Interim President Michael Middleton during an awards celebration to be held in June.

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Reviewed 2016-04-24