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Thu, April 28, 2016

Springing ahead

There has been a whirlwind of activity on campus since the last edition of my newsletter, including the first University of Missouri System presidential forum held at the beginning of April; the spring Board of Curators meeting held on campus in mid-April; and Missouri S&T’s celebration of Philanthropy Month. This past week alone we welcomed our Board of Trustees to campus; hosted the Woman of the Year celebration; sharpened our wits at the Battle of the Brains trivia night; celebrated Leadership Week; and welcomed alumni, students, faculty and staff to the spring meetings of the Chancellor’s Committee on African American Recruitment and Retention, the Alumni Board of Directors, and the Academy Presidents Forum.

April is indeed a time when this campus and the efforts of our faculty, staff, students and alumni shine bright.

Announcing our Woman of the Year and new Advocate Award

Dr. Suzanna Long, above left, was honored on April 20 as our 2016 Woman of the Year. This is the 19th year we have honored exceptional women faculty through a program started by alumna and trustee Cindy Tang, above middle. Dr. Long serves as interim chair of the Department of Engineering Management and Systems Engineering and is a prolific researcher, a top-notch teacher and an exceptional mentor. If you haven’t already done so, please congratulate Dr. Long. She is very deserving of this recognition.

I am pleased to share the exciting news that Cindy Tang has established a new award, the Advocate Award in honor of Dr. Elizabeth Cummins. She is professor emerita of English, former chair of English and was named the first Woman of the Year in 1997.
The Advocate Award will be presented for the first time next year during our 20th anniversary Woman of the Year celebration. Any Missouri S&T employee, regardless of gender or job designation, is eligible to be nominated for this award recognizing advocacy and service in advancing the role of women on our campus.

Raising Missouri S&T’s profile

Earlier this month, Missouri S&T hosted a meeting of the Hawthorn Foundation at the Havener Center. This is a highly influential group of Missouri business and education leaders who are dedicated to building the state’s economy.

This is the first time this group has met on our campus, and it was a very successful meeting. Gov. Jay Nixon joined us and expressed his support of the work of our faculty, students and staff. He shared his belief that an investment in Missouri S&T is a direct investment in the state of Missouri. He noted the quality of our graduates, the need for their expertise and innovation, and the great demand from prospective employers. An avid supporter of Project Lead The Way, Gov. Nixon lauded S&T's outreach and K-12 STEM teacher training as well as our commitment to increasing participation from underrepresented groups. He is pictured above at a press conference last summer announcing funding for renovations to Schrenk Hall.

It is clear that Gov. Nixon understands the unique role Missouri S&T plays in the state. If you have an opportunity to engage with Gov. Nixon, please thank him for his advocacy on our behalf.

Retirement changes, selecting our next UM System president

Some important news came out of the recent Board of Curators meeting, including details about necessary changes to retiree medical insurance. You can learn more about this initiative through the system’s Total Rewards site.

Also, the Presidential Search Committee announced 12 qualities our next University of Missouri System president should possess. This committee is co-chaired by Missouri S&T alumna Cheryl Walker and includes the curators, S&T Staff Council Chair Joe Boehm and other representatives.

Among its recommendations, the committee said our president should:
  • Have a passion for higher education
  • Cultivate political, civic and business relationships
  • Be multi-culturally competent
  • Have demonstrated business acumen to foster continuous performance improvement and accountability
You can read more about these recommendations here.

Did you know?

While finalizing this newsletter, we received the good news that Gov. Jay Nixon has signed the budget passed by the legislature, which includes a 4 percent increase in our core appropriation in the form of performance funding. The University of Missouri System campuses together have met all five performance measures and will benefit from this boost tremendously. In addition, Missouri S&T received funding to expand our learning and research initiatives in the Kansas City area, Springfield and southern Missouri. These initiatives were created at the request of our corporate partners and will help address workforce issues and, ultimately, spur economic development. I am tremendously grateful to Missouri S&T's many friends and allies who stepped up to advocate for us during this closely watched legislative session.

Warmest regards,

Cheryl B. Schrader, Ph.D.
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