January 26, 2017


For those of you returning to campus last week, welcome back! I hope you had a rejuvenating break, and I’m grateful that so many of you began this semester serving others during our Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service on Jan. 16. As Dr. King once said, “The time is always right to do what is right.”


Danielle Moll, a junior in chemical engineering, paints tree rings on a concrete floor for what will become an environmental installation at Kaleidoscope Discovery Center, an interactive science center for Rolla area-children.

News and Events

Emerson Hall partly re-opens

In the weeks following a fire on the roof of Emerson Hall on Dec. 8, I have heard from many of you about building plans moving forward. Here’s the latest:

Students returned to Emerson Hall for some classes this semester. The west side of Emerson Hall plus the ground floor on the east side of the building have re-opened. The first and second floors on the east side of Emerson Hall will remain closed until further notice. Faculty and staff who previously worked in Emerson Hall continue to work in relocated offices. Many thanks to everyone for rising to the challenges this situation has presented. As a university community, we will continue to support one another as work continues to restore Emerson Hall.

S&T budget update

On Jan. 16, Gov. Eric Greitens announced withholdings of $146 million from the state budget for the remainder of our current fiscal year — with $82 million of that coming from public colleges and universities. This withholding results in a $4 million shortfall in core state appropriations for our university. We must decide collectively how this shortfall will impact us. It is clear that the sooner we start planning the better we will be able to manage the withhold strategically. When it became apparent that it was highly likely that state appropriations would be withheld, we began working on a plan to respond to the revenue shortfall. A memo from Vice Chancellor Branson was shared with our faculty and staff outlining budget concerns, and all divisions were asked to consider ways to reduce budgets based on several different scenarios. This work will leave us with the ability to reduce budgets strategically and avoid across-the-board cuts.

We are not alone, as all public colleges and universities in our state will endure reductions in state revenue. I am committed to working with faculty, staff and campus leaders to develop a fiscally responsible approach to budgeting in the short term and long term that ensures our university continues to provide an excellent return on investment. I value the skills, knowledge and engagement of our faculty, staff and campus leaders — who are now called upon for the difficult work of reducing expenditures. Your suggestions are welcome and may be shared with Walt Branson, vice chancellor for finance and administration. We are facing serious challenges and must work together for the good of Missouri S&T.  

Strategic plan review: Help share the future of S&T

Approximately 200 faculty, staff, students and alumni gathered in November to review our strategic plan. They made several recommendations on adjusting the plan’s levers and actions going forward. The next step in this process is a campus-wide review of these recommendations. I hope you’ll find a few minutes to provide your feedback and attend the upcoming open forums in February. Watch eConnection for more information on the forum dates.

Reports out on Missouri's public universities

Two recent reports provide recommendations for higher education in Missouri. I urge you to learn more about the background and read these reports from the Coordinating Board for Higher Education (CBHE) and the University of Missouri System Review Commission. As you may know by your work on our strategic plan, we continually evaluate recommendations from these types of reports to adjust our planning efforts and focus on opportunities.


Chamber honors Celebration of Nations Committee

Please join me in congratulating Dr. Kent Wray, vice chancellor of global and strategic partnerships, Dr. Jeanie Hofer, assistant vice chancellor of international and cultural affairs, and members of the Celebration of Nations Committee. The committee received the Rolla Area Chamber of Commerce Annual Achievement Award during the chamber’s 97th annual awards banquet on January 21. As you may know, this festive event brings downtown Rolla alive each fall with a parade, live music and dance, ethnic food, and more in celebration of our community’s vibrant cultural diversity. Well done!

Did you know?

Our newest research center is the Center for Research in Energy and Environment. Dr. Philip Whitefield leads the center, which combines two former centers into one: the Energy Research and Development Center and the Environmental Research Center. This new center will serve as S&T’s focal point for research and development activities related to energy technologies and energy security. 



Warmest regards,


Cheryl B. Schrader, Ph.D.