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Jan. 31, 2012 Volume 34, No. 17

University of Missouri administrators to maintain nuclear institute’s academic and research functions

Nuclear Science and Engineering Institute

Council requests more information before voting on other resolutions

At the Jan. 24 meeting of the Faculty Council, Stephen Montgomery-Smith, an MU mathematics professor speaking on behalf of members of the Nuclear Science and Engineering Institute (NSEI), introduced a resolution that called on Chancellor Brady J. Deaton to take eight actions concerning the NSEI. 

 Two of the actions were approved: (1) Open admissions immediately to the graduate program in NSEI, and (2) maintain the academic and research functions of the NSEI.

Some council members asked for more information from key MU officials before voting on the other measures. Faculty Council Chair Harry Tyrer said he will ask officials involved to attend the Feb. 14 council meeting.

Last March, GeorgeJustice, dean of the Graduate School, and Provost Brian Foster announced the closing of NSEI. The institute would remain intact until currently enrolled students graduated. 

Ken Dean, deputy provost, told council that numerous meetings had been held concerning the future of NSEI, and NSEI faculty had been invited to participate in these discussions. He said that the chancellor was prepared to act. 

MU currently is in the process of restructuring the campus’ nuclear engineering options, according to a document provided to reporters by MU spokeswoman Mary Jo Banken.

The idea is to have all of MU’s nuclear engineering degree programs merged into the College of Engineering’s Nuclear Engineering Program, including the emphasis area of power engineering.

“New emphasis areas in the broader nuclear engineering program — in materials, environment and regulatory compliance, and thermal hydraulic — have been proposed but must be approved by the Graduate Faculty Senate (GFS),” Banken said.

The GFS is scheduled to meet in February.

Current NSEI students will continue with their curriculum and advisors until they graduate, Banken said. The hope is that new students will be able to apply to the nuclear engineering options in February. 

“The goal is to move toward an enhanced nuclear engineering program,” Banken said.