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Sept. 12, 2013 Volume 35, No. 4

Chancellor updates community on campus plan

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Expanding student scholarships is part of strategic plan

Columbia leaders and campus administrators were updated Monday on the accomplishments and future plans of MU during a breakfast hosted by Chancellor Brady J. Deaton in the Reynolds Alumni Center. 

Deaton spoke of university accomplishments in enrollment, research and building maintenance since he became chancellor Oct. 4, 2004. 

He said enrollment has increased 28.7 percent, with minority enrollment rising 113 percent. “Our diversity profile continues to expand,” said Deaton, who will retire Nov. 15.

Research expenditures have increased 47.5 percent, he said, with 77 patents and $43.6 million in licensing income. Research has led to the creation of businesses such as Beyond Meat, a meat-alternative company, EternoGen, a medical biotech company, and Organova, a 3-D bioprinting firm. 

Also, 21 buildings have been built during Deaton’s time as chancellor.

The university is the fastest growing among members of the Association of American Universities, he said.

The chancellor also spoke of new scholarship initiatives, first announced Sept. 6, for high-ability students enrolling in fall 2014 for the first time. “We are interested in attracting the highest ability students as well as any students who qualify for admission and truly want to succeed,” Deaton said.

The plan includes the addition of the the Chancellor’s Award scholarship and expansion of the Curators Award and the Mark Twain NonResident Scholarship.

Among the goals of the university are hiring more top faculty, increasing high-impact research and ensuring that MU’s revenue model allows for “sustainability,” Deaton said.

Next, Gary Ward, associate vice chancellor of Campus Facilities, talked about the Stewardship Model, created four years ago to address the backlog of more than 30 buildings on campus needing repairs. The Renew Mizzou project, which is closing Jesse, Pickard and Swallow halls and relocating 600 employees next year, is part of the model.

Ward said maintenance on the 30-some buildings was delayed because funds were lacking due to state budget cuts.

The stewardship model is about cost-effectiveness. It scraps the old model of doing ad hoc maintenance repairs. It shutters a building for a top-to-bottom renovation. This saves money because of the prohibitive maintenance costs old buildings require and the upgrades installed that make the buildings energy efficient. Moreover, the buildings make better use of space and create a safer and more effective academic learning environment, Ward said. Another cost-saver is that only standard construction materials are used in the projects.

“It’s about being strategic in everything we do,” Ward said.

The final speaker was Frank Haith, coach of the Tigers basketball team. He talked of the new players on the team and the tough playing schedule ahead. But he said that for him the most important thing is that the majority of student-athletes he’s coached during his career have succeeded academically.

Of the 33 seniors on his teams over the years, 31 graduated, he said.