Mizzou Law helps shape Missouri’s future

Feb 2, 2023

A photo of President Choi speaking with School of Law faculty and staff.On a cold January day, I stopped by Hulston Hall to meet with our School of Law faculty and staff. Attendees asked great questions and provided valuable input on key university priorities.

Mizzou Law’s prestigious and affordable education is attracting more students to enroll. It’s easy to see why. In total, 93% of our students pass the Missouri Bar Exam their first try. After graduation, 98% report a successful placement outcome.

Mizzou Law alumni include five current Missouri Supreme Court judges, elected officials at many levels of government and distinguished leaders in the legal field. Almost 80% of law graduates stay and work in Missouri. Hulston Hall is one of our state’s best sources of new leaders and ideas.

The School of Law just celebrated 150 years of excellence, and their influence continues to grow.

— Mun

Cultivating leaders

Jan 31, 2023

A photo of President Choi with MU student Miles Staten.

President Choi greets Miles Staten, a student in the class.

More than 60 first-year students representing more than 20 majors gathered in the Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute to launch a new semester of the Chancellor’s Leadership Class.

Since 1980, this course has offered students the opportunity to build interpersonal skills and learn firsthand about effective communication. Participants receive personal instruction from faculty members and work closely with peers to develop the confidence to lead others, no matter what career they pursue. The course is coordinated by the Novak Leadership Institute.

It’s tradition that the chancellor meets with students at the beginning of the semester and returns at the end to mark progress. It was great talking with so many talented students who are motivated to grow as leaders.

I look forward to coming back in May to celebrate their accomplishments.

— Mun

Saving lives through innovation

Jan 26, 2023

A photo of President Choi presenting to MU School of Medicine faculty and staff.The MU School of Medicine is the leading source of physicians for Missouri. Our alumni are critical partners in addressing the state’s health care needs, especially in rural areas.

I recently met with around 120 faculty and staff from the school who joined me both in-person and over Zoom. I shared campus highlights, as well as their notable increase in total research proposals (150%) and sponsored research expenditures (122%). These are important metrics that show a strong commitment to Mizzou’s research mission.

MizzouForward and the Roy Blunt NextGen Precision Health building are drawing even more talented medical faculty to Columbia. Investments like the Clinical Translational Science Unit in NextGen will help medical researchers move innovations from bench to bedside faster than ever before. Partnerships with industry leaders, including Siemens Healthineers and Advanced Accelerator Applications, a Novartis company, expand our capacity to create breakthrough treatments for heart disease and cancer.

Medical faculty are engaged in a range of outreach, including free online trainings for Missouri physicians treating patients who experienced childhood trauma. The school also hosts pipeline programs that bring more physicians to rural communities. The results are clear – more than half of our medical grads (55%) stay in the state.

Across the medical field, and in all corners of Missouri, Mizzou faculty, staff and alumni are making a difference.

— Mun

Sharing our impact

Jan 24, 2023

A photo of Pres. Choi talking with state Rep. Philip Oehlerking.

President Choi talks with state Rep. Philip Oehlerking, who graduated from UMSL.

On Monday morning, I addressed the House Subcommittee on Appropriations – Education about our budget priorities. I was proud to share more about our work at Mizzou and across the University of Missouri System. 

Missouri taxpayers are the most important benefactor to our university, students, faculty and staff. With their trust and investment, Mizzou has increased graduation rates to 75%, the UM System has boosted research expenditures to $512M and extended our research and teaching to impact more Missourians, no matter where they live. 

We are grateful to Gov. Mike Parson for recommending a 7% increase in core funding for the UM System, along with other important investments in higher education. As stewards of public funds, we are committed to accountability, transparency and delivering more for Missouri. It’s an investment that pays off. Mizzou returns 25-1 on taxpayer dollars. 

 I appreciate our strong partnerships with elected officials and their support for our student success, research and engagement mission.

— Mun

Connecting Tiger brain power

Jan 19, 2023

A photo of Dr. Peter Salivas delivering the keynote address at the MU Brain Science Symposium.

Dr. Peter Kalivas, Medical University of South Carolina, was the keynote speaker.

Neuroscience researchers from around campus came together for our first interdisciplinary Brain Science Symposium.

Representatives from five MU schools and colleges highlighted research pushing the frontiers of innovation. Faculty presented on a range of projects, including reverse engineering brain circuits, creating targeted addiction treatments and improving detection of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. At the closing reception, undergraduate, graduate and professional students displayed more than 35 posters of their own research.

Brain science is a topic too complex for any one area. That’s why Mizzou is reaching across disciplines to link researchers with the wealth of expertise on our campus.

Initiatives like NextGen Precision Health have already ushered in a renewed spirit of collaboration. The Brain Science Symposium builds off this important work to grow our research mission and generate new discoveries.

— Mun

Growing our Graduate School

Jan 17, 2023

A photo of President Choi talking with Graduate School-affiliated faculty and staff over Zoom.Mizzou’s nearly 6,000 graduate students are a key part of our research mission. Cheering on their success is the caring faculty and staff affiliated with our Graduate School.

Over Zoom, I recently met with the Graduate School’s team to discuss our collective progress and how to inspire talented Mizzou undergraduates to consider pursuing a PhD.

We plan to do more to encourage applications for graduate and post-doctoral fellowships funded by federal programs and foundations (like the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship). These kinds of prestigious external fellowships contribute to professional development, bolster funding and improve future job prospects.

For those considering a career in academia, pipeline initiatives like the Preparing Future Faculty – Faculty Diversity (PFFFD) program help exceptional emerging scholars – including many from underrepresented communities – get ready for tenure-track positions. Of the 13 post-docs who completed PFFFD, 11 went on to become tenure-track faculty (including 7 who are still at Mizzou).

Our successful programs reflect the university’s investments in and commitment to research excellence and student success. Our Graduate School is on an upward trajectory.

— Mun

Sinclair School of Nursing on the rise

Jan 11, 2023

A photo of President Choi speaking to Sinclair School of Nursing faculty and staff with a view of Jesse Hall in the background.An impressive 80% of our Sinclair School of Nursing (SSON) graduates from 2021 stayed in the state. By remaining in Missouri, our grads address a critical nursing shortage while supporting the health and economy of local communities.

Earlier this week, I visited the new School of Nursing building to talk with their dedicated faculty and staff. After admiring the great view of Jesse Hall, I shared an update on the university and answered questions. We also discussed our efforts to recruit and support community members from many different backgrounds, and other opportunities for growth.

Students now have full access to the new state-of-the-art nursing education facility, dedicated in October. With seven intensive care simulation rooms, a 14-bed skills and assessment lab and a research suite, students have what they need to practice great patient care.

Interest in attending the SSON remains strong, as does industry demand for our alumni. With high placement rates and a top-notch facility, the SSON is beginning a new era of excellence.

— Mun

MU celebrates the season

Dec 16, 2022

A photo of President Choi shaking hands with a graduate at commencement.This afternoon, we begin our December commencement events. Nearly 2,000 students will graduate over the next two days, and on Sunday we’ll hold three ROTC commissioning ceremonies. Congratulations to all on their hard work and resilience. I can’t wait to see what this class achieves next.

I also want to wish our graduates, students, faculty, staff and alumni a restful holiday season. I hope you’ll join me in cheering on the many student-athletes competing during winter break, including Men’s and Women’s Basketball teams against Illinois and Mizzou Football in the Gasparilla Bowl.

I look forward to celebrating even more Mizzou excellence in the new year.

— Mun

Touring campus with Missouri’s new legislators

Dec 13, 2022

A photo of President Choi with the President Choi with the tour group in Mizzou Arena.

President Choi with the tour group in Mizzou Arena.

Recently, we welcomed another kind of freshman to campus. Newly elected lawmakers from around Missouri stopped by during their tour of the state. We showed more than 40 attendees a sample of our groundbreaking research at the University of Missouri Research Reactor and the Roy Blunt NextGen Precision Health building. We finished the visit in true Columbia fashion, with Shakespeare’s Pizza in Mizzou Arena.

State support for our land-grant mission has increased by the highest percentage in decades. We are deeply grateful for the trust placed in our research, teaching and engagement work and are committed to delivering even more for the state we all serve.

A photo of Vice Chancellor Thomas Spencer showing legislators around wet lab facilities in NextGen.

Vice Chancellor for Research and Economic Development Thomas Spencer shows legislators around wet lab facilities in NextGen.

Earlier this year, a report from Tripp Umbach showed investments in Mizzou return $5 billion to state taxpayers. Those resources directly support innovations and outreach that strengthen our communities – from producing new cancer treatments to Extension programming in every county.

I appreciate lawmakers’ interest in Mizzou and look forward to working together for the good of Missouri.

— Mun

Visiting with Vet Med

Dec 5, 2022

A photo of President Choi speaking to faculty and staff at the MU College of Veterinary Medicine.Last week, I stopped by east campus to meet with faculty and staff from the College of Veterinary Medicine (CVM). Attendees filled the Adams Conference Center and asked great questions in support of the college and Mizzou.

I was joined by John Middleton, associate vice president for academic affairs and a longtime professor in the college. CVM was the latest in our series of visits with MU’s 13 academic units.

CVM has played an important role in MizzouForward hiring to date, accounting for 5 of the 32 new faculty hired since last year. These world-class investigators arrive with specializations and research funding in areas such as pathogenic bacteria and cancer treatment. Their work complements the college’s many existing accomplishments, including an impressive 93% of students who pass the North American Veterinary Licensing Examination on their first try and a 100% graduate student placement rate.

Our ambitious investments in CVM don’t stop with MizzouForward. This semester we began a $30 million expansion of the Veterinary Medical Diagnostics Laboratory, Missouri’s only lab accredited by the American Association of Veterinary Laboratory Diagnosticians. The project is jointly funded with $15 million in state dollars.

We will work with CVM leadership, faculty and stakeholders to ensure our programs are the best they can be for students and the Missourians we serve.

— Mun