The importance of our land-grant mission
Jul 29 2021
On August 2, I’ll have the privilege to participate in the 2021 Mini Land Grant Conference North Central Region. University and organizational leaders from across the region will come together virtually for speeches, panels, discussions and a keynote address from Iowa State University President, Wendy Wintersteen, as we focus on “Leading Change, Creating the Future.
At the University of Missouri, I see us leading change and creating the future every day through our commitment to our land grant mission and the work of MU Extension. For example, this summer Travis Harper, a field specialist in agronomy in Warrensburg, showed veterans and their families the ins-and-outs of beekeeping through the Heroes to Hives program.
And in MU’s on-going mission to serve all Missouri residents from all backgrounds, Monica Haaf, a nutrition program associate in Kansas City, and Estrella Carmona, a county engagement specialist in nutrition and health education in Ste. Genevieve County, adapted the popular Cooking Matters healthy eating class into Spanish. The five virtual sessions were so successful that they’re going to continue the series this fall. Other Extension initiatives support women in agriculture, farmers with disabilities, farmers markets in urban areas and producers from Amish communities.
The work our university does in service of our land grant mission remains one of the most important ways we translate the incredible efforts of our students, faculty and staff into the impact that builds a stronger Missouri, a thriving Midwest and a better world.
New Mississippi River Basin Ag & Water Desk
Jul 22 2021
Led by professor Sara Shipley Hiles, and supported by professors Earnest Perry and Ryan Famuliner, this project will establish a network of journalists from across the region to enhance coverage of the environmental issues facing this critical water system. It represents a working partnership between our J-School, Report for America and the Society of Environmental Journalists. It also plays an important role in the School’s Center for Science Communication.
As the needs of our environment and food systems shift, MU students and researchers are hard at work developing forward-thinking solutions. That’s the first step. The next critical step is communicating the impact of that vital work to communities across Missouri and the Midwest. The Center for Science Communication and its new Mississippi River Basin Ag & Water Desk represent the nexus for this imperative.
Thank you again to the Walton Family Foundation, our School of Journalism, our faculty leaders and our students. Recognizing a need and then building the academic and scholarly infrastructure to address that need remain the backbone of Mizzou’s public, land-grant, research mission.
Engineering a future of excellence
Jul 16 2021
“Steve” stopped by Jesse Hall this week. One of four doglike robots adopted by our College of Engineering (many of you have already met Spot), Steve was accompanied by his team of undergraduate handlers to give me a hands-on demonstration of the discovery and excellence happening on our campus.
Our College of Engineering is pioneering new ways that robotic technologies can enhance our quality of life and strengthen our communities. The student team and I discussed Steve’s future potential such as his role as a safety robot to detect problems like carbon monoxide leaks. Along the way, they demonstrated Steve’s agility — walking down the stairs of Jesse Hall — and technological intelligence.
I am incredibly proud of the work our students are doing to bring more solutions and opportunities to Missouri and the world. This commitment, which is driven by hard work and grounded in compassion, has enabled Mizzou to thrive across two centuries, through two World Wars and, most recently, through the global pandemic. As we look forward to the fall semester, I can’t wait to welcome all of our students back and see where they take us next.
Welcoming our new students
Jul 2 2021
The fall semester begins in less than two months, and our Summer Welcome team is hard at work greeting all of our new students. Since June, they have shown thousands of Tigers (and their families) around the University of Missouri — and they’ll continue throughout the next few weeks.
Summer Welcome is an overview of all things Mizzou, and our Student Affairs staff and Summer Welcome student leaders are eager to share everything students need to be successful. Our new Tigers learn about supportive resources, such as the Writing Center and Counseling Center, as well as ways to get involved and meet new friends through student organizations and extracurricular activities. I’ve had the chance to speak with several groups of new students, and it’s been great to share their enthusiasm and help introduce them to our community.
No matter your interests, there’s a place for you on campus. If you’re a new Tiger, be sure to get involved, make connections and explore all Mizzou has to offer. There are so many resources (and caring people) who can help you be successful and achieve excellence.
Welcome to all of our new students! MIZ!
Tigers take center stage
Jun 24 2021
Bravo to the Theatre Department on yesterday’s premiere of “Madagascar: A Musical Adventure.” Held outdoors on Traditions Plaza, it’s the department’s first performance with a large in-person audience in more than a year.
“Madagascar” is directed by Joy Powell, an associate professor at MU, and features 10 of our Tigers as animals who escape from Central Park Zoo and other characters. Be sure to catch one of the upcoming family-friendly performances throughout the next two weeks.
The Theatre Department — like so many programs at Mizzou — demonstrated incredible versatility over the past year. From Zoom musicals to socially distanced shows, they found creative ways to tell the stories audiences love. I’m so proud that they continue to share their immense talent with our community in a safe way.
Congratulations again to the cast and crew. I look forward to even more opening nights after our full return in August.
Jun 17 2021
This is the fourth and final post in a series on the four University of Missouri values — Respect, Responsibility, Discovery, Excellence — and how they guide our mission as the state’s flagship, land-grant university.
We recently began our Summer Welcome sessions for new Tigers and are eagerly preparing for a full in-person return this August. But before we launch into our “new normal,” let’s celebrate all our community achieved throughout an unprecedented year.
During the 2020-21 academic year we awarded more than 8,000 degrees, announced critical collaborations with industry partners such as Thermo Fisher Scientific and broke ground on a new facility for the Sinclair School of Nursing. We completed the “Mizzou: Our Time to Lead” campaign with a record $1.41 billion and received the largest gift in the history of the College of Veterinary Medicine, among so many other accomplishments.
If we can do this much in a pandemic, I can’t wait to see what we achieve next.
Excellence at Mizzou can be found in many places, whether on Faurot Field, onstage at the Rhynsburger Theatre or in a lab at the Bond Life Sciences Center. It’s also embedded in how we treat one another, and it flourishes when everyone feels like they belong and can contribute their own voice and perspective.
In a difficult year, we still found ways to come together and do remarkable things. I can’t think of a better demonstration of our commitment to excellence in all its forms.
Jun 10 2021
This is the third post in a series on the four University of Missouri values — Respect, Responsibility, Discovery, Excellence — and how they guide our mission as the state’s flagship, land-grant university.
If you pass by the site of NextGen Precision Health, you’ll notice progress is happening fast. I was at the groundbreaking ceremony in June 2019, and I’m so proud that in just four months NextGen will be open and expanding our ability to serve Missourians.
We’ve made great strides not only on the facility, but also in welcoming researchers who will use NextGen’s resources to save lives. Dr. Richard Barohn and Dr. Tom Spencer, among others, have done an amazing job recruiting faculty who will grow NextGen into a hub of innovation in the Midwest.
NextGen puts our university at the forefront of discovery. It will be a place where interdisciplinarity fuels amazing research breakthroughs. Those breakthroughs — whether in population health, telemedicine or cancer treatments — have the potential to change the world.
This is a transformative moment for Mizzou, the other UM System universities, our industry partners and the entire state. NextGen leverages our collective power to make discoveries with an immediate impact. And there’s no greater impact than improving the lives of Missourians.
Jun 3 2021
This is the second post in a series on the four University of Missouri values — Respect, Responsibility, Discovery, Excellence — and how they guide our mission as the state’s flagship, land-grant university.
A few weeks ago, we welcomed back many of our MU staff members for in-person work. I’m pleased to once again see so many colleagues around our beautiful campus.
None of this progress would be possible without our incredible staff who — like all Tigers — found new ways to work under trying circumstances. Together, we proved that we are resilient and can use technology to improve collaboration.
Responsibility is about our obligations to each other and — as a land-grant university — to the citizens of Missouri. For many months, that meant a radical change to the routines that shape our lives. Because of all you accomplished, we overcame so many challenges and had a safe and successful year.
Looking ahead, I’m excited for our full in-person return this fall and the resumption of traditions that define the MU community. Thank you again to all of our staff, faculty and students for the many ways you contribute to our university’s mission.
May 28 2021
This is the first post in a series on the four University of Missouri values — Respect, Responsibility, Discovery, Excellence — and how they guide our mission as the state’s flagship, land-grant university.
As Memorial Day approaches, we take time to remember those who died in service to our country. We honor the fallen, and we also recognize the sacrifices of our current student-veterans who carry on a legacy of service and offer such a great example of respect.
One of the ways we show our gratitude is by providing resources that support those students and their families. For example, our recently expanded Veterans Center is a place for comradery, study and connection to wellness resources. The Veterans Clinic in our School of Law is another fantastic program that lets law students advocate on behalf of veterans in our community.
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is also one of our partners for NextGen Precision Health. VA researchers will collaborate on breakthroughs that make life better for so many people. These are just a few of the great programs that impact service members.
We’re committed to inclusive excellence for veterans, and for students from all backgrounds, because we know each person brings a valuable perspective to our learning, research and engagement. It’s another example of how shared respect empowers individuals and drives transformative change in Missouri.
MU Softball leading the charge
May 24 2021
We may have finished the spring semester, but Mizzou Softball is just getting started on a postseason run. Sunday, they beat Iowa State 5-0 to win the Columbia Regional title. It was an amazing game, including a home run by Brooke Wilmes and an incredible no-hitter by Jordan Weber — the first for the program since 2013.
It was so good to see fans — including several MU coaches — fill Mizzou Softball Stadium to cheer on our Tigers. I’m thrilled we can once again safely come together as a community and support the excellence of our student-athletes.
Congrats to Coach Larissa Anderson and the team! Next up is the Columbia Super Regional where the Tigers will face James Madison University here later this week. I’m sure it’ll be a great series. The winner will then advance to the NCAA Women’s College World Series. MIZ!