Why Mizzou is different

A chart showing University of Missouri System per capita funding compared to other universities in Missouri.
University of Missouri System per capita funding compared to other universities in Missouri.

I’ve been thinking a lot about the university’s mission lately and the role we play for Missouri. It’s often said that UM System universities receive more funding than any other in Missouri. That’s true, but we’re expected to deliver much more. If we carve out the special missions of research, professional degrees and extension that are expected of UM universities, the per capita state funding for our universities is the lowest in the state and one of the lowest in the United States.

As the only public, land-grant, flagship, AAU institution in the state, Mizzou is charged with not only providing world-class education and research, but also supporting and enhancing our statewide communities through extension and engagement activities. It’s a charge that no other public institution in Missouri has. And it’s one that we carry out with great pride, responsibility and excellence.

The physicians and nurses that we’ve educated continue to lead the fight against COVID all across the state, ensuring community health and safety while leading vaccine distribution. Our engineers maintain and grow Missouri’s infrastructure. We are seeing firsthand just how critical that is as other parts of the country such as Texas navigate immense infrastructure challenges and widespread community hardship.

Our veterinarians drive innovation in treatment and diagnosis. Our lawyers are leaders in their field. Our teachers educate the next generation. And our scholars — produced in fields ranging from history and journalism to philosophy and chemistry — continue to support a civil and equitable society through ideas, discoveries and culture.

No other public university in Missouri contributes to our state the way Mizzou does. It’s impressive to see how we deliver such impact. But to achieve greater excellence through our strategic plan, growing revenues will be key. Because looking forward, we remain committed to doing even more.

— Mun