Ushering in a new Mizzou

Dear faculty and staff members,

As we prepare to begin the academic year, we want to thank each of you for your remarkable contributions to our mission, our students and our community. We recognize that your dedication and important work as individuals make a huge collective difference.

In many ways, this fall we usher in a new university. The ambitious changes occurring across campus are pushing Mizzou toward its rightful place among the great research institutions in the country.

During the State of the University address, we laid out a roadmap for this new era of Mizzou excellence. Less than six months later – and with your help – we’ve exceeded our high expectations with several historic increases:

Five straight years of research growth, with total research rising to nearly $400 million.
Highest graduation rate in history at 75%.
95% of our graduates start jobs or continuing education within six months.
More than 60% of our grads stay in Missouri, demonstrating the university’s fundamental benefit to the state.
Nearly 20% of freshmen identify as first-generation, as the university serves as a powerful tool to change the generational trajectory of families.
Highest level of state and federal support in decades.

Together, we’re infusing this storied 183-year-old institution with key investments that produce results benefiting all Missourians. That’s where MizzouForward comes in.

As you many of you know, MizzouForward is our 10-year plan to invest $1.5 billion in research and student, faculty and staff success. Think of MizzouForward as the central hub, with spokes that extend all over campus, and throughout 114 counties in the state – propelling us farther, faster and with greater impact.

This recent momentum began with support for the NextGen Precision Health initiative and its mission to change and save lives. When we opened the main research facility last fall – our first in two decades – then-director of the National Institutes of Health Francis Collins described it as a “great recruiting tool…I want to come here myself.”

Dr. Collins was right. In just over a year, we’ve supercharged our research capacity at NextGen (and across campus) by hiring 25 of an expected 150 MizzouForward faculty over five years. MizzouForward faculty members have represented a broad variety of expertise, from medicine, engineering and biological sciences, to philosophy, political science and education. In total, more than 300 new faculty will join us at Mizzou this year. Many of these world-class researchers, scholars and instructors bring ongoing federally-funded projects to complement the achievements of our existing faculty.

Our investments will continue, with six additional research-focused facilities in the coming years. We also have increased opportunities to support faculty and staff success. This expanded support includes the highest ever merit raise pool this year that rewards exceptionally performing staff and faculty.

These investments stake our claim in a competitive environment: As an Association of American Universities member since 1908, we are a national research powerhouse, one with a proud history of Nobel and Pulitzer Prize recipients and fellows of the National Academies.

We’re gaining momentum as part of our championship culture that goes beyond our SEC athletics program and extends throughout campus. By building on these institutional strengths and working together, we propel Mizzou to higher levels of performance and impact.

We feel proud to work alongside you – our faculty and staff colleagues – as well as the Board of Curators, alumni, and all our supporters to achieve excellence. This is the new Mizzou. And we’re just getting started.


Mun Y. Choi, Ph.D.
President, University of Missouri

Latha Ramchand, Ph.D.
Provost & Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs,
University of Missouri