President Choi's Blog

Serving with excellence 

(from left to right): MUPD Sergeant Dennis Stroer, MUPD Chief Brian Weimer and President Choi
(Left to right) MUPD Sergeant Dennis Stroer, MUPD Chief Brian Weimer and President Choi

MUPD has a proud tradition of distinguished service that has once again been recognized by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA). For 22 years in a row, MUPD has received accreditation from CALEA. This year they also achieved a prestigious “Meritorious with Excellence” distinction for the first time.

CALEA is the gold standard for public safety, and reaccreditation with excellence reflects a comprehensive commitment to the highest levels of professionalism. This is an incredible accomplishment and shows MUPD’s dedication to transparency and collaboration around campus.

Congratulations to Chief Weimer, Sergeant Stroer and all of MUPD for promoting a safe, welcoming community at Mizzou. 

— Mun

Celebrating 10 years of research growth 

Jesse Hall seen through the Columns

I’m thrilled to share that Mizzou increased our research expenditures to more than $462 million in FY 2023. This is a new record and marks the 10th consecutive year of growth. I want to thank the strong contributions by our faculty, staff and students who made this possible.

Research expenditures reflect the total invested in breakthrough discoveries from public and private grants. These funds directly support groundbreaking research in energy, medicine, education, agriculture and other fields that benefit our state and nation. Our expenditures are increasing around 8.5% per year, when the national average is about 5.5%. This impressive progress placed us No. 8 among AAU universities in percentage of growth since 2015.

In addition to saving and improving lives, research at MU generates nearly $1 billion a year in economic impact for Missouri. Our success also attracts new world-class faculty who help grow our research capacity. 

We’re proud of what we have achieved – and thanks to MizzouForward and strong initiatives like NextGen, we will continue to invest in the infrastructure and equipment our researchers need to make a difference in Missouri and beyond. 

— Mun

Investing in student success 

Students collaborate in the WeMake Design & Learn Lab, a makerspace that was expanded through MizzouForward student success proposals.
Students collaborate in the WeMake Design & Learn Lab, a makerspace that was expanded through MizzouForward student success proposals.

MizzouForward is our 10-year, $1.5 billion investment in faculty excellence, infrastructure growth and student success. As part of this historic initiative, in 2022 we dedicated more than $4 million to 53 projects that support student success, including a graduate student success center, a collaboration to 3D print organ models, and many renovations and tech upgrades across campus. 

Building on our incredible momentum, in December we announced another round of MizzouForward Student Success Enhancement Grants. Potential projects can include upgrading classrooms and labs, expanding undergraduate research opportunities, providing access to groundbreaking technology – as well as innovative initiatives to strengthen teaching and learning. 

Proposals for one-time funding (up to $100,000 per award) are due by this Friday and recipients will be notified by Monday, Feb. 19. Additional information is available through the Office of the Provost

I’m eager to see the impact of this new round of proposals and to support excellence across our community. 

— Mun

A Champion collaboration 

The Mizzou Wheelchair Basketball team competes against the Kansas City Kings on Dec. 1, 2023.
The Mizzou Wheelchair Basketball team competes against the Kansas City Kings on Dec. 1, 2023.

Tomorrow and Saturday mark the first Mizzou Wheelchair Basketball home games of 2024, as well as the growth of an innovative partnership between Mizzou and the clothing brand Champion. 

At a Mizzou Wheelchair Basketball game in December, Champion provided the team with branded gear and gave away sweatshirts designed by Textile and Apparel Management (TAM) student Ally George. Ahead of this week’s games in MizzouRec, the Mizzou Store has made Ally’s designs available for purchase. A portion of the proceeds will support the Wheelchair Basketball team.  

Students who attended the Dec. 1 game received team-branded Champion sweatshirts.
Students who attended the Dec. 1 game received team-branded Champion sweatshirts.

This is the latest project between TAM and Champion. In 2022, TAM students collaborated on the College Vault Collection, resulting in a line of vintage-inspired MU clothing produced by Champion. 

I hope to see everyone cheering on our Tigers and supporting the creativity of our community. 

—  Mun

A world-class performance

Julie Rosenfeld and Natalia Bolshakova performing

On Sunday, Suzanne and I attended a terrific performance by Professor Julie Rosenfeld (violin) and Dr. Natalia Bolshakova (piano) at Whitmore Recital Hall in the Fine Arts Building on campus.

(Left) Julie Rosenfeld, Associate Professor, Violin; (Right) Natalia Bolshakova, Instructor, Collaborative Piano
(Left) Julie Rosenfeld, Associate Professor, Violin; (right) Natalia Bolshakova, Instructor, Collaborative Piano

We were joined by many faculty, students, staff and members of the Columbia community. Professor Rosenfeld and Dr. Bolshakova performed moving violin sonatas by Stravinsky, Bartók and Shostakovich. Each piece was inspired by violin virtuosos.

Exquisite music by world-class musicians on a Sunday afternoon is one of the many things that make this university so special and enrich our community.

— Mun

Starting a historic 2024

Francis Quad covered in snow, with the Columns and Jesse Hall in the background

I want to welcome all students, faculty and staff to a new semester!

Though 2024 just began, momentum is already building for next fall. More than 21,500 students have applied to become Tigers. That’s a record-setting pace and 14% higher than last year.

Students in Missouri and around the country are discovering the value of a Mizzou education. Our high graduation rate (76%) and retention rate (91.3%), industry-leading alumni and affordable tuition make us a top choice for future leaders. We’re also the seventh best value of all flagship universities, according to U.S. News & World Report.

Thank you for being a part of Mizzou. I’m looking forward to a great semester and another outstanding year.

— Mun

Celebrating a successful year

A photo of President Choi at a commencement ceremony.

The fall semester is wrapping up, and there’s plenty to celebrate at the University of Missouri.

On campus, we look forward to recognizing more than 1,780 Tigers who will receive degrees during commencement ceremonies this weekend. Congratulations to all our graduates on their accomplishments. They are well prepared to make a difference in Missouri and our nation.

A photo of head volleyball coach Dawn Sullivan.
Coach Dawn Sullivan

Our student-athletes have also achieved incredible success, including Mizzou Volleyball, which just finished a historic first season with Head Coach Dawn Sullivan. The Tigers made it to the second round of the NCAA tournament, and three players – Maya Sands, Jordan Iliff and Lauren Forbes – were named to the Academic All-District Team. Coach Sullivan was named SEC Volleyball Coach of the Year. Congratulations to Coach Sullivan and the entire team.

The MU community accomplished so much in 2023 – from cancer-fighting breakthroughs at MURR to a record 76% graduation rate. We look forward to even more excellence in teaching, research and engagement in the new year, and to cheering on all our student-athletes competing over break – including Mizzou Football in the Cotton Bowl.

I hope all our students, faculty and staff have a great holiday season.

— Mun

Mizzou ranked a top university for future leaders

A photo of the Columns with Jesse Hall in the background.

Among public universities, MU was recently named the No. 13 Best College for Future Leaders by Time magazine. The inaugural list was assembled by analyzing where 2,000 of the most influential leaders in U.S. business, government and society received their degrees. This strong ranking shows the incredible impact of a Mizzou education, the proven success of our alumni and the great return on investment for MU graduates.

In addition to educating and training the next generation of leaders, we’re proud of our record 76% graduation rate, 91.3% retention rate and 95.4% successful outcome rate for new graduates. Thanks to our commitment to student success, MU was also named the seventh best value of all flagship universities by U.S. News & World Report.

Our national reputation reflects that Mizzou is a member of the AAU, one of America’s leading research institutions and we prepare students to advance our state and society.

— Mun

A new home for an impressive museum

A photo of Rima Girnius, Ph.D., curator of European and American art, points out a detail on a 17th century etching by Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn.
Rima Girnius, curator of European and American art, points out a detail on a 17th century etching by Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn.

The team at the MU Museum of Art and Archeology is hard at work renovating spaces, building displays and transitioning creative works to their new permanent location in Ellis Library.

To share their incredible progress, Museum Director Dan Eck invited my wife, Suzanne, and me on a tour of the facilities, including recently installed galleries and a storage area with thousands of artworks and artifacts. Museum staff let us examine selections from their vast holdings and forthcoming exhibitions, including work by Rembrandt and Thomas Hart Benton, as well as a series of small contemporary sculptures shown as a collaboration between A:shiwi (Zuni) Nation artist, Octavius Seowtewa, and the MU Museum of Anthropology.

Museum staff anticipate a campus opening in spring 2024, with a larger community grand opening in April. Meanwhile, classes in art history, archaeology and other topics are still able to visit the collection for a memorable hands-on learning experience. The museum store is also open for special holiday shopping hours Dec. 14 and 21 from 3 to 7 p.m. via the museum’s Hitt St. entrance.

I want to thank Director Eck and museum staff for showing us this impressive campus resource.

— Mun

Tigers bowl bound 

A photo illustration of Head Coach Eliah Drinkwtiz, who was named by The Associated Press as SEC Coach of the Year.
The Associated Press named Mizzou Football Head Coach Eliah Drinkwitz as SEC Coach of the Year.

Mizzou Football is headed to the Cotton Bowl! On Dec. 29, the Tigers will face the Ohio State Buckeyes at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas

The team ended the regular season with an incredible 10-2 record and ranked #9 in the country. We’re ready to keep the momentum going and bring home a historic win. If you want to cheer on our Tigers in-person, the Mizzou Alumni Association is offering great travel and tailgate packages for fans

A photo of President Choi, Athletic Director Desiree Reed-Francois, Coach Eli Drinkwitz, University of Missouri Board of Curators Vice Chair Robin Wenneker and UM Board Chair Michael Williams.
(Left to right) President Choi, Athletic Director Desiree Reed-Francois, Coach Drinkwitz, University of Missouri Board of Curators Vice Chair Robin Wenneker and UM Board Chair Michael Williams

We’re proud of our student-athletes and their hard work on the field and in the classroom. Players are regularly named to the SEC honor roll, and quarterback Brady Cook was recently selected as SEC Football Scholar-Athlete of the Year. Cook is the second MU player to earn that honor in three years after Tyler Badie in 2021.

Tiger running back Cody Schrader was just named winner of the Burlsworth Trophy, recognizing an outstanding player who started as a walk-on. The Associated Press also named Coach Drinkwitz as SEC Coach of the Year and selected several players to AP All-SEC teams:

First team, offense

  • Luther Burden III
  • Javon Foster
  • Cody Schrader

First team, defense

  • Darius Robinson
  • Kris Abrams-Draine

Second team, offense

  • Cam’Ron Johnson
  • Harrison Mevis

Congratulations to our student-athletes, Coach Drinkwitz and the entire team. I also want to thank our fans for their support. 

M-I-Z! 

— Mun