President Choi's Blog, Page 4

A legacy of excellence at the J-School

A photo of President Choi visiting the Missouri School of Journalism.

On a recent campus stop, I met with faculty and staff from the Missouri School of Journalism – the first (and best) of its kind.

Student outcomes at the J-School are terrific. Their 82% graduation rate is above our university average. The graduation rates for Black & African American students, Hispanic students and Pell recipients are also impressive, ranging from nine to 21 points above our university averages. We’re looking at additional ways to raise these rates even higher.

J-School faculty are experts at creating new hands-on opportunities for students. During our discussion, I heard an update on the Mississippi River Basin Ag & Water Desk. In February, The Associated Press picked up their exciting work, reaching an even wider readership less than six months after releasing a five-part multimedia series on rainfall in the river basin.

I also encouraged faculty to nominate colleagues for MizzouForward. We’re hiring nationally recognized leaders in all fields and are eager to collaborate with talented journalism faculty representing a variety of specialties.

The school brings in high-quality students from all over the world. After more than a hundred years, our Missouri Method of experiential learning remains a model of innovation.

— Mun

Supporting our international community

Last week, a series of powerful earthquakes struck Turkey and Syria. I’ve watched in shock as the full scope of the devastation became clear. At the Board of Curators meeting held on 2/9, I shared our deep condolences for the victims and their families and asked the university community to comfort and support our friends from Turkey and Syria.

No matter where you are in the UM System, we have resources available during this difficult time. If you need to talk with someone, please follow these links for counseling services at Mizzou, UMKC, S&T and UMSL.

The Employee Assistance Program is available to all UM System faculty and staff.

We will continue to stand with those impacted through the challenging days ahead.

— Mun

Nick Bolton scores first Mizzou Super Bowl touchdown

A photo of Nick Bolton scoring a touchdown in the Super Bowl.
Nick Bolton’s Super Bowl touchdown (photo credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports).

Congratulations to Nick Bolton, who became the first Mizzou Football alum to score a touchdown in the Super Bowl. Bolton’s scoop-and-score helped the Kansas City Chiefs tie the game against the Philadelphia Eagles. Bolton finished with a game-high nine tackles – ultimately propelling the Chiefs to victory.

Kansas City is just down the road from Columbia. The connections between Mizzou and Chiefs football run even deeper:

  • Head coach Andy Reid was the offensive line coach at Mizzou from 1989-91.
  • Assistant head coach and special teams coordinator Dave Toub was an MU coach for more than a decade.
  • Assistant special teams coach Andy Hill was a longtime assistant coach.
  • Tight end Kendall Blanton is on the Chiefs practice squad.
A photo of Nick Bolton playing for Mizzou Football.
Bolton as a Tiger.

This is also the third consecutive year a former Tiger has played on a Super Bowl championship team.

I applaud Bolton – and all of Chiefs Kingdom – for a historic win.

— Mun

The impressive growth of Health Professions

A photo of President Choi presenting to School of Health Professions faculty and staff.

The School of Health Professions (SHP) is one of the fastest growing academic units on campus. Across eight departments, the school prepares graduates to tackle complex problems at the intersection of individual and population health, health care and well-being.

During my recent visit, I discussed this record of success with their faculty and staff. There’s a lot to commend. The school’s enrollment has expanded tremendously in the past 10 years. While the programs are rigorous, their students maintain a very impressive 75% graduation rate. The school’s placement rate is above 90%.

SHP plays an important role in fulfilling our MizzouForward research goals. We’ve already welcomed one MizzouForward SHP professor who’s a nationally recognized social work scholar. Looking ahead, we can do even more to recruit world-class researchers to collaborate with SHP colleagues in high-priority areas.

Keeping our communities healthy is a complicated task. Their focus on interdisciplinary collaboration helps us find solutions that work for Missouri.

— Mun

Vote Sheryl Crow for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

A photo of Sheryl Crow
Sheryl Crow

Mizzou alumna Sheryl Crow, BS Ed ’84, LHD ’11, is nominated for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Class of 2023. Your support can help her become one of the final inductees.

Here’s how it works. Fans can vote for their favorites among the 14 nominated artists. The top five will be added to the official “Fans’ Ballot,” which is tallied with other ballots to decide who joins the hall of fame. You can vote once a day until April 28.

Crow was a 2020 inductee into the Mizzou Hall of Fame. For her support of MU music, we named a choral performance and rehearsal hall after her in the Jeanne and Rex Sinquefield Music Center.

She is a great example of our community’s excellence and creativity. Vote now and help a fellow Tiger achieve this great honor.

— Mun

Mizzou Law helps shape Missouri’s future

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

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

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

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

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