Engagement and outreach
Updated April 21, 2020, 4:19 p.m.
What do you think will be the most important issues we face as a state post COVID-19 that the university can be a part of addressing?
As a flagship, land-grant university, MU combines its research prowess with its mission to serve the people of Missouri, generating an approach to engaged scholarship that reaches beyond academia. MU continues to take proactive steps to address and manage both the short- and long-term impacts of COVID-19 across a range of issues.
- Food insecurity: With existing resources such as Tiger Pantry and the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources’ statewide network of agricultural research stations, the university helps to protect and enhance food resources across Missouri. MU Extension recently released a new tool called the Missouri Food Finder, which connects consumers and producers together.
- Finances: MU Extension is working with Missouri small businesses all across the state to assist in recovery efforts and stimulus funding and bring other knowledge and resources that protect the state’s economic future. Extension staff are also offering personal and financial support to individuals, including personal finance webinars.
- Education: MU’s College of Education continues to provide critical resources for Missouri’s K-12 system, such as online tutoring resources, as well as assist the state with shortages in PPE equipment. In addition, MU Extension offers an array of youth enrichment programs, such as 4-H, that help Missouri’s young people navigate this uncertain time.
- Health Care: MU Health Care has collaborated with Missouri’s public health officials to combat the COVID-19 testing shortage, as well as provide free COVID-19 telehealth visits to impacted individuals. More information about MU Health Care resources can be found on their webpage. In terms of mental health, scholars from the College of Arts and Science, MU Extension and the School of Medicine currently are working to understand the short- and long-term effects of COVID-19 on both children and adults.
- The University’s Employee Assistance Programalso offers confidential, professional services to eligible employees and their dependents. University employees may schedule confidential EAP counseling/crisis intervention sessions via phone or video conference. Sanvello – a free app subscription available for any student, faculty or staff member with a University email address – has tools to create a mental health roadmap and track the progress of a user’s journey. In addition, the university offers online workshops on mindfulness, meditation and yoga.
Is the university prepared or able to continue to support critical infrastructure around the state such as agriculture, small business and community health?
Yes. MU and MU Extension continue to drive projects in economic development, education and health care to support the state and its people. In agriculture for example, specialists across the state from fields such as agronomy, working livestock and agribusiness are figuring out new ways to deliver content to support producers.
For more information about Extension’s programs and resources, visit the MU Extension page.
How will work in engagement and extension be considered during this budget shortfall?
The University of Missouri remains committed to its land-grant mission of engagement and impact. Any budget decisions that are made will ensure support for this critical mission.
In recent years, the university has expanded its engagement to encompass work across all 13 schools and colleges, as well as with partners in every Missouri county, that help address Missourians’ three most important needs: the economy, education and health care. Before COVID-19, there had already been a shift to a more entrepreneurial mindset – building a reciprocal relationship between the university and its communities to develop mutually beneficial outcomes. This shift will have to speed up as the university focuses on high-touch, high-impact projects such as the rural broadband project. To find out more about how MU and MU Extension are reaching out at this time, visit the MU Extension COVID-19 resources page.