Guided by a new strategic plan focused on demonstrating a high return on investment and an intent to hire new faculty, Missouri University of Science and Technology is now revamping its administrative structure to ensure it is positioned to carry out its strategic goals.
“Missouri S&T is poised to meet the challenges of a new era in higher education, one in which partnerships with our students, donors, research partners and the companies who hire our graduates is vital,” says Chancellor Cheryl B. Schrader. “Our strategic structural changes align with our strategic plan and, along with our commitment to hire more faculty, will strengthen our ability to meet the needs of our increasingly global economy and society.”
Schrader and Provost Warren K. Wray discussed details of the changes during a forum with Missouri S&T students, faculty and staff on Thursday, Sept. 12. A second forum is scheduled for noon Monday, Sept. 16, in Room 125 Butler-Carlton Civil Engineering Hall on campus.
The new structure (view PDF) will provide more focus and support for academic programs and their faculty and staff, Schrader says. It will also position the university to provide greater access to expertise and services for corporate and international partners.
Under the new structure, the position of vice provost for academic affairs will be eliminated. Two new vice provost and dean positions will provide administrative oversight of S&T’s academic programs.
One vice provost and dean will oversee the following programs: Army and Air Force ROTC; arts, languages and philosophy; biological sciences; business and information technology; chemistry; computer science, economics; English and technical communication; geology and geophysics; history and political science; mathematics and statistics; physics; and psychological science.
The other vice provost and dean will oversee S&T’s engineering programs: chemical and biochemical engineering; civil, architectural and environmental engineering; electrical and computer engineering; engineering management and systems engineering; geological and petroleum engineering; materials science and engineering; mechanical and aerospace engineering; and mining and nuclear engineering.
The creation of these two positions should also help increase S&T’s visibility and strengthen academic and corporate partnerships nationally and internationally, Schrader says.
The vice provost and dean positions will report to the provost and executive vice chancellor for academic affairs.
In addition, the university plans to create a vice chancellor for global and strategic partnerships. “Since our founding, this university has been a global institution,” Schrader says. “Our student body includes citizens from 56 different countries, and we have partnerships with dozens of colleges and universities located in other countries. The vice chancellor for global and strategic partnerships will allow us to build on an already firm foundation and our 143-year history as a global institution.”
The vice chancellor for global and strategic partnerships will oversee international affairs, global and online learning, and a new position, the assistant vice chancellor for corporate relations.
“We’ll have nearly 250 employers coming to our Career Fair later this month, and each one is a valuable partner,” Schrader says. “Many of these firms also engage with us as research partners and as professional development providers for their work force. Many also donate generously to provide scholarships, laboratory equipment and other forms of support. We want to make sure we coordinate all of these activities in the most strategic way possible. The assistant vice chancellor for corporate relations will allow us to do that.”
Implementation is expected to take one to two years. “This is an evolving process, and it will take some time to find the right individuals for these positions and to ensure a smooth transition,” Schrader says.
The discussion follows a recent announcement that Missouri S&T will receive $3.2 million in allocations from the University of Missouri System to support three new initiatives, including the hiring of new faculty. S&T will receive $2.57 million annually to fund 22 new faculty positions plus support staff for recruiting and hiring. Missouri S&T will match that funding with $1.26 million to hire 11 new faculty positions plus $1 million for start-up packages. “There is no higher priority than hiring new faculty to support our strategic goals,” Schrader says.
“Every one of the changes is driven by our strategic plan,” Schrader says. “The end result will be a stronger university that delivers a great return on investment.”