The University of Missouri-Rolla will become Missouri University of Science and Technology – or “Missouri S&T” – under a proposal approved today by the University of Missouri Board of Curators.
The curators approved a recommendation from UMR Chancellor John F. Carney III today (April 6, 2007) during their meeting on the Rolla campus. The name change takes effect on Jan. 1, 2008.
“Missouri S&T will better define the university as a leading technological research university,” Carney says. “We believe the new name will help to differentiate this university in a highly competitive university market and provide a national competitive advantage.”
The decision follows more than six months of research and discussion with numerous UMR constituents, including alumni, students, prospective students, faculty, staff, corporate recruiters and community leaders.
Carney says the name change will help the institution have a stronger identity while remaining a part of the four-campus University of Missouri.
Carney first raised the name change issue during his State of the University Address to the campus community last October. UMR’s current appellation does not distinguish the campus as one focused on engineering, technology and science, he said.
Soon after he joined UMR in September 2005, Carney set a goal of making UMR one of the nation’s top five technological research universities by 2010. While UMR’s marketing materials already carry the tagline of “Missouri’s premier technological research university,” the institution is not as well known as it deserves to be in other parts of the United States, Carney says.
“The University of Missouri-Rolla is unique among the four University of Missouri campuses because of our focus as a technological research university,” Carney says. “We believe a more distinctive name would afford UMR several advantages in recruiting students on a national level.”
The university was founded in 1870 as the University of Missouri School of Mines and Metallurgy. It was informally known as the Missouri School of Mines, or MSM, until 1964, when it was renamed the University of Missouri at Rolla. The campus became known as the University of Missouri-Rolla in 1968.
Alumni, students and others have been discussing the proposal on Name Change Conversations, a weblog the university created to foster communication about the proposal. The blog is online at http://namechange.mst.edu .