In her first state of the university address since joining Missouri University of Science and Technology last April, Chancellor Cheryl B. Schrader emphasized the need for Missouri S&T to “develop and inspire creative thinkers and leaders” to address the nation’s most pressing societal and economic challenges.
“The leaders of our state, nation and world are looking to universities like Missouri S&T to come up with creative solutions to the grand challenges of our time,” Schrader told the audience of Missouri S&T students, faculty and staff gathered to hear her inaugural state of the university address (view PowerPoint).
“They are looking to us to prepare tomorrow’s innovators who can address complex problems in areas like energy security, environmental sustainability, health care and infrastructure,” she said. “Our talented, innovative community of students, faculty, staff, alumni, and partners in the private sector and government can and will work together to address these challenges, even during this time of reduced funding and disruption in higher education.”
Schrader emphasized six themes during her state of the university address, which was held from noon-1 p.m. Wednesday (Oct. 3, 2012) in Leach Theatre of Castleman Hall on the Missouri S&T campus. The themes arose from various discussions Schrader has held with student, alumni, faculty and staff groups since becoming Missouri S&T chancellor on April 2, 2012.
“These themes, combined with a new strategic planning process now under way on campus and at the University of Missouri System, will help ensure that Missouri S&T strengthens its role as a leading technological research university well into the future,” Schrader said.
The themes are as follows:
- Develop and inspire creative thinkers and leaders. “As a university community, we must promote creativity and innovation across the institution – from our classrooms and labs where our students learn and conduct groundbreaking research with faculty mentors, to the way we implement our business processes,” Schrader said. “I want Missouri S&T to become known for embracing innovation and creativity throughout the organization.”
- Integrate teaching, learning, research and application. “At Missouri S&T, learning doesn’t begin and end in the classroom,” Schrader said. “Some of our greatest learning experiences occur through interactions that take place among students and faculty in our student organizations, sports teams or research activities. Our goal is to further integrate formal and informal education to improve the way we learn, conduct research and apply our knowledge to make the world a better place.”
- Enhance reputation and raise visibility. “Missouri S&T is well-known as a leading technological research university and an excellent value for students,” Schrader said. “We plan to build on that reputation for excellence and enhance our national and international profile, so that when people are looking for an exceptional education and research partner, Missouri S&T is top of mind.”
- Foster global competency and inclusion. “The world needs talented, intelligent and creative problem-solvers. We will continue to strive to make Missouri S&T an institution where everyone is welcome, and one that promotes an appreciation for diverse viewpoints and perspectives.”
- Advance an environment of success, support and community engagement. “We know that the students who succeed at Missouri S&T go on to attain remarkable achievements in their personal and professional lives,” Schrader said. “Our mutually beneficial goal in the larger S&T community is to advance an environment that brings together every available resource and opportunity to ensure their success.”
- Achieve sustainable growth and ensure the university’s future. “We’ve enjoyed tremendous growth in recent years,” Schrader said. “We want to make sure we continue to provide the rigorous, high-quality education Missouri S&T is known for by leveraging innovative collaborations and partnerships.”
Also during her address, Schrader discussed several notable accomplishments occurring on campus in recent months. They include:
- The April 2012 groundbreaking for S&T’s geothermal energy project. When completed in the summer of 2014, the project will reduce S&T’s carbon footprint by 25,000 tons annually and cut campus energy usage by 50 percent, or $2.8 million a year.
- A record number of women and minority students enrolled at the university this fall. A total of 1,732 female students are enrolled at S&T, an increase of 2.8 percent over the previous year. In addition, the number of minority students increased by 1.8 percent over 2011 – from 790 to 804.
- A new strategic planning process on campus and at the UM System level that emphasizes a customer-focused approach to planning.
- A winning sports season under way for the Missouri S&T Miners football and volleyball teams.
- Recent recognition from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education for achieving a silver STARS designation for the campus’s environmental improvements. STARS stands for Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System.
- A 77 percent increase in enrollment for distance education programs over the past five years.
Schrader also discussed the planned spring 2013 groundbreaking for construction of James E. Bertelsmeyer Hall, the new 63,500-square-foot chemical and biochemical engineering building, and encouraged the campus community to attend S&T Homecoming activities on Oct. 12-13.
“I’m proud to be leading a campus that’s on the move,” Schrader said. “I’m proud to be a Missouri S&T Miner.”