To meet growing demand for its degree and research programs, Missouri University of Science and Technology plans to add 100 new faculty positions over the next seven years to increase the number of faculty by nearly 20 percent.
At a time when many universities throughout the state and nation have seen declining enrollment, Missouri S&T has continued to see solid growth. For the first time in the university’s 143-year history, enrollment has surged to more than 8,000 students — nearly 6 percent growth from last year.
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“With all this growth, there come significant challenges,” said Missouri S&T Chancellor Cheryl B. Schrader in her fall 2013 State of the University Address. “If Missouri S&T is to retain its reputation for renowned faculty who are also accessible, we must invest in our faculty.”
Schrader discussed her plan to hire more faculty during her State of the University Address at noon today (Monday, Sept. 9, 2013) in Leach Theatre of Castleman Hall on the Missouri S&T campus.
The faculty hiring plan is a key platform of Missouri S&T’s strategic plan, which is designed to guide the university over the next seven years, Schrader said. “Investing in our faculty is a top priority,” she said. “Our outstanding instructors and researchers are critical to our success as a university.”
The faculty hiring plan is one of three strategic initiatives slated to receive more than $3.2 million in strategic funding from the University of Missouri System. The funding was announced last week by UM System President Timothy Wolfe.
Through the UM System process, Missouri S&T will receive $2.57 million annually to fund 22 new faculty positions plus support staff for recruiting and hiring, Schrader said. That investment from the UM System is matched by $1.26 million from S&T to hire 11 new faculty positions plus $1 million for start-up packages “to help us recruit the best possible people for these positions,” Schrader said.
In addition to new faculty, the campus will also hire into vacant faculty positions in best-in-class areas, and recognize department and unit achievements that support the strategic plan.
All aspects of the faculty hiring plan are tied to S&T’s strategic plan, Schrader said.
S&T will also receive $500,000 in one-time state funds to improve instructional labs and $132,000 in one-time state funds to redesign three calculus courses to improve student success.
Funding for the lab renovations will be matched by $500,000 in private gifts or grants. S&T will also invest $66,000 in one-time funds for the calculus course redesign.
In her address, Schrader emphasized that these investments are connected to key aspects of the strategic plan. Missouri S&T’s strategic plan emphasizes return on investment, or ROI, for six customer groups: undergraduate students, research-based graduate students, distance and online students, research investors, employers, and donors.
Missouri S&T’s strategic planning began in July 2012 and has involved thousands of students, faculty, staff, alumni, employers and research partners along the way, Schrader said. The process was led by Provost Warren K. Wray and Dr. James A. Drallmeier, chair of mechanical and aerospace engineering.
“Thanks to the input of many people in this room, we now have a strategic plan that has been ratified by the UM System Board of Curators and will serve as our compass as we move forward,” Schrader told students, faculty and staff members at the address. “Given the challenges we face as a university, it is imperative that every dollar we spend, every hire and every decision is a strategic one. We don’t have the luxury of doing it any other way.”
Also during her State of the University Address, Schrader announced a focus in the coming year to align the campus master plan, enrollment management plan and organizational structure.