Missouri University of Science and Technology plans to boost the number of doctoral students and invest in two of Missouri S&T’s four best-in-class or “signature” areas through additional state funding, Missouri S&T Chancellor Cheryl B. Schrader announced today (Wednesday, Oct. 8) during her State of the University Address.
Speaking to students, faculty and staff members in Leach Theatre of Castleman Hall on the Missouri S&T campus, Schrader announced that the initiatives have received over $4.5 million in state funding through a University of Missouri System allocation. “These investments reflect the UM System’s confidence in the vision we have set forth in our bold strategic plan,” Schrader said.
“Missouri S&T’s research and graduate programs will benefit greatly from these investments – and so will society as a whole,” Schrader said. “These additional funds will help build on our rapidly growing Ph.D. programs as well as strengthen key research initiatives that address critical state and national needs.”
The funding will create 70 new Ph.D. research assistant, teaching assistant and fellowship positions, and will increase the number of doctoral students at Missouri S&T by 12 percent – from 583 to 653.
The initiative also provides competitive funding for the equivalent of 350 existing graduate research and teaching assistant positions.
“Our doctoral student enrollment has already witnessed a record increase since 2007, due to the increasing demand for our Ph.D. graduates,” Schrader said. “As a result of this new investment, we will be able to keep pace with the demand for a high-quality Missouri S&T graduate education.”
Since 2007, the Ph.D. enrollment at S&T has grown by nearly 70 percent – from 344 in the fall of 2007 to 583 this fall.
Schrader pointed out that the effort to increase Ph.D. students will also focus on recruiting more women and under-represented minorities into these programs. Missouri S&T offers Ph.D.s in 21 degree programs.
Complementing this effort to recruit more Ph.D. students is funding to provide needed technical and professional staff as well as funding for National Academy of Sciences or National Academy of Engineering-stature leaders and visiting faculty for the two signature areas of Advanced Manufacturing and Advanced Materials for Sustainable Infrastructure. These are multidisciplinary research and education areas in which Missouri S&T is highly regarded. The university plans to further invest in these areas to make them among the nation’s best.
This marks the second year the UM System has provided funding for campuses based on proposals to advance each campus’s strategic plan. Last year, Missouri S&T received $3.2 million in state funds through the process. That funding helped support the creation of new faculty positions plus support staff for recruiting and hiring; improvements to instructional laboratories; and a redesign of three calculus courses to improve student success.
“This fall we’ve been able to add 17 faculty representing departments from across campus, from physics to education, and from civil engineering to electrical and computer engineering,” Schrader said. “This is just the beginning of our ambitious plan to hire at least 100 additional faculty by 2020.”
Also during her State of the University Address, Schrader highlighted several accomplishments of the past year, including:
Schrader also thanked the audience for their participation in the development of “Rising to the Challenge: Missouri S&T’s Strategy for Success.”
“Thank you for your investment in this plan; thank you for your trust in me,” Schrader said.
She also invited audience members to attend a Strategic Planning Summit at noon on Nov. 6-7 in the Havener Center on campus. “Here you can see a detailed overview of the plan and meet some of the people behind our many accomplishments.”