Dr. Cheryl B. Schrader, chancellor of Missouri University of Science and Technology since April 2012, will become the next president of Wright State University in Fairborn, Ohio, on July 1, 2017, Wright State officials announced today (Monday, March 6, 2017).
“It has been a tremendous privilege to lead Missouri S&T over the past five years, and I’m very proud of all we have accomplished to position our institution as a top return on investment among the nation’s research universities,” Schrader says. “I’m truly indebted to our strong leadership team and the wonderful students, alumni, faculty and staff of Missouri S&T, because it is their contributions that have made this such a great university and will continue to make S&T a leader in higher education for years to come.”
“I join Missouri S&T and the entire University of Missouri System community in congratulating Chancellor Schrader on her new appointment,” says UM System President Mun Choi. “She has significantly advanced our mission for excellence in research, education, outreach and economic development. Missouri S&T is more vital and resilient as a result of her leadership and the many contributions of the faculty and staff.”
Schrader became chancellor of Missouri S&T in April 2012. She was the 21st leader of the university and the first woman to hold the chief leadership position at Missouri S&T, which was founded in 1870 as the Missouri School of Mines and Metallurgy and later known as the University of Missouri-Rolla.
Schrader joins Wright State as that institution’s seventh president and the first woman to hold the presidency. Wright State, founded in 1967, has a student enrollment of nearly 18,000 and offers more than 230 undergraduate, graduate, doctoral, medical and professional degree programs through eight colleges and three schools. The campus in Fairborn is located 12 miles northeast of downtown Dayton and is adjacent to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. The Lake Campus nestles the shores of Grand Lake St. Marys in Celina, Ohio.
Prior to joining Missouri S&T, Schrader served as associate vice president for strategic research initiatives at Boise State University. She also served as dean of the College of Engineering at Boise State from 2003 to 2011 and previously held academic positions at Rice University and the University of Texas at San Antonio.
At Missouri S&T, Schrader emphasized the importance of investing in new faculty positions to meet the growing demand for S&T’s degree programs and worked to bolster the campus’s research and graduate programs. At her September 2013 State of the University Address, Schrader announced plans to add 100 new faculty positions by 2020. The campus has since added 42 new positions and currently is recruiting 18 additional faculty toward the goal of 100.
Under Schrader’s leadership, Missouri S&T’s overall enrollment has grown by 16 percent, while ranked faculty numbers have grown by 18 percent. The university has also seen a 36 percent increase in the number of ranked female faculty, a 59 percent increase in U.S. patents filed and a 26 percent average annual increase in gifts.
Schrader emphasized growing graduate education and research at Missouri S&T. In 2014, she announced $3 million in additional state funding to support doctoral and master’s student recruitment and development. By 2016, nearly 350 graduate students held nationally competitive compensation packages and 25 held premier packages. Under her direction, the university established four “signature” areas to strengthen research and education in fields where Missouri S&T is considered among the nation’s best: Advanced Manufacturing, Advanced Materials for Sustainable Infrastructure, Enabling Materials for Extreme Environments, and Smart Living.
The university also improved instructional facilities under Schrader’s leadership. Through $500,000 in one-time state funds, matched by $1.23 million from private donations and other sources, Schrader invested in 11 proposals to upgrade instructional labs.
Known for saying that she “committed to always having a crane on campus” as a symbol of continuous transformation of university facilities, Schrader oversaw the completion of several capital improvement projects during her tenure. They include the campus’s geothermal energy system, which is one of the most comprehensive of any such system on a university campus and which allowed Missouri S&T to shut down its World War II-era power plant. Completed in 2014, the geothermal system has cut campus energy use by 60 percent and reduced water use by over 18 million gallons annually.
In addition, she oversaw the October 2014 dedication of James E. Bertelsmeyer Hall, which houses S&T’s chemical and biochemical engineering programs; the March 2015 dedication of Hasselmann Alumni House; and the October 2016 dedication of the Kennedy Experimental Mine Building, which was completed through a combination of state and private funds. During her tenure, Missouri S&T’s outdoor athletic and intramural fields were converted to artificial turf through financing made available by the geothermal project, student fees and donors. And Schrader was responsible for campus beautification with the addition of the University Promenade.
She worked with Missouri legislators and former Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon to secure funding for renovation to Schrenk Hall, which houses Missouri S&T’s chemistry, biochemistry and biological sciences programs. Missouri S&T received $12 million in state funds for the second phase of a multiphase renovation of the building and secured $6 million in University of Missouri System and campus funds for the project.
Schrader also restructured academic units into two colleges – the College of Arts, Sciences, and Business, and the College of Engineering and Computing – and established the Division for Global and Strategic Partnerships, which focuses on developing research, exchange and educational partnerships with private-sector and public organizations. As a result, Missouri S&T has entered into new agreements with Boeing, Honeywell Federal Manufacturing & Technologies, Fort Leonard Wood and Phelps County Regional Medical Center. The PCRMC collaboration includes development of the Ozark Biomedical Initiative.
Many of the accomplishments during Schrader’s tenure were the result of a comprehensive strategic planning effort involving thousands of Missouri S&T stakeholders. The plan, called “Rising to the Challenge: Missouri S&T’s Strategy for Success,” focuses on providing a top return on investment to Missouri S&T’s key customers.
Based on the strength of the plan, Missouri S&T secured a 27 percent increase in state funding for strategic initiatives such as the faculty hiring program, the investment in Ph.D. support and the funding for instructional lab upgrades.
Schrader earned a bachelor of science degree in electrical engineering from Valparaiso University in Valparaiso, Ind., in 1984. She earned master of science and Ph.D. degrees in electrical engineering from the University of Notre Dame in 1987 and 1991, respectively. Her research background is in the area of systems and control. As a researcher, Schrader has received several best paper awards; authored over 100 publications in the areas of systems and control, robotics, and intelligent systems, with biomedical, networking and aircraft applications; and delivered more than 100 invited presentations and keynote addresses. Her grant and contract funding exceeds $11 million.
A past president of the IEEE Control Systems Society, she served for five years as a member of the ABET Engineering Accreditation Commission. This commission, which is dedicated to providing world leadership in stimulating innovation and excellence in engineering, today accredits 2,100 engineering programs at more than 400 colleges and universities.
Schrader began her teaching and research career at the University of Notre Dame while undertaking internships and consulting work with McDonnell Douglas Astronautics Co. in the early 1980s and Chimera Research in the early 1990s. Following a brief period as an adjunct assistant professor at Rice University in 1991, Schrader moved to the University of Texas at San Antonio, where she rose to serve as a tenured professor of electrical engineering and associate dean at both a college of sciences and a college of engineering. Passionate about increasing interest in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education, Schrader’s current research interests focus on creating and assessing innovative learning methods to help students of all ages succeed in the STEM areas.
Schrader is a recipient of the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring from the White House; the IEEE Education Society Hewlett-Packard/Harriett B. Rigas Award; the Idaho Women Making History Award; and the WebCT Exemplary Online Course Award. She was also named one of Valparaiso University’s Top 150 Most Influential People. She received the 2013 Distinguished Educator Award from the Electrical and Computer Engineering division of the American Society for Engineering Education and was named an IEEE Fellow in 2014 in recognition of her leadership and contributions in engineering education.
A strong advocate for intercollegiate athletics, Schrader recently was named to the NCAA Division II Presidents Council, which is the organization’s highest governance office.
Schrader’s husband, Jeff, served for many years in the legal profession. They have one son, Andrew, who is pursuing a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering at Georgia Tech, and one daughter, Ella, who attends elementary school in Rolla.