Dr. Stephen Roberts has been appointed vice chancellor of strategic initiatives and chief operating officer for the Kummer Institute for Student Success, Research and Economic Development at Missouri University of Science and Technology effective June 1.
Roberts currently serves as interim provost and executive vice chancellor of academic affairs at Missouri S&T and previously was founding dean of S&T’s College of Arts, Sciences, and Business.
“We have the right leader at the right time in Steve Roberts,” Chancellor Mo Dehghani says. “He has served our institution well as our chief academic officer over the past two years, and previously as our founding dean of the College of Arts, Sciences, and Business. I am certain he will provide the leadership we need to make Fred and June Kummer’s vision for the Kummer Institute a reality at S&T.”
The late St. Louis businessman Fred Kummer and his wife June donated $300 million to Missouri S&T last fall to establish the Kummer Institute. Their donation is the largest single gift ever to any public or private university in Missouri and one of the largest ever to any university.
Roberts predicts that the Kummer Institute will be transformational for both Missouri S&T and STEM education in the state of Missouri.
“I anticipate that the institute will take S&T to new heights in terms of supporting students financially and academically and in creating incredible economic and social value through industry-collaborative technological research, innovation and application,” says Roberts. “We will also create resources and opportunities for K-12 students and teachers to permanently and continuously raise the quality of K-12 STEM education, especially in rural parts of Missouri.”
In his new role, Roberts will oversee the Kummer Institute’s major initiatives, including the formation of the Kummer College of Innovation, Entrepreneurship, and Economic Development and several research centers. He will oversee the establishment of the Center for Excellence in STEM Education, the Kummer Innovation and Entrepreneurship Doctoral Fellows Program, and the undergraduate Kummer Vanguard Scholars Program.
Roberts will also direct several major capital projects, including a new student experience center and a systems integration and prototype development facility to serve Missouri’s manufacturing industry.
“Practically no other public university in the country is so well positioned to create learning opportunities and R&D opportunities that will have such a positive impact on economic and personal well-being at the individual and community level,” says Roberts.
Roberts joined Missouri S&T in 2014 as the founding dean of the College of Arts, Sciences, and Business. He previously served as professor and chair of biology at Central Michigan University. As an evolutionary biologist, Roberts specializes in the study of honeybees and solitary bee species, and he has won several research awards. He holds a Ph.D. in biology from Arizona State University and earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in biological sciences from Illinois State University.