MU strategic five-year plan focuses on faculty, interdisciplinary research

By Katie Pohlman

PUBLISHED AS A PART OFMANEATER V. 79, ISSUE 52

Chancellor Deaton will present the final version of the plan in June.

Efforts are underway to chart a strategic five-year plan that details MU’s objectives as a university.

Some of the steps outlined to meet the goals include hiring 100 tenure-track faculty along with 100 non-tenure-track faculty over the next five years. Deaton hopes to raise faculty salaries as well.

MU’s strategy plan outlines four goals for the next five years and how the university plans on meeting them. The goals include improving interdisciplinary and experimental learning, recruiting and retaining more faculty, improving research infrastructure, and improving the university’s outreach program.

The university also hopes to recruit faculty through the Mizzou Advantage program, which allows the university to invite high-profile speakers and professors to campus. The hope is that some of those professors will end up staying on as staff and will raise the MU’s national prestige, said MU spokesman Christian Basi.

Chancellor Deaton presented a blueprint of the strategic plan at the UM System Board of Curators meeting on April 12. Deaton and the faculty committee responsible for drafting the plan will continue to work until June, when chancellors from each campus will meet with the board and present the final version of their university’s plans.

“The plan will help us build up our stature by using our strengths (as a university), raising our prestige as a university.” said Tom Phillips, professor of biological sciences and co-chair of the planning committee.

Phillips said planning ahead to improve the university’s national prestige is nothing new to MU. The only thing different about this year is that UM System President Timothy Wolfe formally proposed the idea to each campus.

“We must chart our own course instead of having someone chart it for us,” Wolfe said in a UM system news release.

MU made sure to consider several ideas and comments when forming the strategic plan. The committee in charge of developing the plan held several open forum meetings both on campus and within the system. They turned to the Faculty Council and Missouri Student Association for input about the plan, Phillips said.

He said the blueprint was also posted online to allow interested parties to comment on with their own questions and suggestions.

Basi said the feedback from students and faculty was important because they are all stakeholders in the university’s future.

“Not just one area is being built on,” he said. “Everything is being affected, everyone is benefiting from (this plan).”

When drafting the strategic plan, MU set its goals to cope with decreased state funding and a cap on tuition raises, but the change will not cause any major cuts, Basi said.

“It is not a matter of compensation,” he said. “It is a matter of how do we go forward from here.”

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