With three new buildings under construction, the addition of Normandie Golf Course and new scholarships, numerous faculty awards and nationally ranked programs to tout, University of Missouri–St. Louis Chancellor Tom George conveyed to his constituents Friday a strong and growing campus.
He also praised the UMSL community for its civil discourse, collective response and efforts to create positive change following the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo. The situation, he noted, had created some stress on enrollment.
“But it also has led to great opportunities to move forward in a direction that benefits our students and the community,” said George, who delivered the 39th annual Chancellor’s Report to the Community May 1 at America’s Center in downtown St. Louis.
About 800 people attended the event including Tim Wolfe, president of the University of Missouri System, business and community leaders, and state and local elected officials.
• George announced the North County Scholarship Program, a joint $500,000 investment in north St. Louis students by UMSL and the University of Missouri System. The program matches the $1.5 million in scholarships for UMSL students through Emerson’s “Ferguson Forward” initiative.
• He asked his constituents to support The Missouri Promise, a movement driven by UM System President Wolfe and UMSL alumnus and State Treasurer Clint Zweifel to amend the state Constitution to provide scholarships that would pay for all or most of the tuition and fees for high-performing Missouri high school graduates. An increase to the state tobacco tax would fund the scholarships.
• UMSL’s campus grew by 117 acres with the purchase of the Normandie Golf Course through a gift and purchase option secured by the Chancellor’s Council. A 10-year lease has been signed with Walters Golf Management to oversee the property. Golf discounts are available to UMSL alumni, students, employees and retirees.
• UMSL broke ground on a $17 million Optometry Patient Care Center, which has a two-year construction timeline.
• Natural Bridge’s transformation into a “Great Street” is well under way and on schedule for a December completion.
• U.S. News and World Report’s rankings this year revealed UMSL’s International Business program at 16th in the nation, and the graduate criminology program at fourth. UMSL’s online master’s in education program was ranked 25th and online bachelor’s programs were ranked 50th by the publication.
• Various graduate programs made U.S. News and World Report’s “Best” list including biology, chemistry & biochemistry, education, clinical psychology, nursing, social work, psychology and public policy administration.
• UMSL faculty ranked 15th in the nation for their research productivity in the category of high research activity, and 13 individual programs ranked among the top 50 in their respective fields. Academic Analytics, a company that ranks universities based on faculty research productivity, compiled the findings.