UMSL chancellor sees exciting days ahead

by | Sep 14, 2016

His 2016 State of the University Address discussed UMSL's focus on student success, budget sustainability and firm grounding for the future.
2016 State of the University Address

UMSL Chancellor Tom George presented his 2016 State of the University Address on Sept. 14. (Photo by August Jennewein)

Colleges and universities across the nation have been sailing on rough waters lately, and the University of Missouri–St. Louis is no different. Budget cuts and enrollment concerns have dominated the conversation, but Chancellor Tom George believes long-range planning and focusing on student success have UMSL firmly grounded for a future.

Presenting his annual State of the University Address to nearly 400 faculty, staff and students today in the J.C. Penney Building/Conference Center auditorium, George said UMSL has “a handle” on enrollment with gains this fall in new transfer and graduate students.

“We have had a dip in total enrollment, but most of that occurs because of a drop in students classified as seniors,” George said. “Much of that decrease can be attributed to our recent success in graduating students – setting records for the past two years.”

George said the well-publicized process to create a sustainable budget last fiscal year is yielding the desired results. UMSL identified nearly $15 million in reductions to be made during the 2017 and 2018 fiscal years.

“Establishing a sustainable budget was a painful but necessary process,” George said. “We already are seeing dramatic improvements [in our financial situation], and I fully expect that UMSL will have a balanced budget in FY 2018.”

Among other highlights of George’s address were:

  • UMSL students earned a record 3,200 degrees in FY 2016. UMSL issued 2,254 undergraduate degrees and 900 graduate degrees – plus 45 doctoral degrees in optometry. Among the students receiving degrees were 632 underrepresented minority students– again a record for UMSL.
  • U.S. News recently cited UMSL for three excellent rankings. UMSL’s online nursing program ranked 1st nationally for its graduation rate. UMSL made a list of fewer than 100 colleges termed as “great” for good students. And, the undergraduate International Business program was ranked 17th nationally – its 14th consecutive year in the top 20.
  • INSIGHTS into Diversity Magazine – the oldest and largest diversity-focused publication in the United States – tapped UMSL for a Higher Education Excellence in Diversity Award. The award recognizes universities that demonstrate an outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion. UMSL has received the award for three consecutive years.
  • UMSL attracted more than $27 million in gifts and pledges – the third highest total in history.
  • Academic Analytics ranked UMSL 7th nationally among public high research universities for faculty productivity – ahead of institutions such as Auburn, Clemson and Alabama. Previously, UMSL had ranked 10th among public universities.
  • UMSL was named to both Victory Media’s 2016 Military Friendly® Schools list and Military Times’ Best for Vets: Colleges 2016 list. Separately, Military Times named UMSL’s graduate business programs among the “Best for Vets.”

To view the full presentation, click here.

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Bob Samples

Bob Samples

Bob Samples is associate vice chancellor for university communications at the University of Missouri-St. Louis.
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