COLUMBIA — MU's Nuclear Science and Engineering Institute "will remain in full operation," Provost Brian Foster announced Tuesday.
The institute was officially disbanded on March 15, but since then, the future of the institute has been up for discussion.
After conversations among administrators, faculty, students and alumni, the following decisions have been made, according to Foster's statement:
- The institute will continue to exist until all students currently enrolled or admitted into it have finished their degrees. There is a possibility that the institute will continue after that if there is not a new system in place.
- The four faculty members who were involved in the institute will remain engaged in it, but they will still have two years to move their tenure homes from the graduate school to specific departments.
- The graduate student curriculum in nuclear science and engineering will not change.
The restructuring will not threaten staff jobs during the transition process, the statement said. Graduate school Dean George Justice said these staff positions will exist as long as there are enough students to need staff support. That will likely be several years because some students entering in the fall will need time to finish their degrees.
Foster's statement also said that space for labs, offices and classrooms for seminars will be guaranteed for faculty, staff and students. Justice said that they are guaranteed to have "adequate space" for these things but that the space could move from its current location.
The grant process will remain the same while the institute and its faculty are in transition, according to Foster's statement. Until the professors move to specific departments, they will continue to receive grant money through the graduate school, Justice said.
After the professors move out of the graduate school, they will continue to receive some grant money through their new departments.
Foster's statement also included goals for the institute that would lead further discussion and decisions. These goals include:
- "Increasing MU’s national and international visibility and stature in nuclear science and engineering." The institute currently has successful collaboration programs with Washington University as well as other universities.
- Creating an interdisciplinary academic program in the graduate school and a research center, all focused on nuclear science and engineering, that would engage 60 or more MU faculty members.