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New UM System administrator Hank Foley visits MU Faculty Council

Thursday, October 17, 2013 | 8:54 p.m. CDT; updated 5:59 a.m. CDT, Friday, October 18, 2013

COLUMBIA — A new face in the UM System, Hank Foley, introduced himself to the MU Faculty Council on Thursday.

Foley started as UM System executive vice president for academic affairs on Aug. 5. He spoke with Faculty Council members about academic values, research and innovation.

Foley said that while academia is the heart of the university, research is very important, especially to MU.

"It's really baked into the DNA of a land grant university," he said.

Research is in a "new era" in regards to the amount of scrutiny it receives, Foley said. In response to environmental changes like a weaker economy and a lack of research investment from major corporations, research should turn to innovation instead of invention.

Foley suggested several strategies to accomplish that goal. He said faculty across the UM System should look for opportunities for synergy.

Foley is also interested in reevaluating intellectual property practices. Foley said that while he was at Pennsylvania State University he improved the process by putting faculty in charge.

Foley also said he'd like to see MU encourage more students to become entrepreneurs.

"I would love to get to a place where we grow our own entrepreneurial community in our own backyard of faculty members, graduate students who stay, and a few undergrads a year who like Columbia and stay," he said.

Foley said he'd also be interested in co-hosting town hall meetings and faculty forums with the council.

"I'm trying to get the vibe of the place and really figure out what people are about," Foley said. "I think what's exciting here is tying together research, tying together humanities with science, with engineering ... we're really trying to produce young people who are extraordinarily well-rounded."

Faculty Council members reacted warmly to Foley's comments. Nursing professor Rebecca Johnson said the discussion was "very uplifting."

OTHER BUSINESS

  • The council passed a motion in support of the College of Arts and Science pursuing a supplemental fee in an 18-3 vote.

  • Psychology associate professor Dennis Miller, who represents MU on the Intercampus Faculty Council, presented an open letter to the chancellor requesting "an active and respected faculty voice" in the hiring process for the new provost.

Supervising editor is Elizabeth Brixey.


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