Floyd outlines UM plans

Thursday, May 13, 2004 | 12:00 a.m. CDT; updated 11:25 a.m. CDT, Sunday, July 20, 2008

UM system President Elson Floyd and MU Chancellor Richard Wallace stood on opposite ends of a time continuum at a campus-wide MU faculty meeting on Wednesday.

While Wallace, who will retire in August, looked to the achievements and problems at MU, Floyd outlined plans for the system he has led since January 2003.

Wallace also touched briefly on NCAA allegations about rules violations in MU’s basketball program and on recent campus episodes challenging MU’s approach to race and gender diversity. Floyd said that it is important to celebrate diversity and that diversity will be part of the system goal to increase enrollment.

In front of about 50 MU faculty members, Floyd said the system plans include:

  • Increasing the system’s enrollment by 10,000 students in the next five years. The four campuses now enroll more than 60,000 students.
  • Enrolling more graduate and professional students.
  • Developing separate tuition policies for each campus in the system.
  • Raising $1 billion for the system in the next five years.
  • Identifying and investing in selected programs.
  • Making the campuses in St. Louis, Kansas City and Rolla research-extensive universities, meaning the number of doctoral programs will grow.
  • Making the system a national leader in life sciences.
  • Securing $300 million annually in research grants.
  • Developing more public-private partnerships.
  • Recruiting more faculty members.
  • Achieving academic and administrative efficiency.

Floyd said he will take this plan to the UM Board of Curators later this month. He added that this will be a “campus-driven plan” — meaning campuses can tailor their approaches to meeting the goals — and that he does not expect campuses to be able to comply with all expectations.

Referring to recent successes in bringing in research dollars, Wallace said MU alone should be able to meet Floyd’s $300 million quota. In his final address before the general faculty, the chancellor summarized MU’s achievements and challenges over the past years. Successes included increasing enrollment and private gifts and adding buildings to campus.

Challenges mentioned by Wallace included budget issues, the future of University Hospital, which recently became profitable, and intercollegiate athletics. “We are on a path to correction and healing,” Wallace said, referring to the NCAA allegations.

Wallace also identified diversity as a major campus concern and said it proved more of a challenge than he initially recognized it to be. Gordon Christensen, chairman of MU’s Faculty Council, and Provost Brady Deaton — who will serve as interim chancellor starting Sept. 1 — also gave brief reports at the meeting.

As Wallace adjourned the meeting to a standing ovation, he genially added that he would defer all questions to Deaton.

“I’ll be around, I’m not going anywhere,” said Wallace, who led MU for eight years. He will continue to help with campus fund-raising initiatives.

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