Deaton: Research and global outreach are key

Thursday, October 21, 2004 | 12:00 a.m. CDT; updated 9:51 a.m. CDT, Friday, July 18, 2008

MU Chancellor Brady Deaton has a top 10 list, and he’s not laughing when he reads it. But sometimes he does grin with excitement when he talks about his priorities for MU.

“We are all part of a global knowledge base,” he said in a meeting with reporters Wednesday, commenting on MU’s focus on research and global outreach. Deaton has added two priorities to his list: increasing outside research investment and expanding global outreach.

To Deaton, a global knowledge base means an integrated community of scholarship on the MU campus, emphasizing the role of research in building that community.

“The scientists we have are constantly sifting and winnowing knowledge,” he said.

Deaton spoke generally about growing research on campus, saying he wants to improve on the university’s research tradition but foreseeing ups and downs in that growth.

“The better you get, the more difficult it is to take the next step,” he said.

Deaton said he wants to link student life with the latest research at the university, whether through freshman interest groups or undergraduate research.

“We’re always looking to improve the intellectual challenge for students on this campus,” he said.

Deaton said he wants to increase exchanges with international universities and study-abroad opportunities for students.

Deaton said he is also focused on improving the quality of doctoral programs at MU. Without specifics, he said he will direct more money to fellowships that will support doctoral candidates at the university.

Another major concern for the university is the affordability of education. MU is in the upper 30 percent in education fees among public institutions in the Association of American Universities but ranks in the lower 25 percent in state support per student, according to information he presented to the faculty Oct. 6.

Deaton said Wednesday he wants to increase funding from state and private donations to “help keep the pressure down in terms of growth and tuition fees.”

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