MU Extension is being restructured to focus on three critical issues: education, the economy and health care, Chancellor Alexander Cartwright announced Wednesday.

A new Office of Extension and Engagement will open in spring 2019, Cartwright said in his State of the University speech in front of a packed audience of students, staff and faculty in the MU Student Center. Cartwright has been chancellor for one year.

“This office challenges the way we think about and foster deeper outreach,” Cartwright said, “And it highlights our effort to connect the full breadth of the university’s resources and knowledge to the people across the state.”

Every college and school, MU Health Care, Mizzou Athletics and the Mizzou Alumni Association, among others, will play a role in the new office, the chancellor said.

Cartwright said the new office is possible because of the work of Marshall Stewart, vice chancellor for extension and engagement and UM System chief engagement officer. Stewart went on a statewide tour where he restructured the Extension team’s offices and built better connections between each county and MU, Cartwright said.

“Marshall and I want each and every Missourian to feel the benefits of Mizzou knowledge and to have a voice in shaping our outreach,” Cartwright said.

Cartwright emphasized MU’s relationship with Missouri’s rural communities. For example, the Springfield Clinical Campus is designed for MU-trained physicians to give rural Missourians access to medical treatment, he said.

MU is also focusing on a Translational Precision Medicine Complex that was approved by the UM System Board of Curators in November 2017. To oversee the public-private partnership planning of the building and to “ensure MU is on the cutting edge of this field,” Cartwright announced College of Engineering Dean Elizabeth Loboa will serve as the vice chancellor for strategic partnerships.

The complex will help produce heart stents and continue to study the “magic bullet” cancer treatment.

After the speech, Cartwright said that among other initiatives, there are plans to expand the Missouri Method into all MU areas of study. The hands-on teaching style has been championed most publicly by the School of Journalism. Once implemented, Cartwright said, every student will have two “high-impact experiences” before they graduate. This gives students workplace experience and develops their leadership skills, he said.

“We are a university where tomorrow’s leaders are educated — no matter what discipline you study,” Cartwright said.

In spring 2019, MU plans to launch a leadership survey course, giving 200 students the chance to work with companies such as Google, Facebook and Adobe, Cartwright said.

In the next year, he said, he wants to continue to develop the Extension and Translational Precision Medicine Complex initiatives while gaining a better understanding of the MU community.

Supervising editor is Elizabeth Brixey:, 882-2632.

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