To maintain its reputation as one of the top research universities in the Midwest, Missouri University of Science and Technology plans to add 100 new faculty positions over the next seven years.
"For the first time in our history, we have surged to 8,000 students, and that is nearly a 6 percent growth from last year," said Missouri S&T Chancellor Cheryl B. Schrader in her State of the University Address Monday to a full house of professors, administrators and students at Leach Theatre in Castleman Hall.
"If Missouri S&T is to retain its reputation for renowned faculty who are also accessible, we must invest in our faculty," she said.
The chancellor noted that the addition of faculty is one of a number of strategic plans to move the university forward toward 2020. That year will mark the school's 150th anniversary as a university.
The faculty hiring plan is one of three strategic initiatives slated to receive more than $3.2 million in strategic funding from the UM System. The funding was announced Aug. 30 by UM System President Timothy Wolfe.
Through the UM System process, Missouri S&T will receive $2.57 million annually to fund 22 of the new faculty positions plus support staff for recruiting and hiring.
Schrader explained that the investment will be matched by $1.26 million from S&T to hire 11 of the new faculty positions plus $1 million for startup packages "to recruit the best possible people for these positions."
In addition to new faculty, the campus will also hire into vacant faculty positions in best-in-class areas, and recognize department and unit achievements that support the strategic plan.
S&T will also receive $500,000 in one-time state funds to improve instructional labs and $132,000 in one-time state funds to redesign three calculus courses to improve student success.
Funding for the lab renovations will be matched by $500,000 in private gifts or grants. S&T will also invest $66,000 in one-time funds for the calculus course redesign.
All aspects of this hiring initiative are part of the university's strategic plan according to Schrader. Missouri S&T's strategic planning began in July 2012 and has involved thousands of students, faculty, staff, alumni, employers and research partners.
"Thanks to the input of many people in this room, we now have a strategic plan that has been ratified by the UM System Board of Curators and will serve as our compass as we move forward," Schrader concluded. "Given the challenges we face as a university, it is imperative that every dollar we spend, every hire and every decision is a strategic one. We don't have the luxury of doing it any other way."