UM President will launch new strategic plan in fall 1

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COLUMBIA - UM System President Mun Choi shared his plans with the Columbia Chamber of Commerce Tuesday about how to move the university forward.

Choi said the Board of Curators is going to implement a new strategic plan in fall semester, including investing in faculty research and scholarship; investing in student success and outcomes; investing in programs that promote inclusive diversity and an educational pipeline to place the highest emphasis on excellence and make the university stronger. 

"We need necessary support services and infrastructure as well as facilities, as well as equipment for our faculty members to be successful," Choi said. "And going forward, those are the areas that we're gonna be focusing on."

Choi said, according to a survey during past 10 years, the undergrad resident tuition at the University of Missouri has increased just 2 percent and the board wants to increase tuition while maintaining access and affordability.

Choi said the graduation rate is more important than the tuition fee, and the goal for the new plan is to increase retention and the graduation rate.

"We can graduate our students in four years at a very high rate, that's much better than providing a lower tuition," Choi said.

Creating a inclusive and diverse environment for students and faculty is very important, he said.

"That starts with not only hiring faculty staff and administrators from diverse groups, but also working hard to create a pipeline program."

Choi said going forward, the board needs to grow resources to make the university of Missouri system stronger. He said increasing enrollment is a main focus.

"We should also look at more out-of-state and more international students who are paying a higher tuition," he said. "We also need to find ways to work with individual donors and corporations to grow the type of infrastructure support, scholarship and professor research support.

Columbia Chamber of Commerce President Matt Mccormick said the chamber is excited to hear Choi's plan.

"You know, as the community, we need the university, and the university needs the community,"Mccormick said. "The university is our number one academic driver, so we're always very supportive of the university, making sure that we're doing our part from the business side with our community to help the university move forward."

Choi said, while facing a significant fiscal challenges with the cut from the state, the board will make decisions soon for fiscal year 2018. 

"It takes some times, but we're gonna get there," Choi said.