MU chancellor provides first year progress report

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COLUMBIA - MU Chancellor Alexander Cartwright addressed the public Wednesday at the MU Student Center a year after he took on the role.

In his speech, Cartwright addressed the progress the university has made in the past 12 months.

"We are seeing the highest student retention rate in MU's history. Our residence halls are almost at full capacity, with 29 percent more returning students living on campus," Cartwright said. "I can sense a difference in just the feel around the campus, in the pride we have for this campus and the love that our students, faculty and staff have for this campus." 

Cartwright took time to thank the more than 12,000 faculty and staff on campus. 

"Without our faculty and staff, we wouldn't be seeing a more than 13 percent increase in first-time students this fall.

The chancellor also announced a handful of new initiatives that will take place in the coming months and year, including a 24/7 response system that can answer questions about financial aid and new student programs, as well as a new application system. 

"Starting October 1, high achieving potential students can expect a 48-hour, two business-day turnaround on application decisions," Cartwright said.

Cartwright also announced a new Office of Extension and Engagement that will open in 2019.

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

Cartwright concluded with something that has been a theme for him during his tenure at MU.

"I've said since I arrived here last August that we are the University for Missouri. We are institution where people meet possibilities."