UM System President Shares Vision with Chamber Members About How to Move MU Forward

University of Missouri System President Mun Choi joined a group hosted by the Columbia Chamber of Commerce at the Reynolds Alumni Center on Tuesday, March 21, 2017.

As part of the Chamber’s Lunch with a Leader Series, President Choi outlined his plans for the university system to about 100 Chamber members during the event.

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

President Choi is stepping into his new position amidst a time of significant challenge for the UM System. Following the release of Governor Greitens’ budget, the system is expecting severe budget cuts that top university system executives like President Choi will have to address over the coming months.

Following the release of the budget, the UM System Board of Curators has already taken steps to address these funding issues; including approving an increase in room and board fees for students across all four UM campuses. President Choi will be required to continue this process of adapting university operations to fit the changing budget. 

“It takes some time, but we’re going to get there,” Choi said of the adaptive plan for future funding. “If we are not performing at a level of excellence that we define, we’re going to evaluate whether or not that program will continue…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.”

The cuts to the state budget are only a portion of the obstacles President Choi faces as he begins his tenure. A report published by State Auditor Nicole Gallaway, citing concerns surrounding the compensation and incentive review process for university executives, prompted President Choi to terminate the existing incentive programs within the first weeks of his administration.

The University of Missouri is a critical element in supporting the growth of our community, and as such, the Chamber has identified supporting the university’s funding goals as a key priority.

“As a community, we need the university, and the university needs the community,” Matt Mccormick, Chamber President, said. “The university is our number one 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.”

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