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A message from the Provost:
Welcome to a new academic year. I’m pleased to salute our returning faculty, back for another rewarding year at UMSL, and to welcome each of our new faculty members to the campus.
Although this academic year begins with a remembrance of events in Ferguson a year ago, we begin the new academic year with hopes for continued progress toward a more unified metropolitan area in which we continue to care for each other. UMSL will open on time this fall, with classes and activities as planned.
You have probably noticed that part of Grobman Drive has been resurfaced next to the new Recreation and Wellness Center that is now open. Please join your student, faculty, and staff colleagues in enjoying the facility, and watch for the official ribbon cutting in September. The upgrades to Natural Bridge Road are continuing, so please allow a little extra time for traffic near campus while the road beautification work is being completed.
The Science Learning Building construction is well underway and will open for classes in 2016. A little farther east on Natural Bridge the Optometry Patient Care Clinic is under construction and also expected to open in 2016. The College of Education’s new ED Collabitat in the Ward E. Barnes Building is almost finished, with a grand opening scheduled for September 30. Construction of the new building for the College of Business Administration will begin soon, with a ground breaking scheduled for October 29.
A few organizational changes are underway this fall as a result of the recommendations in the Budget Realignment Task Force report in fall 2014. The School of Professional and Continuing Studies has been decentralized as of July 1, 2015. Continuing education and professional development activities will now be done through colleges and units directly. Scheduling for use of space in the J.C. Penney Building is now consolidated with MSC scheduling for your convenience. The College of Fine Arts and Communication will merge with the College of Arts and Sciences on January 1, 2016. Planning for the merger will continue in fall 2015. The Office of Research Administration and the Graduate School will merge January 1, 2016. An internal search for an Interim Vice Provost for Graduate Studies and Research will be conducted in early fall, to assume this position on January 1. A new School of Public Policy and Administration was created on July 1, 2015, with Mark Tranel as Interim Dean. Components of the School include the MPPA Program, the Public Policy Research Center, the Sue Shear Institute for Women in Public Life, the Center for Ethics in Public Life, and the Center for Excellence in Financial Counseling. A search for a new, permanent dean is underway this fall.
As we begin another academic year, it’s important to pause and reflect on the many good things that are happening on campus and in our community. Thanks for being part of our wonderful campus. With your help, we’ll have another great year.
Best wishes for a wonderful year in 2015-16.