September 6, 2019 - Monthly Message to the UMSL Community

Dear UMSL Community,

As my first week as your new interim chancellor comes to a close, I write to you today with the intention of beginning a new tradition – monthly communications to share current progress and accomplishments as well as other important information about our campus and community. We have so much to be proud of here at UMSL, and I’m truly honored to have the chance to champion the many positive things I see happening every day. In keeping with the six core values in our Strategic Plan, I also fully intend to provide truth and transparency about any issues or concerns that may come our way. My promise to you is that – while of course there will be challenges – we’ll face them together.

I encourage you to please take the time at the beginning of each month to engage with these messages in order to get to know me, each other – and most importantly – to be reminded of the reason we’re all here: to bolster the success of our students, alumni and the St. Louis region as a whole.

Gratefully forward, 

Kristin Sobolik
Interim Chancellor and Provost




Notes of Note

Welcome Students: It's been an exciting start to the fall semester as we welcomed more than 15,000 new and returning students to campus across our undergraduate, graduate, professional and advanced credit programs. We are all proud that the incoming class of first-time, full-time freshmen set two new academic records with an average ACT of 24.25 and collective GPA of 3.45.

State of The University Address: Please join me at 3 p.m., September 19, in the Touhill Performing Arts Center for an annual update on the state of our university, as well as an awards program recognizing faculty, staff and other important members of our UMSL community.

Student Success: A recent study published in the New York Times found that UMSL’s six-year graduation rate is 5 percentage points higher than would be expected given the rates of other institutions with similar student body characteristics. This is a testament to the drive our students have to succeed in and out of the classroom, the commitment our faculty and staff show in supporting their goals, and a positive reflection on campus-wide efforts to foster an inclusive, academically supportive environment. We should all be #UMSLProud.

28th Annual Founders Dinner: Our annual Founders Dinner will be held at the Ritz-Carlton in Clayton on October 10 at 6:30 p.m. Join us as we recognize esteemed alumni, honor our invaluable philanthropic supporters and celebrate the UMSL community at large. We will also introduce an exciting scholarship initiative focused on affordability and accessibility for our students.

Merit Increases: For the third year in a row, employee merit increases were awarded across the campus that go into effect this month. UMSL is the only campus in the UM System to accomplish this, despite the difficult budget issues we’ve faced in recent years. We do so in an ongoing effort to increase and further equity and retention, and to recognize the important work of our faculty and staff.

SEP Launch: This week we launched a campus wide Strategic Enrollment Planning (SEP) process with RNL to yield a 3-5 year plan that will foster long-term enrollment and fiscal health at our university. This 10-12 month process involves stakeholders from across the university and takes a holistic, data-informed and action-focused approach to enrollment management.

 

Headlines from UMSL Daily

UMSL wins bragging rights in first College Transit Challenge
UMSL students show off their school pride and colors while riding MetroLink during the College Transit Challenge kickoff event at the Grand station.

 

Meet UMSL’s newest faculty members
UMSL’s 29 new faculty members aim to educate, discover and challenge tradition while transforming lives.

 

New Video Explores UMSL's Honors College
As the Honors College celebrates its 30th anniversary, a new video highlights the ways it enhances the UMSL experience for its students.

 

UM System’s $20.5M research investment
New investment supports 19 innovative research projects across the system’s four universities to advance the NextGen Precision Health Initiative.