Dear Mizzou alumni and supporters,

During the past few months, our Tiger community has remained strong in the face of unprecedented challenges. We’ve made many tough decisions, and through it all our alumni have offered their feedback, expertise and support. Your unfailing commitment has helped us safeguard Mizzou’s vital mission.

Since March, I’ve been proud to serve as the Interim Chancellor while we navigated these pressing changes. I’ve seen firsthand the incredible talent of our Mizzou community, and I am now more confident than ever in the power of our people to improve lives and make the world a better place.

I am wholly committed to this great university, which is why I am honored that last week the Board of Curators voted to align the UM System and MU leadership structure and appoint me to a new, dual role as chancellor of Mizzou and president of the UM System.

Since I arrived in Columbia in 2017, we have worked together to enhance our public, land-grant, AAU research university by strengthening our core missions in student success, research and creative discovery, engagement and inclusive excellence. To mention a few of the many remarkable strides Mizzou has taken recently, we have:

  • Made transformations in the perception of the value of the University of Missouri among legislators and Missourians.

  • Created a stronger and financially viable university to meet the upcoming challenges.

  • Surpassed our $1.3 billion goal in the Mizzou: Our Time to Lead campaign.

  • Celebrated three consecutive years of substantial enrollment growth and reached new heights with the highest graduation rate in our history.

  • Invested in comprehensive student success initiatives including new need-based and merit scholarships for talented students and enhanced bridge, advising and engagement programs.

  • Made strategic investments in the NextGen Precision Health Institute (the first new research building at Mizzou since 2004), with core investments in electron microscopy, big data analytics and comparative medicine, to name a few areas.

  • Planned strategic investments for proposals submitted for the Arts, Humanities, Social and Behavioral Sciences Tier 3 competition.

  • Become one of the first universities to adopt the Chicago Principles of Freedom of Expression. Earlier this year, a new taskforce on Intellectual Pluralism and Freedom of Expression was established to engage our constituents in civil discourse on wide-ranging and complex topics.

  • Made significant progress towards inclusion and diversity goals:

  • Underrepresented minority tenured/tenure-track faculty increased by 26%.

  • Black/African-American tenured/tenure-track faculty increased by 20%.

  • In 2020, the percentage (7.7%) of Black/African-American undergraduate students at MU ranked as the highest among all 11 Midwest flagship universities.

  • Hired outstanding coaches who will boost pride and the winning traditions at Mizzou Athletics.

The decision to form a new leadership structure for the UM System is the result of meetings between the Board and nearly 300 constituents and groups who represent the MU campus, the UM System universities and the broader community. It takes into account how Mizzou will be best suited to make timely strategic decisions to achieve excellence as an AAU institution and to leverage meaningful educational and research partnerships with sister institutions in the UM System.

As we embark on a new semester and the next chapter in Mizzou’s history, I am proud to be a part of the traditions that make Mizzou special. I am excited to continue being a member of such a vibrant, hard-working and talented community of Mizzou students, faculty, staff, health care professionals, alumni and supporters.

I wish you well, and thank you for your enduring support of the University of Missouri.

Sincerely,

Mun Y. Choi, Ph.D.

President, UM System

Chancellor, MU