Updated April 21, 2020, 4:20 p.m.

Is the NextGen project moving forward and if so, why, given the circumstances we find ourselves?

The NextGen Precision Health Initiative and Institute have been a priority for Mizzou and the UM System for the past five to six years and will continue. As a part of the Association of American Universities (AAU), Mizzou is recognized as one of the top 65 research universities. Many faculty members came to Mizzou because of the important AAU status. Research and creative works that impact society are what sustains this flagship, public, research university. NextGen aligns expertise across all 13 schools and colleges and engages many of the university’s external partners for the benefit of health throughout our state and around the world, as well as an economic driver for our university and our state.

How can we assure that we don’t make short-term decisions for our research-intensive residential university that impact our longer-term health and institutional stature? 

Research is an essential mission for the university, and it distinguishes MU from other teaching universities around the country.  The work of many faculty members is internationally recognized. While the NexGen Precision Health Institute represents the university’s most important research investment, it’s not the only program the university will continue to invest in to strengthen Mizzou’s position as a research institution.

Given that health and research data are so important right now, are there plans to ensure that resources/departments for health information and scientific research are not laid off? 

University leaders will work with unit leaders to review which activities support the institution’s four critical missions of teaching, research, service and economic development before making final decisions.

It was announced that there is a newly created Associate Vice Chancellor position in the Office of Research. Is this a position that’s truly needed when other people are taking pay cuts, budgets are being cut, staff are being prepped for layoffs or furloughs, and there’s a freeze on a lot of our spending?

Yes, this position supports the university’s research mission. Also, this position will be filled by an outstanding faculty member already working at the university, so it comes with minimal cost. During periods like this, the university needs to focus on its values and continue and support the public research profile.