The University Of Missouri System Board Of Curators is emphasizing science education and research as a top priority for 2014. The board discussed a proposal for $51 million to help boost the number of students educated in STEM fields – that’s Science, Technology, Engineering and Math – by investing in facilities, infrastructure and top-of-the-line equipment.
Indeed, buildings across all four UM campuses need a total of $1.3 billion in renovations. UM System President Tim Wolfe says the curators will first focus on securing $194 million in funding to renovate some of the more dire, science buildings.
“The state [has a] high dependency on the University of Missouri’s system four campuses to produce STEM graduates and we’re not producing enough right now," Wolfe says. "And one of the bottle necks is that lab space and classroom space to have that high quality STEM education.”
Priority buildings include the College of Engineering’s Lafferre Hall in Columbia which needs a $56 million fix-up, and Benton and Stadler Hall in St. Louis which is a $63 million project.
Earlier this week, the board voted to freeze tuition for the next year and to hire outside counsel to examine the university’s handling of swimmer Sasha Menu Courey’s alleged sexual assault and her struggle with mental health issues before her suicide.