August 20, 2013

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To those returning to campus after summer break or arriving for the first time, welcome to Missouri S&T!

Since I was named chancellor last year, it has been my honor to get to know members of Miner Nation far and wide — from our alumni scattered across the world to our newest students. Whether on the road or walking across campus, I have heard that you want the inside scoop on what's new on campus and what's on the horizon. I have listened. In the coming months, I will use this newsletter to highlight significant S&T news and share some of my reflections as the year progresses.

Just as important, I want to hear from you. As your chancellor, I depend on you — members of Miner Nation — to keep me in the loop on important issues. I also welcome your thoughts on what we're doing right and what we could improve. So please, don't hesitate to send me feedback by emailing me at You can get even more news by following me on Twitter @SandTChancellor.

Although many of you are getting settled back on campus, our team has been busy over the summer, working to ensure the vitality of Missouri S&T. We've made great strides with our Geothermal Energy Project as well as James E. Bertelsmeyer Hall — both of which should be complete next year. Over the summer, we hosted several summer camps and educational opportunities such as Project Lead the Way, a national effort to get more youth interested in studying engineering and science in college. Below you'll find some other news I'd like to share.

S&T leads partnership with industry in small modular reactor consortium
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Two of our important partners, Ameren and Westinghouse, are tapping into our expertise at Missouri S&T to conduct research that will benefit the nuclear energy industry. Ameren and Westinghouse are founding members of S&T's Small Modular Reactor Research and Education Consortium.

Led by Dr. Joseph P. Smith, the Wayne and Gayle Laufer Endowed Chair of Energy, the consortium will identify and develop transformational new technologies that support small modular nuclear reactors to improve energy security. Learn more ...

Closing the 'innovation deficit'
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Deeply concerned about major federal budget cuts to research and higher education at a time when other nations are steadily increasing investments in those areas, I joined 164 other university presidents and chancellors in calling on leaders in Washington to close what's being called the "innovation deficit."

In an open letter to President Obama and Congress, my fellow university leaders and I wrote that closing the innovation deficit — the widening gap between needed and actual investments in research and education — must be a national imperative. Investments in those areas lead to the types of innovation and new technologies that power the nation's economy, create jobs and reduce the budget deficit while ensuring the U.S. maintains its role as global leader.

University of Missouri System President Tim Wolfe, University of Missouri-Columbia Chancellor Brady Deaton, University of Missouri-Kansas City Chancellor Leo Morton and University of Missouri-St. Louis Chancellor Tom George joined me in signing the letter.

Rolla named one of country's 'brainiest cities'
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In a detailed analysis covering five cognitive areas, The Atlantic magazine identifies Rolla as the nation's 19th brainiest city — no doubt in part because of Missouri S&T. Rolla surpasses other Missouri metros known for their wits, such as St. Louis, Kansas City and Columbia.

According to the magazine, "In the knowledge age, 'smart' cities and metros have a considerable economic advantage," including a connection between knowledge and creative jobs, innovation, and economic growth.


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