March 13, 2016

Dear Friends of the College of Arts, Sciences, and Business

Spring is drawing near, and the lawn outside of Fulton Hall (which houses the college's office) is now the site of a raucous daily event marked by students crushing rubber snakes with enormous, elaborately decorated shillelaghs. With every crash of the shillelaghs, students chant, the ground shakes and actual living snakes throughout Rolla give thanks that they are deep underground. Of course this tradition signals the approach of the annual S&T St. Pat's celebration, a time when the entire S&T family comes together to celebrate the experiences, friendships and opportunities that have resulted from our connection to this wonderful university. If you are visiting campus during the St. Pat's celebration, I hope you will come visit us in the college office, so you can learn more about our activities and responsibilities at S&T, and we can learn how to better serve you.

Now in its second year of existence, the college has made tremendous progress in serving its students, faculty, alumni and external partners with whom we collaborate on research, teaching and employment of our students. This year, the college developed a strategic plan focused on three primary missions: (1) growing and diversifying our academic and research programs; (2) transforming the student experience both within and outside of the classroom; and (3) elevating the impact of faculty involvement in their teaching, research, service and outreach. The ongoing and upcoming actions within the strategic plan include a variety of programs supporting research, experiential learning, leadership development and curricular improvement. I've shared some of these programs in past letters, and the newest developments include support for faculty to participate in national conferences on pedagogy and a partnership with student affairs to develop two new theme-based residential communities, one called Entrepreneurship and Innovation and one called Global Awareness, which are already accepting students for Fall 2016. The college has also seated the founding members of the Dean's Leadership Council, a group that will help us advance our mission through advocacy and engagement with diverse external constituents. For our students, the college recently hosted a panel discussion titled "Women in Industry" featuring guests from the Boeing Company. In addition, Dr. Bonnie Bachman, professor of economics, just received a prestigious National Science Foundation grant, "I-Corps Sites: Journey to Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Missouri S&T," which will create many exciting opportunities for student entrepreneurs and innovators.

Early spring is also the peak season for recruiting new students and faculty, and the college anticipates continued great success in this endeavor. We have partnered with the enrollment management and provost's offices to establish undergraduate scholarships specifically for students entering majors within the college. These scholarships, combined with the recruiting efforts of enrollment management and our faculty, have been so successful that the relative growth of admission into the college's majors has significantly outpaced that of the university overall. Faculty searches are ongoing in the departments of biological sciences, mathematics and statistics, psychological science, English and technical communication, and business and information technology. The college may also see new faculty hires in S&T's Smart Living signature area, which focuses on sustainable, adaptive networks that connect transportation, health care, workplace environments, residential life, human-computer interfaces and information security.

Anchoring our entire enterprise is the scholarship, teaching and service of our world-renowned professors, which include 40 percent of S&T's total faculty and exactly half of S&T's 24 Curators' Professors and Curators' Teaching Professors. The college's newest member of this elite group of scholar-educators is Dr. Diana Ahmad of the department of history and political science. Not only was Dr. Ahmad named Curators' Teaching Professor of History this year, but she also received the 2016 Governor's Award for Excellence in Education. To cap off these honors, Dr. Ahmad's newest book, Success Depends on the Animals: Emigrants, Livestock, and Wild Animals on the Overland Trails, 1840-1869, has just been released by the University of Nevada Press. Dr. Ahmad represents the college faculty's deep commitment to extending the boundaries of knowledge and to inspiring students in the classroom and beyond.

The continued success of the college would be impossible without the dedicated service and assistance of its students, faculty, staff, alumni, research collaborators and corporate partners. I'm honored and humbled to have the great fortune of working with these talented groups to promote the goals of the college, and I anticipate our continued collective success throughout the academic year and into the future.

I look forward to welcoming you back home to Rolla for the St. Pat's celebration in just a few days.

With warmest regards,

Stephen Roberts
Vice Provost and Dean
College of Arts, Sciences, and Business


Missouri University of Science and Technology
1870 Miner Circle, Rolla, MO 65409 | 573-341-4111 | 1-800-522-0938