By Jeff Murphy, August 28, 2020
WARRENSBURG, MO – University of Central Missouri President Roger J. Best on Aug. 27 presented his third State of the University address since assuming his post. He delivered his speech via live steaming video while speaking from a podium at the recently completed auditorium in the renovated Elliott Student Union. His speech followed a video that highlighted scenes from the fall student move-in, the Kickoff Experience, and Week of Welcome.
"As I've said to you before, I believe one of our comparative advantages is how we welcome and treat our students. Each year, so many of you volunteer to create this atmosphere for our newest students," Best said. "Besides our move-in volunteers, staff from Housing, Student Activities, Meetings and Conference Services, and so many others create an engaged environment which starts our students on the right track. Thank you for making UCM 'home' for our students!"
As he has done in his first two State of the University addresses, Best provided a look back at the last year, including updating the campus community on the priorities that were identified during that academic year.
"We must look beyond the short-term and consider our work in future years to ensure we prepare this year for what comes next," he said.
Best's remarks included 13 major initiatives which he had shared at a general faculty meeting in February that would require considerable effort over the subsequent 18 months. He updated the campus community on work accomplished related to these initiatives, and he also outlined 2020-2021 priorities: Budget Planning, COVID-19 Response, Inclusion and Diversity.
Best's presentation included a video highlighting many positive accomplishments made by UCM's faculty, staff and students in what he called a "great year, in spite of COVID-19."