university of missouri | KBIA

university of missouri

Jesse Hall on a cloudy day.
Nathan Lawrence / KBIA

The University of Missouri is requiring certain students to take a COVID-19 test ahead of the 2021 spring semester.

Testing will be mandatory for approximately 6,300 undergraduate students living in university sponsored or owned housing.

Spokesperson Christian Basi says the goal is to prevent the spread of the disease but also to glean information that could inform safety protocols.

The Missouri Department of Agriculture is sending more than $425,000 in federal grant money to thirteen projects across the state.

The money comes from the USDA Specialty Crop Block Grants, which are grants that specialize in strengthening the state’s specialty crops. Specialty crops are “fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, horticulture and nursery crops, including floriculture”, according to the Department of Agriculture Grant Manager Liz Roberts.

MU Recieves a $1.35 Million Grant for EITC Research

Oct 28, 2020

University of Missouri Extension received a grant of $1.35 million dollars to bring awareness to the federal earned income tax credit – known as EITC.

The grant was provided by the U.S. department of Health and Human Services for a three-year project. MU Extension has offices throughout the state and they plan to use some of those offices, in specific areas, to work with community leaders and raise awareness about EITC.

More students enrolled at the University of Missouri this fall than last year. The university announced recently that enrollment grew by more than 3 percent, despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

The numbers defy a national trend.

The coronavirus pandemic has hit businesses all over the country hard, and universities are no exception, with most seeing their enrollment numbers go down. According to the National Student Clearing House, a nonprofit that analyzes educational data, enrollment at universities across the country has fallen by 2.5 percent this fall.

For MU, that’s not the case. The university’s enrollment for the 2020 fall semester increased by 3.5 percent. That means more 1,000 new students.

Christian Basi, a spokesperson for the university, says the numbers feel like an endorsement to the university that students want to be there.

“We feel like we’ve proven ourselves in the community that we have been able to open and open safely and have in-person classes and a combination of those,” Basi said.

International student enrollment did suffer a decline this semester. MU had 1,634 international students enrolled during the 2019 fall semester. This semester, it only enrolled 1,319 internationals. Basi says the university believes international travel restrictions stemming from the coronavirus pandemic explain this decline.

The university also announced record highs for student graduation and retention rates. Almost 90 percent of freshmen returned for their sophomore year, and 73 percent of students graduated within six years.

“At the end of the day, we’re doing everything we can to give students the resources and the support they need to not just graduate, but to graduate with a meaningful education that has prepared them for success long after they have left MU,” said Jim Spain, MU’s vice provost for undergraduate studies.

The university has not yet announced its plans for the 2021 spring semester, but Basi says that that announcement will likely make come later this month.

The University of Missouri says it has disciplined an additional 20 current or former students with suspensions, probation and other sanctions for what it called “egregious violations” of policies meant to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 on campus. The university said in a news release Friday all of these violations were related to hosting gatherings of more than 20 people. The latest moves comes on top of actions taken earlier this month that expelled or suspended five students for violations of safety policies amid coronavirus pandemic.

MU Students Face Repercussions For COVID Violations

Sep 16, 2020

The University of Missouri has expelled two students and suspended three others for violating the university’s coronavirus safety policies. The university said these students were held accountable for “willful and knowing actions that threatened the safety of [the] campus and community” in a press release sent Tuesday. It also mentioned that 11 student organizations are currently under investigation for similar violations.

MU Instates New Mask Guidelines

Sep 8, 2020
Olivia Moses

MU is instituting new face covering guidelines today that will require students to wear masks at all times when on campus.

Before the change, students were only required to wear face coverings indoors. However, masks were not required for students if they were outdoors and remainied six feet apart from others.


History is not written in stone. The way we view our history and its stories evolves alongside the evolution of our culture and values. Our legacies are shaped by our historians, teachers and students with each new generation.

MU Committee To Review Programs For Possible Restructuring, Discontinuing

May 8, 2020
Sara Shahriari / KBIA

A committee has been formed to recommend which MU programs should be “modified, consolidated, suspended or discontinued,” according to a campus email Thursday from MU Provost Latha Ramchand.

Creation of the Program Audit and Restructuring Committee is another response to MU’s budgetary challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Other responses include layoffs, pay cuts and a hiring freeze.

UM System Offers Voluntary Pay Cuts To Employees

Apr 29, 2020
Nathan Lawrence / KBIA

The University of Missouri is allowing faculty and staff to take temporary pay reductions to help the University tackle recent budget cuts. The move comes in response to faculty and staff who asked how they could donate a portion of their pay to help the University avoid cuts.

University Spokesperson Christian Basi said that participation is entirely voluntary. Basi said the program may help the University avoid or reduce the need for budget cuts, but that the University is not asking employees participate.

Steven Zweig Named Dean of MU School of Medicine

Apr 23, 2020
Nathan Lawrence / KBIA

Steven Zweig was announced as dean of the MU School of Medicine on Thursday morning. His appointment was made effective April 1 following a year of service as interim dean.

Silhouette of a mosquito seen through a microscope
Felipe Dana / AP

At first, it just seemed like an odd story to pursue during a quiet post-Christmas week in the newsroom in 2015. But New York Times reporter Donald G. McNeil Jr.'s interest in what would become the Zika epidemic has made him something of  an expert on viral outbreaks.

After his work on Zika, the virus that ravaged newborns in the tropics, McNeil now finds himself covering the even more deadly coronavirus that is causing COVID-19. In this episode, he gives a reporter's view of the ethics of covering a pandemic while a public health official, the University of Missouri's Lynelle Phillips, offers a different perspective.

University Plans to Prepare For Student and Staff Return

Apr 22, 2020
Sara Shahriari / KBIA

The University of Missouri announced that it is planning to resume in-person classes in the fall for its Columbia campus. 

The University says it is working with public health officials and their own health care experts in developing systems to protect students and staff when they return. Faculty and staff will return in phases as the pandemic begins to decline.

Nathan Lawrence / KBIA

The University of Missouri System will be out $36.5 million for the rest of the current fiscal year as part of a series of spending cuts Governor Mike Parson announced Wednesday. In a statement, UM System President Mun Choi said, "we must all work together to get past this crisis."

Kinder Institute Gives $10 Million Gift to MU

Nov 13, 2019
MU columns.
Sara Shahriari / KBIA

The University of Missouri has received a $10 million gift from the Kinder Foundation, which will be used to support two new degrees programs.

The university announced Tuesday it will offer a bachelor's degree in constitutional democracy and a master's degree in Atlantic history and politics. The gift will support expanding faculty and staff for the new degrees.

Rich and Nancy Kinder of Houston, Texas, formed the Kinder Foundation in 1997. Rich Kinder, a Cape Girardeau native, under bachelor's and law degrees at Missouri in the 1960s.

Missouri rural communities, health care, and student success were at the forefront of University of Missouri chancellor Alexander Cartwright’s State of the University speech this morning.

Cartwright emphasized the school’s students and faculty who help the university but also have a greater impact on the community and state.

MU, Community Colleges Offer Transfer Partnership

Oct 7, 2019
The six independently standing columns in front of Jesse Hall serve as a major landmark at the University of Missouri.
Sara Shahriari / KBIA

The University of Missouri will guarantee admission to students from the state's community colleges if they meet certain requirements.

The university and the Missouri Community College Association announced Friday they have signed an agreement intended to encourage community college students to transfer to the university.

MU columns.
Sara Shahriari / KBIA

University of Missouri alumnus Jim Pace announced a $1.5 million donation Friday to help the university’s business operations.

Pace, a descendant of one of Mizzou’s founding families, donated because he knows the university is under increasing financial pressures, and keeping college affordable is important to him.

Beer and wine will be sold at home football games for the Missouri Tigers for the first time Saturday. The Columbia Missourian reports that the taps are opening after the Southeastern Conference made a policy change this spring giving programs the option to sell alcohol in their stadiums. 

University of Missouri columns
Ryan Famuliner / KBIA

The University of Missouri is seeing an uptick in enrollment this fall for the first time since 2015, when hundreds of students protested what they described as rampant racism on the Columbia campus.

Transfer students are largely responsible for the 1% increase in enrollment to 29,677. Meanwhile, enrollment for first-time freshmen increased by about 16%.

The League of Women Voters wants to see you at their next 'Lunch and Learn'! This month the featured speaker will be Columbia interim police chief Jeff Jones. Plus, mark your calendar for Wednesday, June 12 - that's the date of their annual fundraiser at Columbia Entertainment Company! Guest: MARILYN McLEOD | Also, it's heartworm season. CB CHASTAIN from MU's Veterinary Health Center shares tips on what you can to do prevent infection or what to do if your pet is already showing symptoms. (4:17) May 15, 2019

Freshmen Enrollment Expected to Increase, MU announces

May 2, 2019

MU announced Thursday that freshmen student enrollment is expected to increase in fall 2019.

The numbers have not been finalized, but so far 5,460 students have paid enrollment deposits for the fall, according to an MU news release. That's about a 15 percent increase over the fall 2018 class, which had 4,696 students, according to the release.

MU to Get New, $30 Million Nursing School Building

Apr 11, 2019

The University of Missouri Board of Curators have approved a $30 million plan to replace the Sinclair School of Nursing building on MU’s campus.

"(Sinclair School of Nursing) Dean Thompson explained how the new building will help recruit and retain students," said Curator Julia Brncic, chair of the finance committee.

Nathan Lawrence / KBIA

Proposition B, otherwise known as Raise Up Missouri, was certified on November 6, 2018. The ballot initiative changed Missouri’s minimum wage from $7.85 to $8.60, and it is set to increase gradually each year until it reaches $12 in 2023.

Nathan Lawrence / KBIA

The University of Missouri is planning to raise the cost of food and housing at three campuses beginning next school year.

University system officials approved the rate hikes for its Kansas City, St. Louis and Rolla campuses on Monday, the Kansas City Star reported.

The Columbia campus will be the only one with declining costs since officials approved a plan to lower room and board rates by 1.8 percent in November to help manage a dip in enrollment over the last four years.

Photo Courtesy of Bram Sable-Smith

How does news from around the globe get delivered to you?

On this week's special edition of Global Journalist, a team of Missouri School of Journalism reporters and professionals pull back the curtain on the high-tech process behind the recent live coverage from Stockholm, Sweden of MU Professor Emeritus George Smith's Nobel Prize in Chemistry.

Student reporters Meg Cunningham and Savannah Rudicel, as well as KBIA's Nathan Lawrence and Ryan Famuliner, brought the story home for the mid-Missouri audience served by the Columbia Missourian KBIA 91.3 FM and KOMU-8 News.  

The University of Missouri is taking video gaming to the next level.

KMIZ-TV reports that the school became a member Tuesday of the National Association of Collegiate Esports, which is the largest college-level competitive gaming scene in the country.

MU School of Law Library, Lloyd Gaines digital collection

No one knows what happened to Lloyd Lionel Gaines. He was last seen in Chicago on March 19, 1939.

Three months before he went missing, on Dec. 12, 1938, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in his favor in a case against the University of Missouri School of Law. The court said the school violated the constitution when it rejected Gaines' application because he was black.

Wednesday marks the 80th anniversary of the ruling. 

Experts say his case could have done what Brown v.  Board of Education did in 1954, and it would have been done 15 years earlier.

National Science Foundation Awards MU $5.2 Million Grant

Oct 19, 2018
Columns at University of Missouri
Adam Procter / Flickr

The National Science Foundation has awarded the University of Missouri a $5.2 million grant to establish the Advancing Research and its Impact on Society center, or ARIS center.

NSF spokesperson Rob Margetta said the intent of funding the ARIS center is to advance public knowledge of scientific research in order to create a well-informed citizenry and to keep the U.S. at the top of the worldwide innovation chain. The foundation funds projects that reach beyond the institution into the local communities and advances development in science, technology, engineering and math.

Mitch Legan / KBIA

If you’ve visited downtown Columbia recently, you’ve probably seen them.

They’re big and they’re grey, with a white stripe down the front. And they’re not very fast – when they’re really flying, they top out at about 15 mph.

They’re Bird scooters, and they’re popping up in college towns across the U.S.


The electric rental scooters have been in town for the past three weeks after the company Bird Rides chose Columbia to be part of its “University Pop-Up Tour.”