University of Missouri-Columbia ups nine-year fund-raising goal to $1 billion

Monday, September 19, 2005

COLUMBIA, Mo. -- The University of Missouri-Columbia is extending its "For All We Call Mizzou" fund-raising campaign from six years to nine and raising the goal to $1 billion.

In its first six years, the drive -- which started privately in 1999 and went public in 2003 -- has brought in more than $600 million. The extension was announced Friday.

"Our aspirations are to be the very best," chancellor Brady Deaton said, "and we want to use those resources both for faculty, for program support, for scholarships to ensure that we get there."

Deaton said the school, which wants to become what he called a "destination university," would develop a strategic plan for spending the money. As part of that plan, the university will put together profiles of each of its departments.

The chancellor said he hoped those profiles would be done in time for the 2006 meeting of the campaign steering committee.

"We need to know exactly what we're going to be doing to achieve the most effective development of this university in a balanced way to be that destination university -- one that is truly prepared to explore the next frontier of knowledge in every respect," Deaton said.

One area sure to get attention: faculty salaries.

"We're slipping far below where we'd like to be right now," Deaton said. "We have eroded our salary base due to the budget circumstances we've faced over the last few years."

The $600 million initial goal was reached several months ahead of schedule, with the help of two alumni contributions announced Friday.

Dr. Russell Shelden, a retired anesthesiologist from Kansas City, and his wife, Mary, donated $2.3 million to the School of Medicine.

The money will fund Russell D. and Mary B. Shelden Clinical Simulation Center, where students will use electronically controlled mannequins for practice in performing medical procedures.

George Ashley, of Dallas, donated $1 million to expand the collection at the School of Law's library.

"It's amazing the people that supported this campaign," said Bill Thompson Jr., a co-chairman of the steering committee. "We have momentum now, and we're not going to lose it."

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