Schrader takes the helm

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Chancellor Cheryl B. Schrader joins Missouri S&T on April 2, 2012. Photos by B.A. Rupert

Dr. Cheryl B. Schrader joined Missouri S&T on April 2, 2012, becoming the 21st leader in the institution’s history. She comes to S&T from Boise State University, where she was associate vice president for strategic research initiatives and previously served as dean of engineering. Recently, Schrader talked to us about her decision to accept the chancellor’s position, her priorities and the famous blue turf of the Boise State football field.

What inspired you to accept the chancellor’s position at Missouri S&T?
The global competitiveness, economic vitality and quality of life in this state and nation clearly depend upon institutions like Missouri S&T to step forward as leaders. In doing so, S&T not only has a legacy upon which to build, but it also has the potential and momentum to become truly world-class. Its uniqueness among institutions of higher education in Missouri, along with its renowned yet still growing expertise in the critical areas of energy, environment, manufacturing and infrastructure, create an opportunity and obligation to make a world of difference. To join this incredible team at this important juncture is the epitome to me of a dream job!

During the first few months of your tenure, what will be your top three priorities as chancellor?
Listening, observing and communicating. Every organization has a sense of place, and I need to fully understand Missouri S&T to be its best leader, ambassador and advocate. I want to hear what the myriad stakeholders envision for the future. I look forward to discovering all that this campus and community have to offer in terms of people, places and programs. As well, you will want to learn more about me. Establishing many and varied open lines of communication and trust is an essential priority in this effort. This will take some time, so I ask everyone to be patient in laying this positive foundation. My purpose is to realize the culture of the institution and its accomplishments, goals, capabilities and dreams so that we together can chart a bold course for Missouri S&T. And I just can’t wait to get started!

When you were introduced to the S&T community in January, you said you want to be associated with institutions that are moving forward. How do you think Missouri S&T fits that category of institutions moving forward?


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More and more, success within higher education’s new normal requires not only ability but also creativity and collaboration. What S&T has accomplished over the past decade in terms of academics, research and community engagement clearly reveals momentum. Changes in name and structure under the leadership of the former chancellor help prepare a move to the next level. The institution’s very values — tradition, collaboration, inclusiveness and excellence — speak to an accomplished, open and determined team. And the University of Missouri System under the leadership of its new president is poised to be recognized as the best investment for the people of this state. All these factors underscore a university with great promise and potential.

You are involved in a number of professional organizations, including IEEE and ABET. How has that professional involvement helped prepare you for university leadership?
To be sure, my participation in IEEE, ABET and other professional organizations has been invaluable to my growth as a leader and as a person. Involvement in professional organizations keeps me at the crux of knowledge and need, focuses me on the future, and centers me on student success. In addition to building skills and gaining experience, there are three key capacities important to highlight. The first is the close connection between universities and the industries and people they serve. The second is an appreciation of globalization and its impact on how we live and do business. And the third is the worldwide network of academicians, practitioners and others who form a strong team in tackling the world’s grand challenges.

What do you like to do in your (obviously limited) spare time?
I like to travel, read and learn, and am always curious. My family and I enjoy the outdoors and look forward to discovering the history, beauty and challenge of Missouri. We are also great sports enthusiasts and anticipate being the Miners’ biggest fans!

Your former institution, Boise State University, is known for the blue turf of its football field. Do you have any plans to change the color of S&T’s football field at Allgood-Bailey Stadium?
I’m glad you asked me about this, because the topic has been on my mind. There have been many opinions, suggestions and pleas made to me already on this subject and I have weighed them all very carefully. I studied the turf at Allgood-Bailey Stadium and the painted streets of Rolla. I experienced firsthand the window of opportunity opened to Boise State based on the color of its football field and observed the widespread recognition afforded Missouri S&T as a result of its recent St. Pat’s celebration and street painting. It is clear to me that the overwhelming color choice for S&T’s football field should be green. But perhaps what is not so obvious is that it not be grass, but shamrocks …

View this video of Chancellor Schrader discussing her appointment:

Interview by Andrew Careaga

Video by Terry Barner

Comments

  1. Evan Gray says

    Welcome Dr. Schrader!
    As an alum and former football player at S&T I very much appreciated your comments on supporting athletics! I think green field turf would look great at Allgood-Bailey. I wish you the best!
    Thanks,
    Evan Gray

  2. Dawn Hall says

    As a VU grad, I want to give you a special welcome to Rolla. My husband and I both graduated from there in 1985, so we actually were able to look you (and your husband) up in the yearbook 🙂
    Our son is currently a senior civil engineering student at S&T, and on the very successful baseball team. Hope to see you at a game this spring!
    Dawn Hall

  3. Welcome to S&T. Hope you will make it even better.

  4. Susan Opava says

    Cheryl, warm congratulations on your appointment as Chancellor. I wish you much success!
    Susan Opava
    Dean of Research and Graduate Programs
    Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo

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