The crossroads Our campus has a proud tradition of equipping our students with a practical, applied education. It’s a tradition that began with our founding as a land grant institution — a response to the westward expansion fueled by the Industrial Revolution.
Over the century that followed, Missouri S&T became a full-fledged research university, coming of age — as many research campuses did — during the height of the U.S.-Soviet “Space Race.” Though research became more prominent on campus, the university remained true to its land-grant roots. Today, Missouri S&T continues to evolve, advancing the fields of engineering, science and technology. But it does so in the face of economic uncertainty.
This economic uncertainty means a shift in funding — which in turn redefines S&T’s role as a research university. Last year, for the first time in its history, Missouri S&T received the majority of its research funding from private sources.
As the private sector looks to universities like Missouri S&T to solve real-world problems, we’re also partnering with private interests to support our research goals. This shift allows S&T to continue to push the envelope of innovation. But it also raises questions: Who ultimately benefits from this research? And at what cost?
These are questions our cover story, “Redefining research,” attempts to answer.
One thing is certain: The need for university research will not go away any time soon. It is what fueled innovation in the past — from the Space Race forward — and it will continue to fuel it in the future.
– Megan Kean-O’Brien, MS TComm’12, design and production editor