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UMSL Chancellor Tom George Looks Back On 16 Years Of Leadership


The chancellor is the chief academic, administrative, and budgetary officer of the University of Missouri-St. Louis, and Tom George has held the post for the past 16 years. He is retiring Sept. 1.

On Thursday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Sarah Fenske talked with George about what he hopes to see in the university’s future.

“We’d like to increase enrollment by about 1,000 students,” he said. To do so, he said the university will work to recruit students “a bit more out of the area of St. Louis, looking at pockets where the disciplines are hot.” He mentioned cybersecurity as one such discipline.

George cited the university's improved financial footing as one of his biggest accomplishments, as well as new and improved buildings on campus.

“We’ve done a lot of capital construction over the last several years, about $150 million worth,” he said, including “a new optometry patient care center, a new business administration building, a new science complex, a new wellness recreation center, [and] fixing up natural bridge row, which cuts right through the center of campus.”

They also discussed how the university changed its focus after events in Ferguson five years ago and the major trends in higher education.

Hear their conversation:

The University of Missouri System Board of Curators owns the radio license of St. Louis Public Radio, and employees of the station are employed by the University of Missouri-St. Louis. The station is editorially independent.

St. Louis on the Air” brings you the stories of St. Louis and the people who live, work and create in our region. The show is hosted by Sarah Fenske and produced by Alex Heuer, Emily Woodbury, Evie Hemphill, Lara Hamdan and Alexis Moore. The engineer is Aaron Doerr and production assistance is provided by Charlie McDonald.

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Emily is the senior producer for "St. Louis on the Air" at St. Louis Public Radio.