Nov. 20 Letter to Mizzou Ed Families

Dear College of Education Parents and Family Members,

I wanted to provide you with a brief update on events in the College of Education and the overall MU campus.

Both the college and campus have taken a number of positive steps over the past week. I have had the opportunity to speak with numerous students, as have our faculty and professional staff. Much of our focus has been on listening to their concerns, providing them with reassurance, and discussing ways that we will move forward. We will continue these conversations, but will also start moving toward implementing initiatives in response to these events. I encourage you to explore the “Mizzou: College of Education” Facebook page where many of the initiatives and organized events around the current issues are posted. We believe these types of initiatives will make the college stronger and improve educational outcomes for all of our students.

As you may have heard, we have new leadership at both the system and campus level. Mike Middleton, our new interim system president, has spent the majority of his professional career at MU and is passionate about making sure the university provides the opportunity for all students to be successful. I encourage you to listen to his comments from a recent press conference via this link:

Our Interim Chancellor Hank Foley and Provost Garnett Stokes have been communicating regularly with the campus community, and we are optimistic about their ability to lead us through these challenges. They have asked that faculty be flexible in helping students affected by recent events complete course requirements. They also reiterated their focus on campus safety.

There is no doubt MU has been thrust into national spotlight, but the issues we are facing here are also experienced at other campuses across the country. We are not unique in this regard. However, what is unique is that because they have come to light on our campus in such a public way, we have an opportunity to truly address the issues. In addition to our other strengths, I am proud that the College of Education has been a campus leader on issues of diversity, inclusion, and equity. Many of our administrators, faculty, professional staff and students are at the forefront of positive change on campus. Many of our students have embraced large and small opportunities to make a difference, and a culture of kindness has strengthened in recent weeks.

I want to reiterate what I said in an earlier letter:  The education and safety of your children is the top priority of those of us in the College of Education community. I appreciate the concerns many of you have expressed, as well as the outpouring of statements of support. Do not hesitate to reach out to my office directly if you have specific questions, comments, or concerns.

I want to conclude by saying thank you. Thank you for entrusting us with your children. They are strong leaders who ask challenging questions and are motivated to influence education locally, nationally, and globally. Interacting with them on a daily basis is the absolute best part of my job.


Kathryn Chval
Acting Dean
University of Missouri
College of Education