Governor Parson meets with top Mizzou officials about ongoing research

Governor Mike Parson toured research labs at the University of Missouri Wednesday. (Caileigh Petrson/KRCG)

Governor Mike Parson met with University of Missouri leaders and Columbia officials to discuss moving Mizzou forward as a research institution.

Parson met with UM System President Mun Choi, Columbia Mayor Brian Treece, and top researchers at the University of Missouri.

Choi said this would be the first of many visits to the university.

The governor heard from researchers about ongoing projects and how the university wants to move forward as a major research university. Researchers gave Parson a tour of a biomedical virtual reality programs being developed at the University of Missouri.

"I am very excited about the research being done here. A couple years ago I took a trip out east and saw the research going on and I thought there was no way this couldn't be done in Missouri. I'm excited about the work we are doing," Parson said. "I just want Missouri to lead in that. There's no reason we ever have to be known as a fly-over state again. We've got plenty of skilled people in St. Louis Kansas City, Columbia and all across the state."

Choi said research will be a very important area for the university and governor to work together closely on research.

"We will work closely with the governor's office to work on demonstrating the value that we provide to the state of Missouri. Further withholds with that would take away from activities such as advanced research," Choi said.

Parson said his main priorities are working on infrastructure and developing a stronger job force. Choi said it would be imperative to work with the governor on developing the workforce. because of the number of UM System graduates choosing to stay in Missouri after their education.

Columbia Mayor Brian Treece also spoke about his goals for the City of Columbia in working with the new governor.

"Certainly we want to work on investments in higher education. The history of Columbia and the University of Missouri are linked and we do well when the university does well. The university does well when Columbia does well," Treece said.

Missouri Senator Mike Kehoe was also present for the stop at the University of Missouri. When asked if he planned on appointing Kehoe to lieutenant governor, Parson said he had not made any decisions.

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