The Maneater

Deaton Institute to make impact on international development research

The new institute will focus on food security and social and economic well-being.

When Chancellor Brady Deaton announced his retirement in June, he subsequently unveiled a plan at the June 15 Board of Curators meeting to head the new Brady and Anne Deaton Institute for University Leadership and International Development.

The goal of the proposed institute will be to “ground the University of Missouri’s international programs in solid philosophical and ethical principles,” according to Deaton's presentation at the meeting.

With the objective of shaping international development, the institute will specifically target issues of food security, water quality, healthcare and other areas of social and economic well-being.

The institute, which is not staffed beyond Deaton’s appointment, will also focus on helping developing nations since World War II and earlier, Anne Deaton, the chancellor’s wife and MU adjunct professor, said.

“What is needed today is a fresh look to the future,” Anne Deaton said in an email.

The chancellor is additionally interested in how universities’ international commitments, beyond study abroad programs, can lead to qualitative change and transformation, Anne Deaton said.

Students will be able to take advantage of the institute’s innovative plans.

“Mizzou has a lot of international centers, and there’s already thousands of students per year that do study abroad trips, so basically this is going to be another opportunity for us to increase partnerships with other countries,” Amy Johnson, Board of Curators student representative and UMKC student, said. “By partnering with all these institutes, we can solve huge global problems and involve students.”

The chancellor’s interests concerning the institute also encompass a questioning of ways that comprehensive curricula and student and faculty world views can be influenced in turn to “enrich the university experience.” Brady Deaton has dubbed this “the boomerang effect.”

MU’s current global legacy has existed for more than 100 years, and includes various departmental international partnerships, including institutions in China, India, Thailand, Ghent University in Belgium and the University of Western Cape in South Africa.

Other MU opportunities include international degrees, five popular service-learning programs and the Iraqi Linkage Program.

The chancellor is also chair of the Board for International Food and Agricultural Development, a position for which President Barack Obama nominated him. The chancellor’s work with BIFAD includes working on food security issues on a national level.

“In a time of unprecedented technological, cultural and political change, nothing less than the future of global development, environmental sustainability and world peace is at stake,” Brady Deaton said in his presentation to the Board of Curators.

The Board expressed enthusiasm for the chancellor’s proposed project.

“The Brady and Anne Deaton Institute will allow the university to continue to benefit from the leadership of Chancellor Deaton, after his being a integral part of the overall leadership team at MU for nearly a quarter century,” UM System spokesman John Fougere said.

Johnson said the institute would be an opportunity to keep the Deatons involved with MU after they leave the Residence on the Francis Quadrangle.

“We were looking at one of our finest chancellors, who’s been at Mizzou for 25 years, retiring," Johnson said. "When someone like that retires, who has had such a huge impact on the university, we want to keep him around as long as possible."

The ways the institute will be run are still not fully developed.

The institute has no set timeline but will see further development as the chancellor eases out of his duties by Nov. 15.

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