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Northwest Missouri State University


News Release

May 5, 2015

Board of Regents approves creation of academic programs in mathematics, data science, agricultural communications

Northwest Missouri State University’s Board of Regents during its regular meeting Friday approved the addition of majors in mathematics and data science as well as a minor in agricultural communications as part of a series of curriculum changes.

The new majors were approved with several updates to the curriculum for students studying mathematics and mathematics education in an effort to comply with new certification requirements from the state of Missouri and align with national recommendations in those areas, Northwest Provost Dr. Timothy Mottet explained to the Board.

The new majors include an interdisciplinary undergraduate major in data science and informatics, which will consist of a combination of statistics, mathematics and computer science courses designed to provide skills and conceptual understanding of data handling and extracting information. Seven courses will be created, including bioinformatics, web mining, and data mining with applications to business and sciences. Students also will choose an emphasis in computer science, business, molecular biology or geographic information systems.

Mottet told the Board that Northwest’s new data science major has the potential to become a signature program. He noted no such program is offered in Missouri, and only one in 41 comparable institutions Northwest benchmarked offer a similar program.

The Board also approved the creation of two non-comprehensive majors – a Bachelor of Science and a Bachelor of Arts – in mathematics, which are designed to pair with secondary majors or minors for students who enjoy mathematics but are not planning for a career in the field. Mottet added that job opportunities for mathematics graduates are projected to grow, and professional programs, such as law school and medical school, regard mathematics as a strong major.

The creation of the agricultural communications minor adds an interdisciplinary minor to the departments of Agricultural Sciences and Communication and Mass Media that serves a demand for skilled communicators in agribusiness and related fields. The minor will help students become well-rounded communication professionals prepare them to address perceptions held by the public concerning the agriculture industry. With the creation of the minor, Northwest also will create a required course, agricultural advocacy.

In other business, the Board approved the addition of one residential counselor at Northwest’s Missouri Academy of Science, Mathematics and Computing as well as the reorganization of its Residential Life staff, resulting in the addition of two residential hall directors. The positions are covered through enhanced enrollment and department reallocations, respectively.

The Board also approved the University’s miscellaneous fee schedule for revenue-generating services and internal services provided by departments, faculty appointments for the summer trimester and its proposed meeting schedule for the 2015-2016 academic year.

In his report to the Board, Northwest President Dr. John Jasinski reviewed an economic impact study, the results of which he announced during a news conference prior to the Board meeting. The third-party study found Northwest generated $617.5 million in added regional income – the equivalent of creating 9,465 new jobs – in fiscal year 2014.

The Board of Regents is responsible for sound resource management of the University and determining general, educational and financial policies.


For more information, please contact:

Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager
mhorn@nwmissouri.edu | 660.562.1704 | Fax: 660.562.1900

Northwest Missouri State University
215 Administration Building | 800 University Drive | Maryville, MO 64468