University of Missouri Extension and the MU Office of Research, Graduate Studies and Economic Development announced that they are partners in the Broader Impacts Network. Susan Renoe, Ph.D., director of the Broader Impacts Network, now has a joint appointment with MU Extension and the Office of Research. Renoe had previously reported to the Office of Economic Development.

The Broader Impact Network was established in 2012 in response to the National Science Foundation’s emphasis on the integration of education and outreach into research projects.

“Since the inception of the Broader Impacts Network, MU Extension has been an informal yet instrumental partner in our efforts,” said Mark McIntosh, vice chancellor for research, graduate studies and economic development. “This change is a logical next step that honors the NSF directive to create broader societal impacts by integrating outreach and educational opportunities from the beginning of a research initiative.”

The partnership was announced at the August 2017 meeting of the Engagement Council. This council represents hundreds of campuswide engagement and extension efforts that draw upon university research and resources from all Mizzou colleges, schools and units to benefit Missourians and their communities.

The formation of the Engagement Council followed the appointment in 2016 of Marshall Stewart as the vice chancellor for extension and engagement. Since Stewart’s arrival, MU Extension has worked aggressively to foster greater engagement and extension activities throughout the university.

As part of this increased activity, Stewart and McIntosh routinely interact on initiatives associated with broader impacts. This led to the realization that the Broader Impacts Network would benefit from a firm footing in both research settings and outreach and education efforts.