A $25 million gift has been given to Mizzou’s Kinder Institute on Constitutional Democracy. The funding comes from the Houston-based Kinder Foundation. The Kinder Institute is an interdisciplinary academic center on the University of Missouri campus designed to promote excellence in teaching and scholarship on the American constitutional and democratic traditions.
Kinder Institute Director Justin Dyer said the gift will transform the one-year-old center.
“I think we could add four or five new faculty members in this area of study, which would be huge for us and for what we are trying to do. With that, we hope to be able to recruit and retain outstanding graduate students,” said Dyer. “Having top-notch faculty and being able to recruit top-notch faculty helps us also kick start and develop a graduate program in this area of study. Being able to bring new people into our ranks to teach these courses and to develop new courses for students is really a unique opportunity we have because of this gift.”
Dyer says the funding will also provide resources for undergraduate students in the classroom and in curriculum development.
Dyer wants to make the program a national leader in American political thought and history.
“That opens up all sorts of different doors. I think on the one hand, it makes us stand out among our peer institutions. I think that recruiting the right kinds of faculty and graduate students helps us with our standing in the AAU. I think it’s attractive to alumni,” said Dyer.
The gift will be given to Mizzou in installments over the next five years.
The Kinder Foundation was established by Rich and Nancy Kinder. Mr. Kinder is a native of Cape Girardeau and earned his bachelor’s and law degrees from MU.