Missouri State University
Presidential Updates

Clif’s Notes Vol. 3, No. 14

Clif's Notes

In this issue of Clif’s Notes, I provide information about free wireless on campus and review the June Board of Governors meeting, which includes the approval of the operating budget for fiscal year 2015 and outlines how we will handle the governor’s withholding.

Student on laptopFree wireless on campus

I wanted to make sure you know that the open-access wireless service for all areas within both the Plaster Student Union and Meyer Library was brought online May 24. Here is the information you will need to access this service:

  • Wireless network name: MSU Open (This name will appear when you search for available networks with your device.)
  • Password: Welcome2MSU (This password should not change but possibly once a year.)

The open-access wireless provides full access to the Internet but limited access to Missouri State resources since we want to encourage students, faculty and staff to use their BearPass Logins to access their sensitive information.

There are currently no bandwidth limits on this network. Computer services will re-evaluate as the summer semester continues to see if limits are necessary prior to the fall semester. In the meantime, please let computer services know if you have questions.

We are pleased to offer this service, and I want to thank Jeff Morrissey and the computer services staff for making this a reality.

Board of Governors meeting

Again this year, the Board of Governors had its June meeting Friday in Kansas City. We combined that meeting with a donor event Thursday night and the Missouri State Night at Kauffman Stadium Friday night for alumni and friends. We appreciate Governor Steve Bough assisting with the arrangements in Kansas City.

The Board took several actions at the meeting that I want to summarize for you.

Students on campusOperating budget for fiscal year 2015

The Board approved the operating budget for fiscal year 2015 which totals about $263 million, up approximately $10 million from the current year. The budget increase will be funded in part by three items:

  • A 5.2 percent increase in state appropriations based on Missouri State meeting all five of its performance measures
  • Continued enrollment growth, which continues to be a vital part of increasing revenue
  • Modest increases in non-resident and graduate tuition and fees

Undergraduate tuition remains steady

Tuition for Missouri undergraduate students will remain at the 2013-14 rate of $204 per credit hour. The University’s commitment to hold Missouri undergraduate tuition the same from 2013-14 to 2014-15 is based upon the governor’s recommended budget and the approved General Assembly’s budget.

Investing in the compensation package

As I have outlined in previous issues, the majority of the increase in the budget will be dedicated to significant investment in the compensation package to faculty and staff for fiscal year 2015. The Board also approved a 1.5 percent pay increase for full time faculty and staff and various compensation initiatives. This continues the Board’s commitment to improve compensation for faculty and staff.

You can read more about the budget in this news release and see the complete budget online.

MSU SealPlan to deal with withholdings

On Tuesday, Governor Jay Nixon announced that he would sign the operating budget bill but withhold the entire 5 percent increase for higher education. For Missouri State, that means the 5.2 percent, which amounts to about $4 million.

We are very disappointed about the withholdings — especially the extent of the withholdings and the timing on the eve of the new fiscal year. We prepared the  fiscal year 2015 operating budget in good faith based on the increase which was recommended by the governor and approved by the Missouri General Assembly. We must now potentially find ways to reduce the budget and options available to us are neither good nor easy.

We expect to know more about the fiscal year 2015 budget following the veto session in mid-September. In the meantime, we will continue to talk with our elected officials about the tax cut bills and the timing of their implementation given the fact that state revenues are at least flat, if not declining.

Initial decisions

I wanted you to know that we have made these initial decisions:

  • We will proceed as planned with all compensation increases (1.5 percent across-the-board increase, Full Professor Incentive, staff salary initiative, 1.5 percent increase for graduate assistants, etc.) — this is appropriate given that improving compensation for faculty and staff continues to be the No. 1 priority for the Board of Governors and this administration.
  • Maintaining the compensation means we may have to accept other difficult decisions to balance the budget — for example, we will delay the 1.5% restoration of operating budgets for cost centers and evaluate its viability after the veto session.

We will continue to review and consider options for reducing the budget deficit as we wait for the results from the veto session and fall enrollment numbers. This action again highlights the importance of enrollment growth.

Student in classFaculty Handbook revisions

The Board approved the revisions recommended by the Faculty Handbook Committee. You may review those revisions.

I want to thank and congratulate the Faculty Handbook Revision Committee, chaired by Dr. Rich Biagioni, for its good work on this initiative.

Students on campusDiscussion updates

For this month’s Board discussion, we provided updates on the three discussion topics for 2013-14:

  • Diversity
  • First generation students, as well as transfer students
  • Higher Learning Commission and other accreditations

The Board was pleased with the progress we are making in each of these areas.

Caleb DoyleNew student Board member

At the Kansas City meeting, we welcomed our new student Board member, Caleb Doyle. Caleb is a junior from Barnhart, Missouri, majoring in secondary education. He replaces Paige Jenkins who represented the students well during her time on the Board.

The next time the Board meets it will be July 31 for the annual summer retreat. The emphasis of the retreat is to discuss and finalize the goals for 2014-15.


With classes, various academies and camps, along with the construction, the campus is buzzing this summer. I trust that you will not only be productive in your various activities but also take some time to refresh and rejuvenate. It won’t be long before we are preparing to welcome students back for the fall semester.

Thanks for all you do for Missouri State University.

Telling the Missouri State story

Study away studentsThis summer you won’t have to travel far to meet someone from Japan, Mali, Ecuador or Saudi Arabia — just downtown to the Jim D. Morris Center. More than 450 students representing 24 countries will take part in programs offered by the English Language Institute (ELI) this summer alone.

“One of our students described the ELI as a mini-United Nations where students from different countries bring their diverse political, religious and cultural views to share with one another in a non-threatening environment. We all learn from each other — and in so doing, we discover what we have in common is far greater than our differences,” said Dr. Jane Robison, executive director of the ELI.

Intensive English program

ELI began in 1996 as an intensive English program for international students planning to study abroad in the United States. According to Robison, ELI enrollment has grown from five students to more than 200 each session, with program participants now including international professors seeking professional development opportunities.

Short-term programs

In addition to its intensive English program, ELI offers a number of short-term programs during the summer:

  • Isesaki Global Leadership Academy: a 10-day program for 120 high school juniors from Yotsuba school in Isesaki, Japan, Springfield’s Sister City
  • Language and Culture Program 8: an eight-week English training program for professors and students from Colombia and other countries
  • Language and Culture Program 4: a four-week English training program for participants from Korea, Global UGRADs, Brazil and Colombia
  • Global Leadership Academy, a three-week program for international and domestic high school students
  • Children’s English Program, a two-week on-campus program for five young Chinese children accompanied by six parents
  • Isesaki Youth Program

“All of these programs are a great opportunity to introduce potential students to our campus, to expose them to the public affairs mission through the program’s objectives and to bring an awareness of the value of having international guests of all ages on our campus and in our community,” said Robison.

Send Comments to the President's Office
Posted in Clif's Notes, Financial Outlook, Smart | Tagged , , , , ,

Clif’s Notes Vol. 3, No. 13

Clif's Notes

In this issue of Clif’s Notes, I provide an update on this year’s budget, summarize the renovation of Pummill Hall, report on the recent trip to China and draw your attention to the University’s new pouring rights contract.

Missouri CapitolFiscal year 2014 budget update

On May 20, Governor Jay Nixon announced budget withholdings from higher education and other state agencies due to insufficient revenues, specifically from lottery proceeds. For Missouri State, that means $1,158,338. This withholding is on top of the $353,017 that was announced a few weeks ago — for a total of $1,511,355 in withholdings for this current fiscal year (FY 2014).

As you would expect, we are disappointed that the withholding was necessary, especially this late in the fiscal year, but we understand the relationship between state revenues and state appropriations. Because this comes so late in the year, there is no reasonable way to adjust the annual budget. We will, therefore, cover this from reserves.

Fortunately, through good stewardship over many years by multiple presidents and all of you, Missouri State has sufficient reserves to cover such emergencies. That is the purpose of the reserves.

As you recall, I have previously committed to fund the first withholding of $353,017 from the president’s reserve. That has not changed. In addition, the president’s reserve will cover half — $579,169 – of the most recent withholding. That means of the $1,511,355 total withholding, the president’s reserve will cover $932,186. The remaining $579,169 will be distributed proportionally to West Plains and the cost centers on the Springfield campus. All will use their reserves to cover their share.

Pummill HallPummill Hall renovation

Renovation of Pummill Hall will begin in June, with a completion target of July 2015 in time for the 2015 fall semester. The construction contract was approved by the Board of Governors Executive Committee on May 21.

Pummill Hall was built in 1957 and includes 41,948 square feet of space. The renovation budget is $6.9 million, $5.4 of which will be paid centrally with maintenance and repair, classroom upgrades and the president’s budget. The remaining $1.5 million will be shared equally among private donations, the College of Natural and Applied Sciences and the College of Health and Human Services.

All four floors of the building will be renovated. The hospitality and restaurant administration department will occupy the top two floors, the School of Social Work will be on the first floor and the second floor will consist of general classroom space. In addition to the interior renovation, the exterior curtain wall and all exterior glazing will be replaced and upgraded to a much more energy efficient system.

We are very excited to get this project under way. Not only will it provide quality space for these units, but it also will free up much-needed space for our health programs in the Professional Building.

Clif Smart in ChinaChina trip

As you know, on May 17, I joined a Missouri State delegation on a 10-day trip to China. It was a very productive trip, and I wanted to summarize it for you.

  • We had two very good alumni events, with 100 alumni turning out in Jinan and 82 in Beijing. Those attending included alumni of our undergraduate programs, graduate programs and Executive MBA. All are very proud of Missouri State.
  • Our new International Leadership and Training Center is becoming more well-known and appears to be meeting a need. We were able to identify several potential clients for the Center.
  • We also met with several potential partner universities who could send us new undergraduate and graduate students, including President Liu of Xian International Studies (at right).
  • We were pleased that students completing our Study in China Program, who are now living and working in Shanghai, have been instrumental in creating paid internship opportunities at their companies for our students.
  • We visited with many of our current partners, including a 10-year anniversary celebration dinner with representatives from the Ningxia Forestry Institute and China Agricultural University. Plus, we signed several new agreements:
    • Memorandum of Understanding for Collaborative Program of the Master of Business Administration Studies in the U.S. with the Henan University of Economics and Law
    • Memorandum of Understanding with Ningxia Forestry Institute (The State Key Laboratory of Seedling Biotechnology)

Missouri State was among the first U.S. universities to work with China 15 years ago, and the University has been a leader in educational partnerships since then. Our China Program continues to be a signature program for Missouri State, thanks to the strong relationshipsbuilt by Dr. Jim Baker, Steve Robinette, Dave Meinert, Brad Bodenhausen and others.

Ozarks Coca-Cola Dr. Pepper Bottling CompanyCoke awarded contract

Ozarks Coca-Cola/Dr Pepper Bottling has been awarded the University’s pouring rights contract. At a maximum duration of 11 years and valued at approximately $6 million, the pouring rights contracts is one of the largest non-construction contracts the University signs. Coca-Cola won the exclusive right to serve its products on campus with a bid more than $500,000 better than PepsiCo for the life of the contract.

I want to thank Chief Financial Officer Steve Foucart, General Counsel Penni Groves, and Director of Procurement Mike Wills, along with the members of the evaluation committee, for their good work on this RFP process. I believe we ended up with a very good contract.

Students in classConclusion

Enjoy your break, no matter how long you have. For some, I know the beginning of summer school will be here shortly.

Thanks for all you do for Missouri State University.


Telling the Missouri State story

Creative marketing campaigns built on sound strategy integrating traditional and emerging media and communications resources — this is the challenge presented to Ad Team each spring.

2014 Ad TeamFirst-place win

On May 15, Ad Team — a student-run advertising agency within the marketing program in the AACSB-accredited College of Business — won first place in the API (American Petroleum Institute) “Challenge Your Energy IQ Case Competition,” hosted by EdVenture Partners in San Francisco. This is just one year after Ad Team won first place in the national AT&T Campus Challenge for their “inTEXTicated” campaign.

“This year’s API competition presented an opportunity to help increase awareness and encourage education about one of the most critical challenges we face: energy for tomorrow,” said Dr. Melissa Burnett, professor of marketing and Ad Team adviser.


The 2014 MSU Ad Team consisted of these students:

  • Trevor Collins
  • Lanae Flatness
  • Alan Schieber
  • Brittney Laramie
  • Whitney Reece
  • Jessica Ray
  • Jared Horman
  • Patrick Cooper
  • Shea Sullivan
  • Lucas Eubank
  • Megan Etter
  • Ally Gramlich
  • Ryan Owens

Passion for marketing

The students showcased their drive and passion for marketing and attained an unparalleled real-world, hands-on experience by designing every element of a marketing campaign. They also built on the tradition of success of Missouri State’s Ad Team.

Send Comments to the President's Office
Posted in Clif's Notes, Financial Outlook, Smart | Tagged , , , , ,

Clif’s Notes Vol. 3, No. 12

Clif's Notes

In this issue of Clif’s Notes, I provide an update on the state appropriation and how it affects our budget for fiscal year 2015, an update on the 2014 session of the Missouri General Assembly, the planned reorganization in my office and a preview of my upcoming trip to China.

JRS_1118-Budget-UpdateBudget update

The Missouri General Assembly completed its work on the fiscal year 2015 budget by the constitutional deadline of May 9 (one week before the session concludes). Therefore, we have begun the process of developing our detailed internal operating budget for next year.

The first step was discussing the plan with the Executive Budget Committee, which we did on May 9, where we received unanimous approval. We briefed the Board of Governors at its May 15 meeting and received the Board’s endorsement. The last step is to formally present the final budget recommendation to the Board for its approval at the June meeting.

I wanted to use this opportunity to summarize our budget plan for fiscal year 2015.

JRS_1100-5.2-Percent-Increase5.2 percent increase

The overall increase for higher education was 5 percent. Since the increase was based on performance and since we achieved all five of our measures on both the Springfield and West Plains campuses, the Missouri State increase was slightly higher than the average – 5.2 percent. That amounts to an increase of $4,053,477 for the system – $3,875,879 for Springfield and $177,598 for West Plains. Since the Missouri General Assembly achieved the 5 percent goal, we will be able to keep in-state undergraduate tuition flat for 2014-15 as we had planned.

Chancellor Drew Bennett is working through the West Plains process to allocate the increase there.

For the Springfield campus, I wanted to provide a summary of budget recommendation for fiscal year 2015.

17600_1738--Total-Revenue-Increase-Students-StudyingTotal revenue increase

With a combination of increases and decreases, we are projecting a net increase in revenue of $4,956,145. The three main sources of increases are as follows:

  •  $4,053,477 – 5.2 percent increase in state appropriations (less the standard 3 percent holdback)
  • $466,068 — new tuition from modest increases (less than the 2013 rate of inflation) in undergraduate out-of-state and graduate tuition
  • $971,102 – enrollment growth experienced in Fiscal Year 2014 continued in Fiscal Year 2015

There are anticipated decreases of revenue in several categories, totaling $596,800, for the net increase of $4,893,847.


Of the total $4,893,847 increase, about 60 percent will be allocated to compensation:

  • $600,000 — on-going funding for new faculty positions approved last fall — the funding for these positions was originally made possible by income from enrollment growth, proving once again that enrollment does matter when it comes to the budget
  • $1,251,944 — 1.5 percent across-the-board salary increase for full-time faculty and staff who were on the payroll as of April 1, 2014
  • $433,182 — fringe benefits on the 1.5 percent salary increase
  • $97,797 — $480 increases for all staff members who are below $30,000 and have a salary less than 90 percent of the mid-point of their range.  In addition, salary ranges will be increased by 1.2 percent effective July 1.
  • $33,838 — fringe benefits on the staff salary increase
  • $53,045 — 1.5 percent increase in graduate assistant wages
  • $310,926 — faculty promotions, including fringe benefits
  • $201,900 — $5,000 salary increases with fringe benefits for 30 recipients of the new Full Professor Program — Provost Frank Einhellig sent letters to the 30 recipients late Thursday afternoon, May 15

17641_7285-Priority-Increases-GroundsPriority increases

In addition to compensation, we have identified these priority increases to be paid from the increased revenue:

  • $338,386 — restoration to the cost centers of 1.5 percent of the supplies and services portion of the operating budgets
  • $75,000 — faculty international travel – This was a specific request from the faculty members of the Executive Budget Committee.  The Provost has established a faculty committee to develop guidelines for administration of this new fund
  • $250,000 — increased maintenance, security and grounds
  • $250,000 — funding a women’s tennis program to comply with Title IX

DSC_0487-Increase-Expensses-Disability-Support-CenterIncreases in expenses

We also are funding $937,752 in items such as increased utility costs, increased services provided by the Disability Support Center (for interpretation services for students with disabilities), increased property insurance and increased fee waivers for employees and their dependents.


I am extremely pleased and appreciative of Governor Jay Nixon recommending and the Missouri General Assembly approving the 5 percent increase in funding for higher education. I also am very pleased that we are able to allocate a significant portion of the new funds to our number one priority: compensation for our faculty and staff.

As always, the entire budget will be posted on the Financial Services website once it has been approved by the Board of Governors in June.

13-045-Capital-Funding-Welcome-CenterCapital funding

The General Assembly passed and sent to the governor a bill that would provide “50-50 matching funds” for the Welcome Center, which will focus on student admissions and success. The total cost of the project is estimated at $5.5 million. Of that total, $1 million will be covered by the Bookstore insurance settlement. Of the remaining $4.5 million, half — $2.25 million — will come from state appropriations and then be matched by $2.25 million in reserve gift funds from the Missouri State Foundation. The Welcome Center has been designed and bids have been submitted. Construction is scheduled to begin later this summer and be completed in fall 2015.

With a few hours left in the session — it ends at 6 p.m. Friday — we were still hopeful there might be funding for additional capital projects. As this issue of Clif’s Notes was being distributed, however, there were still significant differences between the House and Senate versions of remaining capital bills. If something changes, I will get a note out about that.

17506_2324-Other-Legislation-Occupational-TherapyOther legislation

There are some other operating budget highlights as well:

  • The line item of $1,325,000 for the Occupational Therapy Program in Springfield and health program enhancement at West Plains remains in the budget.
  • The $2 million line item for the cooperative Doctor of Pharmacy degree program with UMKC remains — and the first class in that program begins this fall. A large majority of the 31 students admitted into the first class have done their prior work at Missouri State.
  • Funding increased for both Bright Flight (merit based) and Access Missouri (need based) scholarship programs.
  • There is $750,000 in the budget to support three summer academies, including the Missouri Fine Arts Academy at Missouri State. The exact amount that will be allocated to each of the academies, including the Fine Arts Academy, had not been finalized in time for this communication.
  • There is $980,000 in the budget to support public television in Missouri, including Ozarks Public Television housed at Missouri State.

The higher education funding formula bill, Senate Bill 492 which Missouri State and the other four-year universities supported, passed. It provides a framework for how higher education will be funded in the future, with the final authority continuing to rest with the General Assembly. The bill calls for no more than 90 percent of new funding to be based on performance measures, with at least 10 percent based on equity criteria. The bill also calls for the performance measures to be revised and updated to include the success of graduates, both in the job market and as graduate-degree seeking students.

These bills also are on Governor Nixon’s desk for approval.

Reorganization planned in president’s office

With Paul Kincaid’s upcoming retirement and Penni Groves’ request to go back to part-time, I plan to reorganize the president’s office staffing effective with the new fiscal year, July 1.

Paul’s current responsibilities as chief of staff and assistant to the president for university relations will be reassigned as follows:

Pres-Office-Restructure-DeBoefRyanRyan DeBoef, current legal counsel, will become the chief of staff and assistant to the president for governmental relations. He will have responsibility for governmental relations at the state level.

Pres-Office-Restructure-BakerJimDr. Jim Baker, vice president for research, economic development and international programs, will add federal governmental relations to his portfolio.

Pres-Office-Restructure-ShawSuzanneM. Suzanne Shaw, has been named the new vice president for marketing and communications, following a nationwide search. She will have responsibility for the unit formerly known as university relations, which includes university communications, publications, Web and new media, photographic services and athletics communications.

Pres-Office-Restructure-GrovesPenniPenni Groves, current general counsel, will move to the role of legal counsel.

Pres-Office-Restructure-DockeryRachaelRachael M. Dockery has been hired as the new general counsel.

For more detailed information, please see the news release we distributed on the reorganization.

16729_0471-China-VisitChina trip

On Saturday morning, May 17, I leave for a 10-day trip to China with Vice President Jim Baker, Associate Vice President Steve Robinette and others. While there, we have a number of activities scheduled, including the graduation for students at Liaoning Normal University in Dalian, several alumni events, and multiple meetings with our education partners, both current and prospective.

When we talk about signature programs for Missouri State, our China program has to be near the top of the list. We continue to expand our partnerships, involve increasing numbers of students and faculty and are now developing alumni ties there.

While I don’t necessarily look forward to the 12-hour flight, I am looking forward to spending time in China to further develop our program there.


I hope this week is a good finish to the year for you, and I hope you will make time to attend one or more of the commencements in Springfield on Friday, May 16, and West Plains on Saturday, May 17. I also wish for you a restful and rejuvenating summer, no matter what you are doing or where you will be.

Thank you for all you have done for Missouri State University during the 2013-14 year.

Telling the Missouri State story

17098_7615-TMSS-The-Standard-11-17-13The staff of The Standard newspaper took home 19 awards – including top honors as the Best Overall Newspaper (Division 1) and first place in Division 1 sweepstakes – from the Missouri College Media Association conference.

“As a transfer student from the University of Iowa to Missouri State in the fall of 2011, working at The Standard has been one of the most memorable and enjoyable experiences of my college career,” said Nicolette Martin, The Standard’s editor-in-chief. “I’m ridiculously proud of the rest of the staff of The Standard for putting out great work and earning us the title of the best newspaper in Division 1.”

The following Standard staff members received awards:

  • Nicolette Martin: Journalist of the Year; second place, regular column; first place, page-one design; first place, sports page; and second place, sports column
  • Megan Gates: first place, news writing.
  • Kelsey Berry: second place, feature writing
  • Sam Holzer: third place, sports writing
  • Tim Godfrey: first place, sports column
  • Steph Anderson: honorable mention, news photography; first place, feature photography; second place, sports photography; honorable mention, sports photography
  • Evan Henningsen: second place, feature photography
  • Brent Rinehart: first place, advertising
  • Lindsey Howard: first place, editorial/op-ed page
  • Staff: third place, special section, and third place, website home page
Send Comments to the President's Office
Posted in Clif's Notes, Financial Outlook, Smart | Tagged , , , ,