Missouri State University
Presidential Updates

Clif’s Notes Vol. 4, No. 4

Clif's Notes

In this issue of Clif’s Notes, I recap the State of the University address, provide an update on the visioning project, inform the campus community about Missouri State’s recent selection by INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine for the Higher Education Excellence in Diversity Award, discuss the Stomp Out Hunger public affairs initiative, invite the campus community to participate in the United Way and Missouri State Way campaigns and provide details on campus security authority training.

Clif SmartState of the University address

On Monday, Sept. 29, Dr. Einhellig and I gave the State of the University address on the Springfield campus. The theme was “raising the profile of the University.” I addressed five of the specific policies and priorities set by the board for this year: value, student retention rates, facilities improvement, improving diversity of faculty and staff and strategic planning. My specific remarks included:

  • Public higher education must remain affordable for working and middle class families. We must also continue to pursue opportunities to improve our rigorous, high-quality programs.
  • Improving student retention is critical to the economic success of our state. We will focus on retooling student orientation, family programs and living-learning communities to help students make better connections. We will also focus on advising, connecting students to departments and improving the GEP 101 experience.
  • Our facilities have a dramatic impact on our profile. This year we are building a Welcome Center (funded by private support) and a new health building. We are also renovating Pummill Hall, the fifth floor of the Morris Center, Sunvilla and Meyer Library (phase I). Next year we plan to expand laboratory spaces and renovate older academic buildings if the state issues revenue bonds and appropriates the proceeds.
  • We have done very well in increasing the ethnic diversity of our students, but we have made only marginal progress in improving the diversity of our faculty and staff. Our students are entitled to interact with faculty and staff with diverse backgrounds, life experiences and ideas. In all hiring searches, we need to pay attention to diversity — which means more than just race or ethnicity — as a goal.
  • We are beginning a visioning project named The Missouri State Vision: Our Passion for Excellence. The goal of this project is to gain consensus on the assumptions and philosophical foundation from which the next two long-range plans will be developed.

Student safety is a priority

After Dr. Einhellig spoke, I closed with a discussion about safety. Campus safety, particularly sexual assault on campus, is an important topic due to increased media scrutiny and recent legislation. The data here at Missouri State indicates that we have done extremely well at protecting our students from sexual assaults and investigating when these offenses are alleged to have occurred. We have never covered up a sexual assault, and we never will. But with public attention on the issue, we decided to look at what we do and see if there are things we can improve upon. The changes we implemented include:

  • The Board of Governors approved a new policy titled Title IX Policy on Sexual Assault, Stalking and Other Forms of Sexual Misconduct.
  • We created a list of campus security authorities (CSAs). CSAs are required by law to report all allegations or evidence of sexual misconduct and certain other criminal behavior to University employees who can investigate the situation and take appropriate actions. We are in the process of training all of our CSAs.
  • We have started an online training module called Haven for our students. All of our new students are now required to participate in this training, which focuses on preventing and responding to sexual assault.

Safety of our students must always be a priority for all of us. Our students and their families trust us to create a safe environment for them to study and learn. It is important that we not let them down. When we believe a student has been or may be in a dangerous situation, we all need to be ready to respond by intervening if it is safe to do so and by notifying our supervisors, the office of equity and compliance and the office of safety and transportation.

Visit the State of the University address website to view a video of the address and see Dr. Einhellig’s and my slides and speech notes.

JRS_0123-VisioningVisioning project update

I informed you in a prior issue of Clif’s Notes that we were starting a visioning project. I want to give you a brief update on the project. As I mentioned above, we have named it The Missouri State Vision: Our Passion for Excellence. I will be chairing the steering committee for this project. The other members of the steering committee are:

  • Roberta Aram
  • James Baker
  • Drew Bennett
  • Christina Bowles
  • Stephanie Bryant
  • Russell Carney
  • Ryan DeBoef
  • Brittany Donnellan
  • Frank Einhellig
  • Tammy Jahnke
  • Tim Knapp
  • Michael F. Murray
  • Tom Peters
  • Sharmistha Self
  • Suzanne Shaw
  • Dee Siscoe
  • Christine Sudbrock

The steering committee will have its first two meetings on Oct. 2 and 15. The goal of these meetings is to create a list of four to six topical areas for discussion and investigation during the visioning project, create a task force for each topical area and develop instructions explaining to each task force the parameters of their topical area. I will continue to update you on our progress with the visioning project throughout the year.

Insight Into Diversity: Higher Education Excellence in Diversity Award 2014Higher Education Excellence in Diversity Award

We have made great progress on diversity initiatives over the past several years. Recently, this progress was noticed on a national level. INSIGHT Into Diversity, the oldest and largest diversity magazine in higher education, has selected Missouri State as one of only 83 recipients of the Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award for 2014.

The HEED Award recognizes colleges and universities that demonstrate an outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion. We are in great company with other recipients such as California State University, Florida State University, Georgia Tech University, Louisiana State University, Penn State University, Rice University, the SUNY System, University of Georgia, University of Oklahoma, University of Texas at Austin, University of Virginia and University of Wisconsin.

All faculty, staff and students are to be commended and congratulated for events, programs and initiatives that display the best of diversity at Missouri State. I want to especially thank Dr. Ken Coopwood and his team for their important work on Missouri State’s diversity initiatives as well as their time and effort to apply for and receive this award.

Shoe sortingStomp Out Hunger

Missouri State has partnered with Drury, Evangel, OTC and SBU for a service project called Stomp Out Hunger: All-Collegiate Shoe Drive. From Oct. 1 through 24, there will be marked boxes in most buildings on campus. (Access the complete list of collection sites.) All wearable shoes put in these boxes will be donated to Sole Food, a program of Friends Against Hunger, a Springfield non-profit that packages and distributes nutritious, vitamin-fortified meals to hungry people in the US and around the world. Sole Food, in conjunction with Shoeman Water Projects in St. Louis, exports the donated shoes to distributors in developing countries. By donating used shoes, students, faculty and staff will provide not only shoes, but also food and clean water to those in need around the world!

Missouri State Way and United WayUnited Way and Missouri State Way campaigns

We kicked off our annual United Way and Missouri State Way campaigns with a leadership breakfast on Wednesday. The United Way serves the neediest of our neighbors in Springfield and the Ozarks. The Missouri State Way campaign is an opportunity for all members of the campus community to support the areas of the University that are most important to them. You may designate your Missouri State Way gift for student scholarships, a special program or even your own department or college.

I want to personally invite participants of either campaign to the celebration luncheon that will be held from 12 to 1 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 10 in the ballroom at Plaster Student Union. This was formerly a breakfast. I hope changing the time allows more people to attend. I look forward to seeing you there. Please RSVP by Nov. 5 to Monica Gray at 836-6763.

You will receive a packet further explaining these campaigns next week. You may participate in these campaigns by completing and returning the forms in the packet.

Students studyingCampus Security Authority training

In a prior issue of Clif’s Notes I indicated that the University has created a list of campus security authorities (CSAs). A CSA is required by law to report sexual misconduct and certain other crimes to the Office of Safety and Transportation for inclusion in the campus security report.

On Wednesday afternoon we sent an email to all CSAs telling them about online training that they must complete by Nov. 1. This training is very important to our Clery Act compliance and to the safety of our students and our campus community.

Conclusion

As we approach the mid-point of the semester, we should be proud of what we have accomplished thus far. I look forward to continuing to work with you to do great things. Thanks for all you do for our University.

Telling the Missouri State story

Students and facultyTwenty-six University students and six faculty members recently participated in the inaugural Global Agriculture Initiative, a three-week educational exchange organized by Missouri State University and its Brazilian partner university, Centro Universitário Cesumar (UniCesumar).

First phase in Missouri

The first phase of the project began last May as 12 UniCesumar students and four faculty members traveled to Missouri for a 10-day study tour focused on soil management, grain production, livestock production and U.S. agricultural policy. The Brazilian group visited Missouri agribusinesses, interacted with farmers and participated in workshops presented by the William H. Darr School of Agriculture at Missouri State.

Part of the UniCesumar student experience in Missouri also included sightseeing, cultural activities and interaction with a group of Missouri State students.

Second phase in Brazil

Fourteen Missouri State students and two faculty traveled to the state of Paraná, Brazil, for the second phase of the Global Agriculture Initiative. While there, they studied soil management and the production, management and commercialization of grain. Like Missouri, Paraná produces corn, soybeans and wheat; however, the favorable climate of southern Brazil allows for three growing seasons per year so farmers there can grow all three crops on the same land each year.

The Missouri State group was able to visit the two largest agro-industrial cooperatives in Latin America, interact with UniCesumar students and faculty, experience Brazilian culture and visit the famous Iguacu Falls at the border of Brazil and Argentina.

The initiative was a huge success and a great example of the kinds of meaningful partnerships taking place all across our campus.

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2014 State of the University Address

Clif Smart and Frank Einhellig presented the State of the University Address at noon on Monday, Sept. 29, 2014.

Supplemental information

Broadcast information

For those who could not attend in person, the speech was recorded for replay at 7 p.m. on Sept. 29 on KSMU 91.1, 88.7 in Mountain Grove, 90.3 in West Plains, 98.9 in Joplin, 103.7 in Neosho, and KSMS 90.5 in Branson.

The speech will be televised on Ozarks Public Television at 4 p.m. on Oct. 5.


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Clif’s Notes Vol. 4, No. 3

Clif's Notes

In this issue of Clif’s Notes, I summarize the legislature’s actions during veto session, recognize this year’s recipients of the Professor Salary Incentive Program, provide information about the newly created Center for Community Engagement, discuss the Bill R. Foster and Family Recreation Center’s award of LEED silver certification, provide information about Family Weekend activities and encourage the University community to attend the Bears’ first home football game and pre-game tailgate.

Missouri CapitolVeto session

As you know, Governor Nixon restricted a number of appropriations pending the fate of his vetoes of ten sales tax exemption bills and general revenue collections. Three of the restricted appropriations, totaling approximately $7.8 million ($5.5 million in operating funds and $2.3 million in capital), directly benefited Missouri State.

The legislature finished its veto session early yesterday morning. Two of the ten sales tax exemption bills became law as a result of legislative overrides, but these two bills are anticipated to have only a modest fiscal impact. Additionally, the legislature overrode Governor Nixon’s line item veto of the Missouri Scholars and Fine Arts Academies, restoring funding used by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to support the Missouri Fine Arts Academy at Missouri State.

Yesterday afternoon, Governor Nixon announced that he will immediately release the higher education performance funding appropriation.  Missouri State’s portion of that appropriation totals approximately $4.2 million (less the ordinary 3% holdback).  Whether Missouri State will receive the other restricted appropriations will depend on general revenue collections in the coming months.

This is very good news for Missouri State and vindicates our decision to move forward with the budget approved by the Board of Governors, which I summarized in a prior issue of Clif’s Notes.

Our team interacted extensively with Governor Nixon’s office and the legislature on the sales tax exemption bills and the restricted appropriations. We will continue to engage with our elected officials on the remaining restricted appropriations and remain hopeful that we will ultimately receive some or all of those appropriations before the end of the fiscal year.

Chris Barnhart with studenrProfessor Salary Incentive Program

Last year the University established the Professor Salary Incentive Program (PSIP) to recognize continued excellence by Missouri State’s professors.

A committee of faculty and administrators developed guidelines for the program and selection criteria. Committees evaluated applicants throughout the spring semester.

In May, the following faculty were named as 2014 PSIP recipients:

Congratulations to the 2014 PSIP recipients. Applications for the 2014–15 cycle are due Dec. 12, 2014. Materials to assist faculty members as they prepare their applications will be posted during the fall semester. Please feel free to contact Dr. Chris Craig or Dr. Julie Masterson in the provost’s office should you have questions about PSIP.

StudentsCenter for Community Engagement

The Board recently created the Center for Community Engagement (CCE). The CCE’s mission is to advance Missouri State’s public affairs mission by increasing the University’s involvement in local, regional and statewide efforts at community engagement. The CCE will work to increase the visibility and effectiveness of the University’s community engagement efforts by these tactics:

  • Community-based research and grant writing
  • Coordinating and facilitating University participation in community development initiatives by providing student volunteers and service-learning students with opportunities to strengthen their civic skills
  • Streamlining community engagement activities by working with the leadership of existing campus organizations
  • Tracking and maximizing the university’s civic footprint by collecting and analyzing data, providing an annual report, and making yearly recommendations on strategic priorities based on report findings
  • Establishing connections and securing partnerships with local, regional, state and national community engagement organizations

The CCE will be located in PSU 131.

Rec CenterGreen building leadership certification

The United States Green Building Council (USGBC) has awarded the Bill R. Foster and Family Recreation Center a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) silver certification. LEED is a green building certification program that recognizes best-in-class building strategies and practices. Achieving this certification was a big undertaking, and I want to thank our office of planning, design and construction for leading this effort.

Football BearsFamily Weekend and first home football game

Family Weekend is this Friday through Sunday, and we expect hundreds of Bears on campus. Weekend highlights include a Student Showcase and BBQ at 7 p.m. on Friday on the North Mall, a Family Weekend Welcome Breakfast Buffet at 9 a.m. on Saturday in Plaster Student Union and a Legacy Family Ice Cream Social at 1 p.m. on Saturday in the Duane G. Meyer Library. A number of University offices and student organizations will sponsor activities throughout the weekend. See the complete list of Family Weekend activities.

Our first home football game is at 6 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 13. I encourage the entire Missouri State community to come out and support the Bears as we play the University of North Dakota in the newly renovated Plaster Stadium. Students get into the game free by showing their BearPass card at the gate. Students may also purchase $5 bleacher tickets for their families and friends in person or on the phone by asking for the Family Day discount. Faculty and staff may purchase an unlimited number of tickets at half price ($10 for chairback, $8 for bleacherback and $5 for bleacher) by showing their BearPass card when they purchase tickets at any box office.

I also encourage all of you to join me in tailgating before the game in the new Hiland Dairy BearFest Village. We have changed the gameday experience this year by relocating BearFest Village. The new Bearfest Village will be located just north of Plaster Stadium (between the stadium and McDonald arena), and it will include games, music, spirit squads and more.

Conclusion

I look forward to continuing to work with you to accomplish great things at Missouri State this semester. Thanks for all you do for our University.

Telling the Missouri State story

Umarov, Smart and LongEarly this semester, Missouri State welcomed His Excellency Kairat Umarov, the ambassador of Kazakhstan to campus. Congressman Billy Long was instrumental in arranging the visit. Our political science department also deserves recognition for helping host the event.

Ambassador Umarov was visiting southwest Missouri to learn about our region and meet with Springfield businesses to explore opportunities for collaboration in the areas of manufacturing, agriculture, education and new technologies.

It was also a terrific opportunity for the Missouri State campus to learn more about Kazakhstan and global affairs. At the event, the ambassador gave a brief presentation and a held a question and answer session. Given his diverse background and experiences, his presentation was well received by those who attended.

About Kazakhstan and Ambassador Umarov

For those who may not know, the central Asian nation of Kazakhstan is the largest of the former soviet republics that gained independence during the dissolution of the old Soviet Union. Ambassador Umarov is now serving his third stint as the nation’s ambassador in Washington, D.C.

Ambassador Umarov earned his undergraduate degree at the Almaty Pedagogical Institute of Foreign Languages in 1985, teaching there as well from 1987-88. He later received a Ph.D. in history at the Kazakh University of History, Archeology and Ethnography in 1989. He was chief editor of the Writers’ Union of Kazakhstan from 1989-91.

One of the many benefits of life on a university campus is learning from the experiences of people like Ambassador Umarov. I look forward to other opportunities as the semester moves forward.

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