Missouri State University
Presidential Updates

Clif’s Notes for Aug. 23, 2016

Clif's Notes

18792_0203-Enrollment-GrowthAs you know, classes started yesterday. I am happy to report that our opening day enrollment shows an increase of 773 students over last year’s opening day enrollment number. This represents an increase of 3.8 percent.

What enrollment growth means to you

Enrollment growth indicates the health of our university. More students want to attend Missouri State because of the hard work that each of you do to make the university better. This growth also helps pay for compensation increases and the hiring of new faculty and staff.

The official census count is made after the fourth week of class, and I will update you again on the status of our enrollment at that time.

Making space for our students19210_3038-West-Plains

The executive committee of the Board of Governors met last week. I wanted to report on two highlights from the meeting.

First, the board approved a management agreement with the owner of the Shoe Factory Lofts in West Plains. Under this agreement, Missouri State will manage the Shoe Factory Lofts for an 18-month trial period. This arrangement will provide the university with the capacity to grow its West Plains campus, apply university policies to the Shoe Factory Lofts and its residents and streamline students’ use of financial aid to pay for housing in West Plains.

Second, the board approved a construction contract to relocate the Veterans Student Center to Meyer Library. This will provide additional space for the Veterans lounge and will place the lounge near the Veterans Student Services office. It will also free up space in Carrington Hall to accommodate the Title IX office.

Understanding the Employee Handbook changes18709_9213-Clifs-Notes-Staff

Finally, I wanted to update you on the board’s actions last month on paid leave options for employees. On the administration’s recommendation, the board approved modifications to the Employee Handbook that:

  • Provide sick leave for 9-month faculty (sections 7.2 – 7.5)
  • Establish policies for long-term paid sick leave for faculty and clarify the situations in which such leave is available and the protocol for requesting it (section 7.20)
  • Expand the Staff Shared Leave Pool (section 7.19) to
    • allow employees to utilize the pool for additional qualifying events such as certain family care situations (e.g., maternity, paternity, elder care, etc.) and bone marrow or organ donation
    • reduce the amount of earned vacation time that must be donated to participate
    • increase the number of leave hours that may be granted from 320 to 480

These actions expand paid leave options for both faculty and staff. I am pleased at our board’s commitment to continue to make Missouri State University a desirable place to work.

Thanks for all you do for Missouri State!

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University mourns death of Marc Cooper

The Missouri State University faculty and staff today are mourning the loss of Dr. Marc Cooper, emeriti history professor.

Edward Gutting, instructor of modern and classical languages, has been arrested in Cooper’s death. A news release from the Springfield Police Department provides more details on this incident. Missouri State University is cooperating fully in the police investigation.

Pending the outcome of this investigation, Gutting has been placed on administrative leave. There is no known threat to campus.

Marc Cooper
Marc Cooper

Cooper was long-time member of history department

“During his nearly 35 years on faculty, Dr. Cooper was an active scholar, publishing several articles on the cuneiform tablets of ancient Iraq, and his teaching specialty area was in the history of the Ancient Near East,” said Dr. Victor Matthews, dean of the College of Humanities and Public Affairs.

Cooper received his PhD from the department of history at the University of Minnesota in 1979, then served in Missouri State’s history department from 1980-2014.

Cooper served as department head in history from 1997-2003. Over the course of his career, he was a visiting professor at Hebrew University in 1987 and a Fellow for Imagining America in 2010-11.

After retirement he continued to serve the university as the managing editor of the eJournal in Public Affairs. He was active in developing blended and online courses and in promoting engaged scholarship.

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Clif’s Notes for Aug. 16, 2016

Clif's Notes

I want to welcome our new and returning students, faculty and staff to campus as we start a new school year. Please mark your calendars to participate in the many activities throughout campus that mark the beginning of the fall semester.

Giving faculty tools to succeed in the classroom17964_5297-Clifs-Notes-700x394

The 31st Showcase on Teaching and Learning is this Wednesday in the Plaster Student Union. Highlights include keynote presentations titled Universal Design for Learning That You Can Do Today and Inclusion of Diversity at Missouri State University. You can find more information on the Faculty Center for Teaching and Learning website.

On Thursday, the office of the provost will host the annual All Faculty Luncheon at 11:30 a.m. in the PSU Ballroom. I will make brief remarks at the luncheon. My presentation will focus on the university’s student success initiative, including efforts to help students complete their degree programs and efforts to enhance the rigor and quality of our academic programs.

Join the fun of Welcome Weekend18687_5906-Move-In-700x394

Move in begins for most students at 8 a.m. on Friday. We have a tradition of having Bear Crew teams of faculty and staff at the residence halls to help students and their families carry their belongings to their rooms. If you have registered to be part of this year’s Bear Crew, please plan to come out and join us. If you have not registered but still want to help, please contact Gail Andrews at 417-836-4779.

Following move in, we have a number of events for our new and returning students on Welcome Weekend. Faculty and staff are welcome (and encouraged) to attend. These events include a See You Later Brunch at 11 a.m. on Saturday in the dining centers, New Student Convocation at 2 p.m. on Sunday in JQH Arena, and the New Student Festival at 3 p.m. on Sunday in Plaster Student Union.  You can find a full schedule of Welcome Weekend events on the webpage.

Please also join me at the Pride Marching Band’s annual Concert-On-The-Green at 7 p.m. on Sunday night in Plaster Stadium. The band will give us a sneak peak of some of the music the marching band will be using throughout the fall season. Please come out and support the Pride Bands and their new director, Dr. Brad Snow.

Get to know our students

Finally, this year’s Residence Hall House Calls will be at 5:15 p.m. on Aug. 31. During House Calls, faculty and staff reach out to residence hall students and give them an opportunity to interact with faculty, staff and administrators on a more personal level. By visiting individual rooms in the residence halls, volunteers welcome students, help determine if they need any assistance, and answer any questions they may have. I participate in House Calls each year, and I would encourage each of you to participate as well. You can sign up for House Calls by completing the online form.

Thanks for all you do for Missouri State!

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