Missouri State University
Presidential Updates

Clif’s Notes Vol. 4, No. 5

Clif's Notes

In this issue of Clif’s Notes, I provide a recap of Homecoming activities, discuss a naming gift for the welcome center, summarize two actions by the Board of Governors, highlight updates made to the University’s tobacco policy, invite the campus community to attend this year’s Public Affairs Convocation and remind the campus community about the United Way and Missouri State Way campaigns.

Homecoming paradeHomecoming activities

Last week we welcomed the University’s alumni and friends to campus for Homecoming. The celebration started on Sunday and Monday with a series of campus decorating contests. On Tuesday, students showcased their singing and dancing talents at the annual Rockstar karaoke competition. On Wednesday, students celebrated Maroon and White Night with a chili cook-off and concert. On Thursday, the campus community cheered on the University’s fall athletes at the Yell-Like-Hell pep rally, followed by a headphone disco Homecoming dance. Student organizations participated in physical and academic challenges at Friday’s Field Day. That night the University presented awards of special recognition to six alumni and friends of the University at the Distinguished Bears Dinner and Awards Ceremony.

In conjunction with Homecoming festivities, several academic units held meetings with advisory committees, organized alumni events and honored scholarship recipients. The trustees for the Missouri State University Foundation also held their annual meeting.

Saturday brought the Homecoming parade, the Maroon and White Basketball Scrimmage and tailgating at BearFest Village. That afternoon, we cheered our Bears to victory in the Homecoming football game. Students, friends and alumni of Missouri State filled downtown Springfield that evening for Bears on the Square festivities.

We had a fantastic Homecoming week, and I want to thank everyone who helped make it so.

Unveiling of the welcome center signWelcome center naming gift

As you know, our new welcome center is under construction at the corner of National Avenue and Bear Boulevard. Last Thursday we announced that Warren and Anne Davis and Patrick and Kim Harrington have given significant contributions, making the construction of the welcome center possible. In recognition of their gift, the building will be named the Davis-Harrington Welcome Center. A special thanks to the Davis and Harrington families and all the other private supporters who made the new “front door” to our campus a reality.

New chair and vice chair of the Board of GovernorsBoard of Governors actions

The Board met on Friday, Oct. 17. I want to summarize two actions taken at the meeting:

  • First, the Board elected officers for 2015. They are Stephen Hoven (St. Louis) as chair and Peter Hofherr (St. James) as vice chair. I look forward to working closely with Governors Hoven and Hofherr in the coming year, and I want to thank Beverly Miller (Lebanon) for her continued service as chair in 2014.
  • Second, the Board voted to award the Bronze Bear to the Bill R. Foster family. The award is presented to those who have exhibited extraordinary achievement and/or outstanding support for Missouri State. The Foster family has been involved with Missouri State for three decades and has invested in the University with gifts supporting Juanita K. Hammons Hall for the Performing Arts, Ozarks Public Television, JQH Arena, intercollegiate athletics programs and numerous academic scholarship funds. In 2011, the Missouri State University Foundation received a major charitable gift commitment from the Foster family in support of the University’s recreation center. I want to thank the Foster family for their support of the University and congratulate them for this well-deserved honor.

The Board also discussed the breadth and value of faculty research. This discussion involved presentations by three faculty members: Paul Durham, Michael F. Murray and David Mitchell. The Board received copies of the second edition of Mind’s Eye to facilitate the discussion.

Missouri State University tobacco-free campus signTobacco policy

To ensure a healthy learning and working environment by promoting a culture of health and wellness, the University became a tobacco-free campus two years ago. The University has updated the Tobacco Use Policy to address products and devices that have become popular more recently.

The new policy clarifies that “the use of devices or products that may be used to smoke or mimic smoking (including bongs, hookahs, vaporizers, etc.)” is prohibited on campus. If you would like more information about smoking cessation, please contact the Taylor Health and Wellness Center at 417-836-4064.

Eric Greitens' book, The Heart and the Fist Public Affairs Convocation

The Fall 2014 Convocation Lecture is 7 p.m. Oct. 28 in the Juanita K. Hammons Hall for the Performing Arts. This year’s lecturer is Eric Greitens. Mr. Greitens is a former Navy SEAL, a Rhodes Scholar and the award-winning author of our common reader for this year, The Heart and the Fist: The Education of a Humanitarian, the Making of a Navy SEAL. The lecture is free and open to the public, but it requires a ticket for entry. Tickets are available at the ticket offices of Hammons Hall, JQH Arena and Plaster Student Union.

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

We only have three weeks until our celebration luncheon on Nov. 10. If you would like to participate in one or both of these campaigns, please remember to complete and submit the forms in the packets you received.

Conclusion

Homecoming brings thousands of people who have been affected by the University to campus. It is a reminder of our rich history. I look forward to working with you to continue this tradition of excellence. Thanks for all you do for Missouri State University.

Telling the Missouri State story

Missouri State alumnus looking to dance his way to fame

Recent Missouri State University alumnus Darrell Hyche did not become serious about dance until his senior year of high school, but he is already starting to make a name for himself in the dance world.

“I had very little dance training before attending MSU,” said Hyche. “What initially started off as elective courses snowballed into a major, thanks to the guidance of the dance faculty.”

Hyche, who graduated in May 2013 with degrees in dance performance and psychology, was a member of Missouri State’s Inertia Dance Company, which promotes cultural literacy through performances and workshops; choreographed and participated in several Homecoming and Greek Jam performances for Phi Gamma Delta fraternity; and danced with the local step group Spazzed Out.

“Who I am as a dancer is largely due to the creative freedom I had and the encouragement and experience gained from the theatre and dance program,” he said.

Dance company featuring Darrell Hyche
Hyche is pictured on the far left with MADCO

Realizing his professional goals

Dance has grown from a hobby to a profession for Hyche. “My ultimate dream is to have a sustained and meaningful career in dance,” said Hyche. “Our time is short here so I just want to embrace each opportunity I’m given to continue to do what I love.”

Hyche is getting closer to making that dream come true, as he is one of the newest professional members of Modern American Dance Company (MADCO) in St. Louis, Mo. He works with choreographers to interpret and execute dances with speed and precision.

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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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