Missouri State University
Presidential Updates

Clif’s Notes for April 21, 2015

Clif's Notes

In this issue I discuss our upcoming Higher Learning Commission review.

Students walking on campusUniversity prepares for October accreditation visit

Missouri State University received initial accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) in 1915 and has successfully earned reaffirmation of this accreditation in every cycle since that time. By law, the U.S. Department of Education (USDE) relies in part on regional accrediting agencies such as HLC to determine eligibility for U.S. government assistance under certain legislation. Our reaffirmation in 2015-16 is important.

The Missouri State University HLC Steering Committee began meeting in October of 2012 to prepare for the October 2015 visit. All agendas, minutes and draft reports are posted on the committee’s website. This is the first time we did not write a self-study. Instead we are preparing an assurance argument with attached evidence files to show that we meet all criteria and core components required of the HLC.

Assurance arguments now available online; feedback requested by June 15

The latest draft of each criterion report was posted this week. Please read and provide your feedback. There is a link just below the drafts to provide input. Submission of the final draft will occur in August but with summer fast approaching the HLC Steering Committee would like your feedback now (deadline for feedback is June 15).

Open forums scheduled Oct. 5-6

Block your calendars for Oct. 5-6. There will be at least three open forums during the visit related to the five criteria and all students, faculty and staff will be invited to participate.

Missouri State University students will be responding later this month to a short survey designed by the HLC. The results will be reviewed by the peer review team who will be on our campus Oct. 5-6.

All members of the Missouri State University HLC Steering Committee have worked diligently over the past two years to write the assurance argument and collect the required evidence. By Aug. 15 we will complete our work and submit the assurance argument for review. The site team will then have access to the report and create a meeting schedule. We will post the final schedule for all open forums by Sept. 28.

Thanks for all you do for Missouri State!

 

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Support available for tax fraud victims

Filing taxesReports of tax-related identity theft have been in both the national and local media this tax season. Criminals are obtaining personal information from a variety of sources external to the University and using the information to file tax returns claiming fraudulent refunds. This identity theft scam is affecting millions of tax payers across our nation and is reported as being the largest and most costly in United States history.

University data secure

Computer services has thoroughly investigated this issue and determined no Missouri State information systems have been compromised.

Resources for fraud victims

Unfortunately, several Missouri State employees have been affected by this fraud. If you have been a victim of this fraud, please review guidance from the Internal Revenue Service.

A local resource for assistance is the Springfield Internal Revenue Service Office located at 2937 S. Claremont Avenue, Building A, which is off of East Battlefield behind Metropolitan Grill.

Another valuable resource available for members of the Missouri State community is the information security unit of computer services.  If you have questions or concerns about information security at Missouri State or best practices used to prevent and protect yourself from identity theft, please contact them at informationsecurity@missouristate.edu.

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Clif’s Notes for April 14, 2015

Clif's Notes

Today I discuss the decision to resume using coal tar emulsion to seal parking lots.

Parking lotAlternative method to seal lots proves disappointing

For many years, the University applied coal tar emulsion (CTE) to seal its asphalt parking lots. Sealing the asphalt extends the life of the lots by protecting them from sunlight, salts, chemicals and oil.

The Environmental Protection Agency does not regulate the use of CTE or recommend any particular protocols when using CTE. However, in response to debate about the potential impact of chemicals in CTE runoff, in 2013 the University began trials with an alternative sealant—asphalt emulsion (AE)—on select parking lots. The goal was to find a product that served the same purpose as CTE with less risk for environmental impact.

The results from the trial use of AE were disappointing. It was difficult to apply, did not perform as well, does not last as long and is more expensive. In March, this information was presented to the Board of Governors, and the Board directed us to return to the use of CTE for resealing parking lots. There will be one major difference in its use this summer, however. CTE will be applied only using the specifications adopted by the Missouri Department of Conservation to mitigate against chemical runoff. These specifications include ensuring that CTE is applied when rain is not forecast and having a physical barrier available to prevent runoff at the edge of the lot during application.

We learned a lot during the AE trials, and they were worthwhile. We will continue to evaluate the use of AE and other CTE alternatives in the next several years, and we will conduct further trials as technology for CTE alternatives improves.

Thanks for all you do for Missouri State!

 

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