The Board of Governors met last week on the West Plains campus. This provided a great opportunity for us to highlight the success of our associate degree programs and spotlight West Plains’ students, faculty and staff.
Board approves budget, bonding and Learfield contract
I want to draw your attention to three of the Board’s action items.
Budget includes 1.8 percent salary increase
First, the Board approved the fiscal year 2016 operating budget. This budget is in line with the Executive Budget Committee’s recommendations that I outlined in a prior Clif’s Note. The budget includes a 1.8 percent compensation increase for all full-time faculty and staff. It also includes an instructor equity pool and staff merit/equity pool. These pools resulted in 52 instructors and 300 staff receiving compensation increases based on equity and merit in addition to the 1.8 percent across-the-board raise.
Board approves bonds for Glass Hall renovations
Second, the Board authorized the issuance of bonds to construct the planned addition, renovations and improvements to Glass Hall. This project is an important step in elevating the College of Business’s facilities to enhance success for the more than 5,000 business majors at Missouri State. We anticipate breaking ground in the fall.
Contract with Learfield extended
Finally, the Board approved a new 11 year contract with Learfield Communications, Inc., the University’s athletics media-rights contractor. This agreement provides several benefits for Missouri State. First, Learfield will pay for an LED fascia ribbon scoreboard in JQH Arena, saving the University more than $500,000. Moreover, the contract will result in the University receiving $332,500 in guaranteed payments next year, a $72,500 increase over the prior contract. Additionally, these payments will increase by $50,000 each year except 2017, when the payment will go up by $100,000. This is a significant improvement over the prior contract and will help us better fund our athletic programs.
This week I discuss changes made to the process for selecting Missouri Public Affairs Hall of Fame recipients.
New policy approved for Public Affairs Hall of Fame
On April 17 we inducted three individuals into the Missouri Public Affairs Hall of Fame: George Washington Carver, Eric Greitens and Simone Bernstein. The induction ceremony and banquet was a nice event and was well attended by a large number of people from the University, the community and the state of Missouri.
We will induct another class into the Hall of Fame on April 14, 2016, at the White River Conference Center.
Last week we approved a new policy on external recognitions and awards that will guide us as we select future inductees into the Missouri Public Affairs Hall of Fame. We have formed a new selection committee that will vet nominations and select inductees based on their support of public affairs and engaged citizenship. This committee will meet throughout the summer and the academic year.
Nominations for 2017 are due July 1
The selection process will not vary significantly from the past. However, I want to point out one key difference. In the past we have solicited nominations with a July 1 deadline for the upcoming class. We have decided that it is more appropriate to select candidates earlier. Accordingly, to ensure consideration, nominations should be submitted before July 1 for the class two years later. For example, nominations should be submitted by July 1, 2015, for consideration in the class to be inducted in the spring of 2017.
My vision for the Public Affairs Hall of Fame is that we select a diverse class each year including both well-known and less well-known individuals with a connection to Missouri that have contributed to public affairs with their time and/or resources. To this end, it is critically important that we receive nominations of inductees as you come across good candidates in your professional and personal endeavors.
We have many points of pride at Missouri State University. These achievements span the spectrum of the University’s operations. They include an enormous number of our academic programs, like our grapevine genomics research and our College of Business which is the largest in our six state region. They also include a great many of our non-academic and extracurricular programs.
Baseball Bears shine this season
One recent point of pride is our baseball team’s outstanding performance this year. The Bears finished the season with a school-record 49 wins (including 40 of their last 46 games, two of which were wins against the University of Missouri) and earned one of eight national seeds in the NCAA tournament. The Bears won the NCAA Regional Tournament and narrowly missed an opportunity to play in the College World Series after making their second-ever trip to the Super Regional round.
The baseball team’s historic season yielded big results for the University as a whole. Because of the team’s great success, we won a bid to have the NCAA Tournament Regional played at Hammons Field, where we turned out record-setting ticket sales.
Nine players receive post-conference accolades or drafted for MLB
Matt Hall, Jon Harris, Bryan Young and Jake Burger were named to All-America teams.
Dylan Becker, Sam Perez and Andy Cheray were named to Missouri Valley Conference Scholar-Athlete teams.
Four Bears—Harris, Tate Matheny, Hall, and Joey Hawkins—were selected in the MLB draft, with Harris receiving the 29th overall pick.
Baseball’s success generated national media coverage, positive exposure
The success of our baseball program resulted in literally hours of national TV coverage on ESPN and more than 800 media stories generated throughout the state and nation. This will have a significant impact on our efforts to enhance Missouri State’s profile as we continue to recruit students and market the University nationally and internationally.
We have many achievements to be proud of at Missouri State. Please join me in congratulating Coach Keith Guttin and our baseball team on a job well done.