Missouri State University
Presidential Updates

Clif’s Notes for May 23, 2017

Clif's Notes

The May meeting of the Board of Governors was held last week. I want to highlight several action items from the meeting.

Board approved programs, awarded contracts Flowers in bloom

The board approved two new academic programs — a bachelor of science in agriculture communication and a bachelor of science in English/creative writing and literature.

The board awarded a contract to DeWitt & Associates to renovate areas on the third floor of the Professional Building. The work will include the genetics/physiology lab, anatomy lab, introduction to biosciences labs (with prep areas), the masters of public health lab and a graduate assistant’s workroom. The work is scheduled to complete this summer.

Recognition of service

The board also approved a number of awards and commendations.

  • The board approved a resolution recognizing Governor Joe Carmichael for his leadership as a member of the Board of Governors. Please join me in thanking him for his service to Missouri State University.
  • The board approved resolutions recognizing Micheal Foster (Chair of Faculty Senate), Adam Coffman (Student Body President) and Brianna Duda (Student Body Vice President) for their service to the university. I have enjoyed working with each of these individuals. They have been effective leaders for our faculty and students throughout the past year.
  • The board acknowledged the 2016-17 Excellence in Public Affairs for Faculty and Staff Award Recipients. This year’s recipients of the Faculty Excellence in Public Affairs award are Catherine English, Paula Rector and Adena Young-Jones. This year’s recipients of the Staff Excellence in Public Affairs award are Alex Johnson, Dandan Liu and Patrick Parnell.
  • The board acknowledged the recipients of the Missouri State Foundation Awards for Teaching, Research and Service. This year’s recipients of the service award are Amy Blansit and Carol Maples. This year’s recipients of the research award are Keith Ekstam and Wafaa Kaf. This year’s recipients of the teaching award are Paul Durham and Kurt Heinlein. Durham is also the recipient of this year’s Governor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching.
  • The board also approved the 2017 inductees for the Wall of Fame. This year’s inductees are John Bowdidge, John Catau, Marilyn Chana, Bruce Johnson, Mike McElhaney and Sally Rowe.

Being mindful of the budgetSkyline of Foster Rec Center

At the Finance and Facilities Committee meeting, the board also reviewed and discussed the model that we will use to develop the fiscal year 2018 budget. The board will approve the final budget at the June meeting.

As you know, for the Springfield campus this budget model includes $4 million in expense reductions. These reductions include eliminating 22 vacant staff positions, five vacant faculty positions and eight occupied staff positions. By working to reduce as many expenses outside the academic units as possible, the budget will include only a 1.2 percent budget reduction for the colleges.

The University of Missouri’s Columbia campus recently announced that it anticipates a 7.4 percent enrollment decline, requiring its fiscal year 2018 budget to be cut by 12 percent. The campus expects to eliminate between 350 and 400 positions and layoff between 80 and 100 employees.

As we finalize our budget, I am reminded of the important role increased tuition revenue through enrollment growth has played in the financial well-being of Missouri State. The university’s success is the result of all of us working together to enhance Missouri State’s student success, academic excellence, and state and nationwide reputation.

Thanks for all you do for Missouri State!


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Clif’s Notes for May 16, 2017

Clif's Notes

On Friday, we will graduate 2,651 students at three commencement ceremonies in JQH Arena.

Graduate poses for pictureInspiring our graduates

We are honored to feature three outstanding alumni and supporters of Missouri State University as commencement speakers.

Sara Lampe, a former state representative and life-long educator, will receive Missouri State’s 21st honorary doctorate. She will speak at the 1:30 p.m. ceremony. Brad Thomas, the president of Silver Dollar City Attractions, will speak at the 10 a.m. ceremony. Nancy Rahmeyer, a judge on the Missouri Court of Appeals, will speak at the 5 p.m. cerermony.

We will hold another commencement ceremony at 10 a.m. on Saturday in West Plains. At this ceremony, 257 students will graduate, and United States Air Force Lt. Col. Samuel K. Joplin will give the keynote address.

Please join me in congratulating each of our graduates on a job well done in completing their course work at Missouri State. I am excited to see the great things they will accomplish in the next chapter of their lives.

Thanks for all you do for Missouri State!


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Clif’s Notes for May 9, 2017

Clif's Notes

I have good news to report from Jefferson City. We have invested significant time and effort this year advocating that the legislature reduce the cut to our core appropriation.

CarringtonGood news from the legislature

Last Wednesday I made another trip to Jefferson City to testify before the House Higher Education Committee. My testimony focused on Missouri State’s quality, affordability and efficiency. I informed the committee of the decisions we have made this year to balance Missouri State’s budget, and I stated that additional cuts would result in Missouri State University — and the entire Missouri higher education community — taking steps backward in terms of quality and affordability. I have delivered this same message to many of our legislators and other elected leaders over the past several months.

Later in the week, the General Assembly’s budget conference committee announced, and the House and Senate passed, the legislature’s final version of the state budget.

The final budget will include a 6.58 percent core cut for Missouri State as opposed to the 9 percent cut proposed by Governor Greitens. If the Governor approves the budget, and there are no withholds during the fiscal year, Missouri State will receive $2.1 million more in state appropriations than originally anticipated.

Please join me in thanking Sen. Dan Brown (Senate Appropriations Chair), Rep. Scott Fitzpatrick (House Budget Chair) and the other legislators involved in the budget process for working to restore a portion of our core cut.

An unanticipated $2.1 millionStudent sits on steps of Siceluff Hall

As you know, we developed our fiscal year 2018 budget recommendations on the assumption of a 9 percent cut. Accordingly, this additional $2.1 million in anticipated revenue is currently unallocated.

I have already informed the Executive Budget Committee that we will meet in the fall to evaluate the actual revenues received from the state and develop recommendations for a mid-year compensation increase.

West Plains flooding update

I want to take a moment to update you on the status of our West Plains campus.

On April 29, West Plains received over nine inches of rain in a six-hour period. The result was flooding throughout Howell County and surrounding areas. It was a historic weather event that destroyed homes and businesses, caused several deaths and threatened the safety of countless others.

Roads, bridges and other infrastructure throughout the West Plains community have been damaged, making travel difficult for some and impossible for others. Cellular service was disrupted, and the entire community has been without power and other services at times following the storm.

Our West Plains campus sits on high ground, so we suffered only minor property damage. The GOCAT facility suffered some flooding. Moreover, the Grizzly Lofts, which we lease as part of a public-private partnership, were flooded, requiring an emergency evacuation of students residing there. Additionally, our faculty, staff and students in the West Plains area have had to deal with the ramification of their homes and communities being flooded.

I was in contact with Chancellor Bennett during the flooding and its aftermath. We decided to close the campus on May 1 and 2, with only essential personnel reporting. As we evaluated the situation we then canceled classes for the rest of the week, but reopened offices on May 3. This allowed as many faculty, staff and students as possible to avoid the travel difficulties and attend to their personal needs.

The Springfield campus provided dispatch services during the flooding (which proved critical given the cellular outage and communications problems resulting from the flooding) and has offered other support to ensure that the West Plains campus operates as smoothly as possible in the coming weeks and months.

West Plains campus open againWest Plains campus

I am pleased to report that the West Plains campus opened for business yesterday. I traveled there yesterday to ensure that things ran according to plan and to recognize several members of our Missouri State community who exhibited extraordinary commitment during the flooding. Those individuals include:

  • Jared Cates, director of student life
  • Bruce Cavitt, academic adviser
  • Anyta Cavitt, teacher education adviser
  • Stanley Mugeki, director of student housing
  • Angie Totty, dean of student services

Please join me in congratulating and thanking these individuals for their exemplary work. Please also join me in remaining mindful of the obstacles that our West Plains campus has surmounted, and the obstacles they will continue to encounter, as we close out the semester.

How can I help?Students work together in classroom

I have been asked by many of our faculty and staff what they can do to help our students in West Plains. The Missouri State Foundation has an Emergency Scholarship Fund. This fund provides assistance to students who face an unforeseen crisis that makes them unable to meet their financial obligations. The Foundation has agreed to use this fund to solicit contributions and provide assistance for our students in West Plains who have been impacted by the flooding.

The Foundation will begin an email and crowdfunding campaign to solicit contributions to the fund this week. In the meantime, if you would like to contribute to the fund, you may either contact the Missouri State Foundation at 417-836-4143 or contribute online.

Thanks for all you do for Missouri State!


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