Missouri State University
Presidential Updates

Clif’s Notes Vol. 4, No. 7

Clif's Notes

In this issue of Clif’s Notes, I highlight the University’s achievement of its performance-based funding measures, provide information about the hiring of Coach Stec as our new head football coach, recap items discussed at the December Board of Governors meeting, summarize the CBHE’s coordinated planning process, and provide information about the University’s new weekly newsletter called Inside Missouri State.

Social work studentsState performance measures

This is the third year of Missouri’s performance-based funding model. In the past two years, Missouri State met all five of its performance measures at both campuses. We recently received confirmation that we have once again met all five of our performance measures for fiscal year 2014 on the Springfield and West Plains campuses. This means that if the General Assembly funds the performance-based funding model during the upcoming legislative session, we will receive the maximum available increase to our operating appropriation

Meeting these performance measures requires everyone at the University to work hard and achieve positive results. Thanks to everyone who helped Missouri State realize this significant success.

Coach StecHead football coach

On Sunday, December 14, Missouri State hired Dave Steckel as its new head football coach. Coach Stec (he prefers to be called “Stec”) has spent the last 14 seasons with the University of Missouri, completing his tenure as associate head coach and defensive coordinator. He was the only defensive coach among the five finalists for the 2014 Frank Broyles Award as the nation’s top assistant coach.

We have a five-year agreement with Coach Stec with a base salary of $270,000. Though this salary is $120,000 higher than the prior head football coach’s salary, no new University funds will be committed to the athletics department for Coach Stec’s salary. Sixty thousand dollars will come from salary savings due to the elimination of a position in the athletics department through attrition. The other $60,000 will be raised through private contributions from donors. You can find more information about Coach Stec in the official press release.

This is an exciting time for Missouri State’s football program. Please join me in welcoming Coach Stec to our University.

Missouri State Seal

Board of Governors actions

The Board met on Friday, December 12. I want to summarize four topics that were addressed at the meeting.

First, Governor Hoven, next year’s Board chair, announced his committee assignments for 2015. Governors Carmichael, Fry, Hofherr and Hoven (ex officio) will serve on the Executive Committee. Governors Hofherr (chair), Doyle, Miller and Seal will serve on the Programs and Planning Committee. Governors Fry (chair), Carmichael, Hoven, Kimbrough and Tergin will serve on the Finance and Facilities Committee.

Second, the Board discussed the University’s broadcast services. Tammy Wiley, general manager of KSMU and Ozarks Public Television (OPT), gave a multimedia presentation to the Board. I have received positive feedback about the presentation and about the important services KSMU and OPT provide to our region.

Third, the Board approved Faculty Senate’s nominations of Elise Crain and Tom Strong for honorary Doctor of Public Affairs degrees to be award at the May 15, 2015, commencement ceremonies. Ms. Crain and Mr. Strong have served as significant volunteer leaders to the Missouri State community and to our region. Ms. Crain’s passion for education and children provided the foundation for her work as one of the founders and volunteers for the Ozark Care to Learn program, providing new clothing, shoes, hygiene kits and access to medical care for children. Mr. Strong’s notable volunteer leadership at Missouri State has included serving as president of the Alumni Association, co-founder and charter member of the basketball booster club, member of the Board of Governors, and president of the Missouri State University Foundation. Ms. Crain and Mr. Strong are very deserving of this honor, and I want to personally congratulate them.

Finally, the Board passed resolutions honoring Governors Miller, Kimbrough and Tergin for their service to the University. The terms for these governors expire at the end of the year, but each of them will continue to serve on the Board of Governors until resignation or until the Governor nominates a replacement and the Senate confirms the nomination.

A few days after the Board meeting, on Tuesday, December 16, the United States Senate confirmed Governor Bough as a Federal District Court Judge for the Western District of Missouri. Accordingly, Governor Bough has resigned from the Board of Governors.

I want to say thank you to Governors Bough, Miller, Kimbrough and Tergin. I have enjoyed working with each of you and you will be greatly missed.

Students on campus

CBHE’s coordinated planning process

Missouri’s Coordinating Board for Higher Education (CBHE) recently began a process to develop a new coordinated plan for the state’s higher education system titled Preparing Missourians to Succeed: A Blueprint for Higher Education. CBHE anticipates that the plan will focus on accessibility, affordability, quality and completion with regard to the state’s higher education system.

To facilitate the planning process, CBHE has appointed a steering committee and scheduled hearings throughout the state to receive testimony from higher education leaders, employers, business leaders and others. Dr. David Russell, commissioner of higher education, has appointed me to the steering committee, and I will actively participate in the hearings. Missouri State will have an opportunity to testify as part of this process during a June 2015 hearing scheduled to take place in Springfield.

Please feel free to send any comments you have about this process to my office.

Carrington HallInside Missouri State

This will be the last issue of Clif’s Notes that you will receive directly from me. Beginning next semester, all faculty and staff will begin receiving a weekly employee newsletter called Inside Missouri State. The newsletter will come out on Tuesdays and is intended to replace most campus wide emails.

Inside Missouri State will become the primary means of communicating with employees on a University-wide level. It will incorporate regular communications that currently go out by individual offices, including:

  • Clif’s Notes
  • Provost Communiqué
  • Diversity Perspectives Newsletter
  • Employee Wellness Newsletter
  • Human Resources announcements

Inside Missouri State will also include:

  • Featured events
  • Information on University benefits and perks
  • Information about promotions, new hires, office name changes and retirement receptions
  • News about faculty and staff accomplishments
  • Featured blog posts

I hope you will take time each week to read Inside Missouri State. I also hope that you will help us reduce the number of campus wide emails by submitting items for campus distribution to University communications.

Information pertinent only to a certain college, department or division should continue to be sent by existing methods of communication. Notices that are required by law or policy to be sent to employees will continue to be sent by individual email.


I hope all of you have a good holiday break and come back to campus ready to accomplish big things in the spring semester. I plan to read; see the new movie “Unbroken,” which will be released on Christmas day; enjoy family and travel to Florida for a few days. I hope your days off are also filled with joy and happiness. Thanks for all you do for Missouri State University.

Telling the Missouri State story

The Missouri State University Board of Governors designated six students as the 2014-15 Citizen Scholars at their meeting last week. These students were selected for their dedication to the public affairs mission of the University through course work, activities and service-learning opportunities.


2014-15 Citizen Scholars

  • Jared Bajkowski, a senior entrepreneurship major from Lee’s Summit, Missouri
  • Brittany Donnellan, a senior international business major with a Spanish minor from Springfield, Missouri
  • Jordan McGee, a senior economics and organizational communication major from Ellisville, Missouri
  • Samantha Nichols, a senior religious studies major with an Ozarks studies minor from Stilwell, Kansas
  • Konnor Temple, a senior international business major with minors in Mandarin Chinese and logistics and supply chain management from Springfield, Missouri
  • Jared Cates, a graduate student in the student affairs in higher education master’s program from West Plains, Missouri

Each student received a crystal globe in recognition of the award, and their names have been added to the Citizen Scholar wall in Plaster Student Union.

Please join me in recognizing the accomplishments of these remarkable Missouri State students.

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Clif’s Notes Vol. 4, No. 6

Clif's Notes

In this issue of Clif’s Notes, I give an update on the visioning project, provide information about the University’s educational programs related to the Ferguson situation, provide an update on the head football coach search and summarize the University’s priorities for the 2015 legislative session.

Students on campusMissouri State Vision: Our Passion for Excellence

As you know, we are working on a visioning project titled Missouri State Vision: Our Passion for Excellence. The visioning steering committee has met three times to set the parameters for the project and establish task forces. The steering committee has broken down the project into the following six topical areas:

  • Funding
    Envisioning the long-term financial vitality of the University and positioning the University to deal with changes and challenges that might be anticipated in the next 10-12 years
  • Academic profile
    Envisioning alignment of the University’s array of academic programs, strategic partnerships and research emphasis to help ensure the next generation of students/learners succeeds
  • Infrastructure
    Envisioning a campus infrastructure – facilities, technology, environmental sustainability – that supports academic programs and research initiatives and contributes to the University’s overall operational efficiency
  • Diversity
    Envisioning a campus community that embraces diversity in all aspects of campus learning/life
  • Globalization
    Envisioning integration of globalization in all University endeavors in order for the campus community to compete, function and succeed in the worldwide environment/economy
  • Student experience
    Envisioning a rich, memorable and distinctive educational experience that helps ensure success for students

The committee established task forces for each topical area and selected external and internal members for each task force. All task force members have been instructed to reach out to the members of our University community as they move forward, so there will be many opportunities to participate in the visioning project for those who were not selected for task force membership. You can find more information online about Missouri State Vision: Our Passion for Excellence, including complete task force rosters. Please send us your comments.

Ferguson dialogueFerguson dialogue

Before the Grand Jury reached its decision regarding the Michael Brown shooting, the University established a series of educational programs intended to allow students and the public to engage in facilitated dialogue about the Ferguson situation. A number of these programs have already taken place, and more events are scheduled.

For more information about these programs, contact the Multicultural Resource Center at 417-836-5652.

Missouri State Bears football team Head football coach

The University has decided not to renew its contract with head football coach Terry Allen. Coach Allen’s contract will expire at the end of January 2015, which means that no buyout is required. We have created a search committee to vet potential candidates for our new head football coach. The committee is chaired by Kyle Moats, director of athletics, and includes the following members:

  • Ryan DeBoef, chief of staff
  • Fred Harle, community member
  • Casey Hunt, senior associate director of athletics
  • Dr. James Hutter, associate professor, school of agriculture
  • Tom Strong, community member

The committee has already begun its work. I have asked the search committee to pare down the list of applicants. Kyle Moats and I will then make the final decision on which applicant to hire. You can find more information about the University’s decision not to renew Coach Allen’s contract and the ongoing search for our next head coach in the University’s press release.

I am excited about the future of Bears football. I firmly believe that this hiring opportunity will allow us to build on the momentum of our renovated facilities and reinvented game day experience to put the football program on a path toward success. I want to publicly thank Coach Allen again for the good work he has done during the past nine years and for his commitment to our community, the University and his players.

Missouri's capitol building Legislative priorities

The Missouri General Assembly’s 2015 legislative session will begin in January. Missouri State has established the following legislative priorities for the upcoming session:

  • Obtain a capital appropriation for maintenance and repair projects including Ellis Hall (($7,581,818) and Hill Hall ($9,575,669) on the Springfield campus, Missouri Hall on the West Plains campus ($1,547,890) and life safety equipment throughout the West Plains campus ($220,000).
  • Combine the $1,325,000 operating appropriation for particular health programs (including the occupational therapy program on the Springfield campus and allied health programs on the West Plains campus) with Missouri State’s ongoing core appropriation.
  • Obtain an increase in Missouri State’s ongoing operating appropriation.

You can find more information about the University’s goals this legislative session. Please advocate for these goals as appropriate when you interact with our state legislators.


I hope each of you had a good Thanksgiving break and are ready for the sprint to the finish line over the next two weeks. Plan to come by my holiday open house at 2 p.m. Dec. 9 in the JQH Arena Prime Overtime Club. Thanks for all you do for Missouri State University.

Telling the Missouri State story

Dr. Shawn Wahl, communication department head
Dr. Shawn Wahl, communication department head

Department of communication receives national recognition

The department of communication has received the distinction of “Strong Program” by the National Communication Association (NCA) President’s Task Force for the Advocacy of Communication in the Academy. The mission of the NCA Task Force “…is to identify information and resources that will prove useful to communication programs of all types as they advocate for their interests on campus.”

There were several factors that contributed to this recognition, including department affiliation with the professional discipline, faculty teaching and research profiles, presence of a solid general education course (COM 115: Public Speaking) and disciplinary leadership. For many years, the department has made significant contributions to basic communication course innovation, teaching assistant training, peer-reviewed research, national leadership in the communication discipline and civic engagement.

It is an honor to be recognized by this task force, and I hope you join me in congratulating the department on a job well done!

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