Missouri State University
Presidential Updates

Clif’s Notes for Oct. 25, 2016

Clif's Notes

Our public affairs theme for this year is Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness: Perspectives on Self-Government. Throughout the year, we will explore our rights and responsibilities as citizens in a modern democracy.

Establishing the foundationFog over the Scholar statue

We began this exploration several weeks ago with our Public Affairs Week activities. Highlights included:

  • The Hunger Banquet – Based on the latest world statistics of the number of people living in poverty, all guests were randomly assigned various identities, circumstances and income levels. Guests experienced a proportional meal based on their assigned identity.
  • Civic Engagement Conference – Christopher Phillips gave the keynote presentation titled “ASK NOT: The Pursuit of Happiness and Democratic Citizenship.” Phillips’ presentation reminded us that society needs dialog and human interaction. He encouraged all of us to ask questions about important issues and become thinkers, askers and doers.
  • Public Affairs Week feature presentation – Usra Ghazi gave the feature presentation titled “How Interfaith Dialog and Awareness Informs Us as Citizens and People of Faith.” Ghazi discussed her personal and professional interfaith journey and the many ways that one’s commitment to interfaith engagement can change the world.

Connect with the theme

Sonia Nazario
Sonia Nazario

Please join me as we continue to explore the theme at the Public Affairs Convocation lecture at 7 p.m. Nov. 1 at Juanita K. Hammons Hall for the Performing Arts.

Sonia Nazario, author of Missouri State’s common reader “Enrique’s Journey,” will present this year’s lecture.

As a speaker with a reporter’s eye for the truth, Nazario humanizes the issue of immigration, posing new perspectives that fall on both sides, while offering solutions destined to change the national dialogue. The lecture is free and open to the public, and no ticket is required.

We will continue our signature public affairs events in the spring semester with the Public Affairs Conference, the Missouri Public Affairs Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony and the Collaborative Diversity Conference.

Please plan to attend all of the signature events as we advance Missouri State’s public affairs mission.

Thanks for all you do for Missouri State!

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Clif’s Notes for Oct. 18, 2016

Clif's Notes

Last week the Board of Governors had its October meeting. I want to take a moment to highlight important discussions and action items from the meeting.

Board recognizes Allison, Nietzel

Allison with Lady Bears
Bobby Allison with the Lady Bears
Bears of Distinction Alumni Awards Ceremony. 60 Years of Celebrating 1956-2016 Kevin White/MSU Alumni Awards Ceremony 60 Years of Celebrating 1956-2016
Mike Nietzel at an alumni event

The Board voted to recognize Bobby Allison with the Bronze Bear Award.

Allison’s contributions to the university have included gifts for the basketball courts in the Foster Recreation Center, the Betty and Bobby Allison Recreation Fields, the Betty and Bobby Allison North (hockey and lacrosse) and South (soccer and track) facilities, and playground equipment at the Child Development Center.

The Board also voted to recognize Dr. Michael Nietzel with the Government Excellence Award.

As a senior policy adviser to Gov. Jay Nixon, Nietzel was actively engaged in selecting members of Missouri State’s Board of Governors and was directly involved in Nixon’s budget development and higher education policy decisions.

Nietzel played a critical role in Missouri State University receiving record ongoing funding in fiscal year 2017 and capital appropriations.

Other board actions

Renderings of new health and wellness center
Rendering of the new health and wellness center

The board approved the bond for the new health and wellness center. Health and wellness center operations have been moved to The Monroe to allow for the existing building to be demolished. The construction contract for the project has been award to K&S Associates, and the project is advancing as planned.

The board also approved a consultant contract for the Hill Hall project and a contract for improvements to the chilled water loop.

The board approved changes to the employee handbook to create a new employment category called professional non-exempt and to make other revisions to implement the changes to the Fair Labor Standards Act throughout campus.

The board elected new officers to take office in January. The board elected Joe Carmichael as chair and Virginia Fry as vice chair. I look forward to working with our new board leadership.

Finally, the board heard a presentation from Amy Blansit. Blansit described how she has made her Missouri Statement through her work with The Fairbanks School building and other initiatives in the Grant Beach Neighborhood in Springfield.

Health Risk Assessment availableTwo people running in Foster Recreation Center

The annual Health Risk Assessment (HRA) is available now for you to complete through the MyMissouriState portal under the Wellness heading on the Profile tab. The deadline to complete the HRA is Dec. 1.

Completing the HRA allows you to save up to $30 per month on your health insurance premiums. The exact amount of savings will depend on your responses to questions about smoking and activities. Completing the HRA also provides a personal profile of your wellness and provides ideas for improving your overall health.

Additional information about the HRA can be found on the wellness webpage.

Thanks for all you do for Missouri State!

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Clif’s Notes for Oct. 11, 2016

Clif's Notes

This week I want to highlight several important events on campus.

United Way/Missouri State Wayunited-way

The Missouri State Way and United Way Campaigns kicked off last week. The campaigns will run through Nov. 4. Missouri State University faculty and staff make an incredible difference on our campus and in our community through participation in these two campaigns.

Campaign packets have been distributed in campus mail. You can also find information about the campaigns on the Missouri State Way and United Way webpage. Please join me in participating by completing and submitting the contribution forms.

After you complete your contributions forms, please plan to attend the Celebration Luncheon at noon on Friday, Nov. 4 in the PSU ballroom. I look forward to seeing you there!

Benefits open enrollmentclinic14

Our open enrollment period for employee benefits began last week. All benefit-eligible employees are encouraged to go through the open enrollment process to select, decline and review the benefits that we offer at Missouri State. You might be surprised by what we offer for you and your dependents:

  • Medical insurance
  • Dental insurance
  • Vision insurance (new carrier)
  • Supplemental life insurance
  • Group universal life insurance
  • Critical illness insurance
  • Accident insurance

Basic life, accidental death and dismemberment and long term disability are 100 percent paid for by the university.

It’s important to do it now – the deadline is 11:59 p.m. on Dec. 1. Once elections or changes have been made, no changes can be made during the year unless they are due to a qualifying/life changing event (e.g. marriage, divorce, birth, etc.).

We encourage you to go through the enrollment process even if you plan to keep what you currently have. Not taking any action could result in the possibility of you having the incorrect benefits and deductions. Please refer to the Open Enrollment FAQs for additional information.

Enrollment is online. Visit the open enrollment webpage to begin.

Homecoming18859-0039 homecoming 2015

This week we will welcome alumni, friends and supporters of Missouri State University to campus as we celebrate Homecoming. Please plan to attend some or all of the events throughout the week:

  • Student Rockstar competition at 7 p.m. on Tuesday in Hammons Student Center
  • Yell Like Hell pep rally at 6 p.m. on Thursday in Hammons Student Center
  • On Friday:
    • Wall of Fame Induction Ceremony at 4 p.m. in the PSU ballroom
    • Pointer Sisters concert at 8 p.m. in Juanita K. Hammons Hall for the Performing Arts
  • On Saturday:
    • Homecoming parade at 9 a.m. on Saturday on John Q. Hammons Parkway
    • Breakfast with Boomer at 10 a.m. on Saturday in Meyer Library
    • Men’s and women’s basketball scrimmages from 10:30 a.m.-1 p.m. in JQH Arena
    • Tailgate at Bearfest Village at 11 a.m. on Saturday outside Plaster Stadium

Please also join me at 2 p.m. on Saturday to cheer our Bears football team to victory as they take on the Leathernecks of Western Illinois University.

Thanks for all you do for Missouri State!

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