In this issue of Clif’s Notes, I review highlights from the May Board of Governors meeting, as well as the spring commencements.
Board of Governors meeting review
The budget for fiscal year 2014, the marketing discussion and a presentation from the Presidential Task Force on Online Education and Alternative Credit highlighted the Board of Governors meetings on Thursday, May 16.
I am pleased to report that the Board of Governors unanimously and enthusiastically accepted our proposal for increasing compensation in the fiscal year 2014 budget recommendation. We will present the complete fiscal year 2014 budget to the Board for approval at the June 21 meeting in Kansas City. The budget goes into effect July 1.
You will remember that the compensation package calls for a 2 percent across-the-board raise for all full-time faculty and staff employed before April 1 for Springfield and West Plains operating funds; a 2 percent increase for graduate assistants; an adjustment to the pay ranges for staff; a required contribution increase from the University to MOSERS (state retirement system); and faculty promotions. Specific details may be found in the Clif’s Notes from May 15.
Full Professor Incentive Program (Professor Plus)
The Board also expressed its support for the Full Professor Incentive Program, which would provide additional pay for those at the rank of professor who have continued to perform at a high level by conducting great research, being great teachers and mentoring students. While this is a selective program, the goal is to provide the monetary increase to up to 100 professors who would be phased in over time. To be eligible to apply, a faculty member would have to be in the full professor rank for at least five years at Missouri State.
Therefore, this summer and fall, Provost Frank Einhellig will work with a committee to develop the criteria and application process. Applications will be accepted and reviewed in the spring of 2014. The first group of recipients would be funded for fiscal year 2015, beginning July 1, 2014. Our intent is to award at least 20 in the first year, with more possible depending on the budget.
Online task force
At its Programs and Planning Committee meeting, the Board heard a report from the Presidential Task Force on Online Education and Alternative Credit.
I urge you take some time to review the report and its recommendations. I think it is thoughtful and measured in its suggestions. In accordance with one recommendation, Frank and I will appoint a standing committee to monitor developments in online education and alternative credit so that Missouri State keeps pace with its competitors. More information on this topic will be forthcoming in the next two months.
The Board had a very productive 90-minute discussion on marketing Missouri State. I invite you to review the research presentation documents, if you haven’t already.
Three of the key findings shared by Amy Crosby, senior director with the research firm of Penn Schoen Berland (PSB), were:
- Missouri State has a good reputation and gets high ratings from all audiences and, therefore, is operating from a position of strength.
- Missouri State’s value (i.e., benefit for cost) is very important to our students and their families.
- The two areas consistently identified for Missouri State to improve were in traditions and school spirit.
We must and will take a long-term view when it comes to improving our marketing. This presentation on the overall research was the first step. The next steps include the following:
- PSB has also conducted research on each of the academic colleges. That research will be presented to the deans and others in June. During those sessions, additional information will be collected to assist in developing the marketing plan proposals.
- Also this summer, PSB will complete its targeted research on underrepresented students, which will be presented to the campus.
- Then in the fall, the marketing plans will be presented by Cranford Johnson Robinson Woods (CJRW), PSB’s partner on this project. Our intent is to review those plans and implement any elements with existing staff.
Marketing will be a discussion topic again at the Board of Governors retreat on Aug. 1. And, I will keep you posted on this important project as it develops.
Spring commencement 2013
On Friday, May 17, 2,404 students graduated in three Springfield campus ceremonies in JQH Arena, with attendance averaging around 8,000 for each. On Saturday, May 18, the West Plains campus awarded another 277 degrees in a packed Civic Center. Those ceremonies are special for the graduates as well as the families and friends.
As we think about enhancing our traditions, I hope more faculty and staff will seriously consider attending the commencement ceremonies. It is important to the graduates and it sends a very positive message to all in attendance. Plus, it is just one of those signature events that remind us of why we work in higher education.
The next two opportunities are coming up. The first is the summer commencement on Friday, Aug. 2. The second is the New Student Convocation Sunday, Aug. 18, where we will welcome new students and their families, and award the Honorary Doctorate Degree to Missouri State alumnus and actor John Goodman. I hope you will put both events on your calendar.
I commend you for another very good year at Missouri State. I hope you have a chance to get a break this summer. I know I will see many of you when summer school begins June 10. Please watch for additional issues of Clif’s Notes as we keep you posted on developments this summer. Thank you.Send Comments to the President's Office