Clif’s Notes Vol. 3, No. 9

Clif's Notes

In this issue of Clif’s Notes, I review actions from the Board of Governors meeting and provide updates on other topics.

Board membersBoard of Governors approves bonds, discusses HLC accreditation

The Board of Governors had its February meeting on the West Plains campus, which is the normal practice. Chancellor Drew Bennett, the West Plains faculty, staff and students, and the West Plains community were very gracious hosts.

There were some organizational matters covered at the meeting:

  • The next meeting of the Board will be a retreat March 6-7 in St. Louis.
  • For a variety of reasons, the June Board meeting in Kansas City has been moved from June 27 to June 20.
  • Governor Virginia Fry has been confirmed, but due to some procedural issues, Kendall Seal has not yet been confirmed. We are confident that will occur soon. To his credit, Kendall attended the West Plains meeting as an observer in order to stay informed

At the meeting, the Board had two major topics.

SunvillaAuxiliary bond package approved

The Board approved issuing up to $42 million in auxiliary enterprise system revenue bonds. This was the final step in a process that began several months ago. The projects included in this bond package were described in the January issue of Clif’s Notes. The projects are non-academic ones: residence hall renovations and improvements in the recreation and athletic facilities. The designated B.E.A.R. Fee students approved for the recreational and athletic facilities, along with revenue from residence life, will be the source of the bond payments.

Next on the list is the Board’s consideration and anticipated approval of an academic bond package. We anticipate that occurring in late summer 2014.

West Plains studentsHLC accreditation discussed

The Board’s discussion topic was the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) accreditation for both the West Plains and Springfield campuses. The West Plains visit is coming in late March and early April 2014. The Springfield visit is not yet set, but it will mostly likely be during the fall of 2015.

This was a good chance for Provost Frank Einhellig to provide background about the importance of accreditations generally and HLC specifically. He also explained the process and cost.

Dr. Tammy Jahnke gave an update on the Springfield HLC process, and Chancellor Bennett and Dennis Lancaster provided a detailed report on the eminent visit to the West Plains campus.

HLC accreditation is important — we are taking the process very seriously. I invite you to review the background documents we provided for the Board discussion and also visit the websites listed for more information. Please note that we have scheduled a town hall meeting for April 4 to discuss the draft report and evidences developed by the Springfield campus HLC Steering Committee.

Drew Bennett accepts Business of the Year award for West Plains campus“Business of the Year” award

At the Board meeting, Chancellor Bennett was able to inform us all about a recent award for the West Plains campus.

The West Plains Chamber of Commerce recently awarded the “Business of the Year” to Missouri State University-West Plains. The nomination, read by Chamber President Dr. Josh Cotter, detailed the significance and impact that Missouri State-West Plains has had on the region. Chancellor Bennett is shown here with West Plains Mayor Jack Pahlmann.

Drew told that the Board, “It was an honor and a very humbling experience to walk on stage to receive the plaque in front of hundreds of community members who were standing and applauding. When I got to the microphone I said: ‘I have a wonderful and very rewarding job – which in reality contributed very little to this award. It is the faculty and staff of our campus who do the real work and deserve the credit for this achievement. It is on their behalf that I accept this award.’”

I know you join me in congratulating the West Plains campus on this award.

Special recognitions

I want to draw your attention to two special recognitions.

Student employeeNational Student Employment Week

Led by the student employment office, Missouri State will celebrate National Student Employment Week April 7-11. Part of the celebration will be recognition of one outstanding student worker who will receive the Student Employee of the Year STAR Award and will have the opportunity to win recognition and cash prizes at the state, regional and national level. Nominees and nominators will also be invited to participate in a separate Student Employee of the Year event. So, if you have an amazing student worker you would like to nominate or you would like to participate in our other activities for the week, visit the student employment office website. Applications for the Student Employee of the Year Award are due by Feb. 17.

Social work professorSocial Work Month

March is Professional Social Work Month, which celebrates the many good works of that profession and of our social work graduates. Since its inception, social work has been instrumental in achieving civil rights and human rights advances; has enhanced human well-being and helping meet the basic needs of all people, especially the most vulnerable; and has had a positive impact on adolescent and youth development, aging and family caregiving, child protection and family services. The students and faculty in our School of Social Work, the College of Health and Human Services appreciate your support for this special month.

Students on campusSpring enrollment sets system record

The fourth week census date was earlier this week, so I wanted to report on enrollment:

  • The Springfield campus has set another spring enrollment record, with 20,473 students, a 2.8 percent increase over spring 2013. The increase was driven in large part by students returning from our record fall enrollment. We also enrolled 671 new transfer students, a 4.5 percent increase over spring 2013.
  • Following a one percent increase in fall 2013, spring 2014 enrollment on the West Plains campus is down slightly. This year’s total is 1,667, compared to 1,768 last spring.  Still, it is encouraging to note that spring enrollment at Missouri State-West Plains has increased 10 percent in the last five years. 

See full news release. Enrollment continues to be important, for achieving both our state and national goals of educating more students and also to keep our revenue strong.

Conclusion

We are heading into a peak time of the year with many events and activities, from major speakers and conferences, to championship athletic events. I hope to see you often as we help our students take full advantage of the Missouri State experience.

Thank you for all you do for Missouri State University.

Telling the Missouri State story

Dr. Anson ElliotDr. Anson Elliott, head of the William H. Darr School of Agriculture, received high honors during the 44th Missouri Governor’s Conference on Agriculture, hosted by Gov. Jay Nixon and the Missouri Department of Agriculture. During the awards banquet, Gov. Nixon and Missouri’s Director of Agriculture Richard Fordyce recognized Elliott with Missouri’s Agricultural Educator of the Year award in front of hundreds of Missouri producers and agribusiness leaders.

He is the second recipient of this award.

A leading force for 20+ years

Elliott has led Missouri State’s agriculture programs since 1980, balancing his responsibilities as a member of the teaching faculty and overseer of off-campus facilities with those of his administrative role. He also advises undergraduate and graduate students, as well as student organizations within the Darr School of Agriculture.

He is committed to growing opportunities for Missouri agriculture students as well as producers. In 2012, he traveled to Russia with the USDA Foreign Agriculture Service and Missouri agriculture leaders in an effort to develop and grow partnerships among educators and employers. He also continues to be involved in partnerships to grow Missouri State’s research farms and facilities, as well as to strengthen the already outstanding genetics within the University’s livestock.

Helping secure the future of Missouri agriculture

“The men and women educating the next generation of Missouri agriculture are essential to the continued success of our state and our nation,” said Fordyce. “It is key that we recognize those who serve as a strong voice for the future of Missouri agriculture, especially those whose deep commitment, spanning nearly four decades, reaches throughout our industry.”

Elliot is a member of Missouri’s Agricultural Leaders of Tomorrow (ALOT) organization, and was honored with the group’s Missouri Agriculture Leader of the Year award in 2006.

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