I wanted to update you on several action items from the October Board of Governors committee and regular meetings.
Celebrating the renovations on campus
Before the meetings, the Board of Governors joined the Foundation’s Board of Trustees, the College of Business Executive Advisory Council, community leaders, donors, alumni and supporters of Missouri State to reopen Glass Hall and dedicate the Robert Gourley Student Success Center.
If you have not yet seen the facility, I encourage you to walk through this building. We should all be proud of the facility projects completed this semester. When we transform spaces like Glass and Ellis Halls, prospective students are more likely to attend Missouri State, and existing students receive enhanced education and an improved campus experience.
Continuing budget discussions
I provided the board’s Finance and Facilities Committee with an update on the university’s budget process for fiscal year 2019. The MOSERS board has decided to increase employer contribution rates next year. This will cost the university an additional $750,000. We also know that ordinary operating expenses (utilities, lease and contract payments, etc.) will increase.
On the other side of the ledger, state appropriations are likely to decrease again, making for another challenging budget year.
Changing the Expressive Activity Policy
The board approved revisions to the Expressive Activity Policy. The revisions primarily modify the time, place and manner of restrictions for expressive activity on campus.
The policy now prohibits participants in rallies and demonstrations from carrying weapons of any kind, ammunition, explosives, body armor, helmets, mace/pepper spray, masks, torches, vehicles and other similar items that increase the risk of injury.
The policy previously prohibited all indoor rallies and demonstrations on campus. With several exceptions, the policy now authorizes indoor forums, rallies, demonstrations or similar activities that comply with particular requirements (including that the activities are silent, do not interfere with reasonable operations, and comply with campus instruction and policies).
Recognizing dedication to the university
The board approved a resolution to award the Bronze Bear to Dr. Paul Durham. This is the first time a university faculty member has been awarded the Bronze Bear. You can find more information about Durham’s work and the Bronze Bear award in the university’s news release.
The board also approved a resolution to award the Government Excellence Award to Sen. Roy Blunt. The award recognizes Blunt’s accomplished career in public service and his significant support for Missouri State’s academic, student support and economic development programs. You can find more information about Blunt and the Government Excellence Award in the university’s news release.
Growing through sustainability
At its regular meeting, the board had a long discussion about the university’s sustainability initiatives. The board was impressed with the progress we have made over the past several years in energy usage, the campus garden, food waste and other sustainability efforts. Several board members told me after the presentation that they appreciated the information and were proud of the work we have done.
Outstanding volleyball season
I also wanted to recognize the outstanding success of our Bears volleyball team.
The team set the longest conference win streak of any Missouri State athletics program earlier this season, and we are now pursuing a second straight Missouri Valley Conference title.
Lily Johnson and Lynsey Wright have combined for nearly 3,500 career kills — the most of any pair of teammates nationally. Johnson is the conference career kills leader and among the nation’s top three active players in kills, attacks and aces.
Please cheer on the Bears and make plans to attend the last two home matches for this record-breaking senior class. Those matches are on Nov. 11 at noon (vs. UNI) and Nov. 12 at 2 p.m. (vs. Drake).
Thanks for all you do for Missouri State!
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