Last week, we held our Board of Governors meetings on the West Plains campus. It’s always great to visit and Dennis Lancaster and his team were excellent hosts.
Our new (and some returning) board members toured campus, and we received updates from our colleagues and student leaders in West Plains.
We had a full agenda and I’ll cover some of the highlights today.
Board approves FY24 budget
The board approved next year’s budget and improving employee compensation was a top priority. The budget includes a 5% across-the-board salary increase for full-time employees. It also includes a $1,500 one-time retention payment for full-time employees who are hired by July 1 and are still working at the university on Dec. 1.
We also increased the salaries and salary ranges for some groups of employees who have been very difficult to hire and retain.
New property insurance contract
The board approved a new contract with FM Global by Smith McGehee Insurance Solutions. FM Global uses a non-traditional method to set premiums. Its business approach considers that property losses can be prevented or mitigated. FM Global engineering personnel travel to insured locations to evaluate hazards and recommend improvements to property and work practices to reduce physical and financial risks.
As we’ve completed new construction or major renovation projects on campus, we’ve added sprinkler systems and taken other actions to improve the safety of our buildings. Because of this, we’re saving $61,422 on our premiums by switching to FM Global.
Revisions to faculty and employee handbooks
We added a new section to the Faculty Handbook. The new section – 184.108.40.206 University-wide Learning Management System (LMS) – requires all faculty members to use the new LMS for course management and communication.
Brightspace is a significant update to our LMS. We believe university-wide use will improve communication and student success.
The board approved several changes to the Employee Handbook:
- We updated the flextime and remote work sections to assist employee needs and university retention.
- We shortened the amount of time it takes for non-exempt employees to earn additional vacation.
- We reduced the time required to be eligible to receive shared leave benefits.
- We included part-time staff in the Staff Excellence in University Service Award.
Algerian Hart appointed to new role
I appointed, and the board approved, Algerian Hart’s permanent role as assistant to the president for inclusive engagement. He’ll be responsible for protecting and continuing the good work put in place over the last decade or more.
Algerian will focus on our internal culture of making Missouri State a welcoming place for all students, faculty and staff. He’ll also work with external groups and businesses to help make Springfield a more welcoming place.
I’m excited for Algerian to serve in this role.
Revisions to student code
The board approved changes to the Code of Student Rights and Responsibilities. The changes clarify the process for cases of misconduct.
Enjoy the upcoming long holiday weekend and have a fun and safe 4th of July celebration!
Thanks for all you do for Missouri State.