Last Wednesday, Dr. Drew Bennett, chancellor of the West Plains campus, announced his intention to retire at the end of the spring 2018 semester. Drew is the seventh person to lead the West Plains campus and is the second longest-serving. Drew is my friend and colleague, and I will miss his leadership in West Plains.
The West Plains campus flourished under Drew’s leadership. Highlights include:
- Increased enrollment by 10 percent
- Increased full-time faculty by 26 percent, including three endowed professorships
- Added 10 new associate degrees
- Raised more than $8.8 million in donations and more than $11 million in grant funding
- Graduated more than 2,700 students
Drew oversaw 12 building renovation projects and three new facilities — the FEMA/Student Recreation Center, Gohn Hall and Hass-Darr Hall (under construction with a targeted spring 2018 completion).
The university will begin a nationwide search for a new chancellor this fall. Matt Morris, vice president for administrative services, will lead the search committee. Please send input regarding the search to email@example.com.
Please join me in congratulating Drew Bennett on a successful career. We wish him well in his retirement.
Familiarize yourself with the public affairs theme
Next week we will kick-off this year’s public affairs theme, Sustainability in Practice: Consensus and Consequences, with Public Affairs Week.
- The Hunger Banquet at 5 p.m. on Sept. 11
- Keynote presentation by Dr. Eboo Patel titled “Better Together: Bridging Interfaith Barriers” at 7:30 p.m. on Sept. 11
- U.S. Naturalization Ceremony at 10 a.m. on Sept. 13
- Civic Engagement Fair at 10 a.m. on Sept. 14
You can find the complete schedule of events on the Public Affairs Week webpage.
I hope you join me in putting the public affairs mission into practice by attending this year’s Public Affairs Week activities.
Thanks for all you do for Missouri State!