Spurlin vacates University

Alexandra Nicolas

After 32 years at Missouri Southern, Dr. Jack Spurlin, vice president for lifelong learning, will have the option of sleeping in.

Spurlin has been an active member of the University’s administration, serving in the past as a department head, dean of the school of technology and soccer coach. Though he will be retiring at the end of this semester, he does not plan on slowing down.

“I’m a very energetic guy,” he said. “I’m on campus most mornings by 5:30 a.m., and that’s after running three miles.”

Spurlin joined Southern as the Police Academy training coordinator and has been a key force in the criminal justice program.

“I’d like to think I had a major role in making that one of the biggest departments on campus at the time,” Spurlin said.

He also dedicated his efforts to distance learning-a program that now involves more than 700 students.

“As vice president he has done the impossible,” said Dr. James Gray, professor of business administration. “He’s taken the program from zero, and he’s done it in an environment that doesn’t always support that kind of thing.”

With his retirement nearing, Spurlin is looking forward to catching up with his reading and spending more time on his Harley Davidson 2001 Heritage Softtail.

“As VP you don’t drive it to work,” he said. “I don’t think I’m ready for Sturgis yet, but I am thinking about taking some longer rides.”

He also plans to further his own education with more advanced cooking classes.

“I like to think I’m a chef but really I’m just a home-cooking guy,” he said.

However, Spurlin’s retirement will not affect his pace and he does expect to remain involved at Southern.

“Southern’s been really good to me for 32 years,” he said. “But it was time to move on.”

Though Spurlin highlights being named outstanding faculty member and his two soccer-coaching wins against Rockhurst in 1988 and 1989 as two of his favorite memories from Southern, not all his duties will be missed.

“I’ve loved this job, but things like all the meetings, Faculty Senate, Board of Governors, administrative counsil, those things I won’t miss at all,” he said.

With all Sprulin’s achievements, he has also been credited with always looking on the bright side and being innovative.

“It’s just his personality, he’s a really likeable guy,” said Dr. John Tiede, director of major gifts and planned giving for the Missouri Southern Foundation. “He’s a real entrepreneur.”

After 32 years of service to Southern, what will be most missed will be Spurlin’s dedication to student-oriented administration.

“That’s Dr. Spurlin,” Gray said. “He has always put MSSU and the students at the top of his list.”