New Board president takes lead

Nate Billings

A change of leadership marked the Aug. 26 Board of Governor’s meeting.

Dwight Douglas stepped down as president of the Board after the old business section of the meeting. Elizabeth Deffenbaugh became the new Board president during the new business session.

The meeting brought out several topics from the summer break.

Terri Agee, vice-president for business affairs, reported on the work, which took place on campus.

Reynolds Hall received several renovations to classrooms, and Agee also noted the wireless Internet project.

“We’ve received a lot of different publicity,” she said. “We’ve gotten a good response from the students.”

Agee also reported the campus-wide administrative software project would be complete within two to three years. Reviews of two proposals are being completed this month.

The renovations to the Mission Hills Mansion were discussed during the summer.

“The plans are just coming together beautifully,” Agee said.

Dr. Nii Adote Abrahams, faculty liaison to the Board, reported about the excitement of the instructors to the large incoming freshman class.

Eric Norris, Student Senate president, acted as the student

representative on the board.

He said the Fall Forward had brought in many more businesses than in the past. He also said student activity levels are up from past years.

“I think all of our programs are going to kick off,” Norris said.

Norris said he is also in favor of a new electronic sign on campus.

He is tired of seeing the rented arrow signs advertising campus events.

“I don’t believe they work on the style of campus we have,” he said.

University President Julio León also reported on the incoming freshmen class.

As of the meeting’s date, head count was up 2.3 percent.

The number of hours enrolled

is also up by 4.2 percent.

“It is a reflection of what we are seeing around campus,” León said.

He noted the lack of parking spaces and general activity around campus was a good sign.

With the old business said and done, Douglas thanked the Board for working with him on several projects.

He listed 25 of what he called his top accomplishments during his term as Board president.

The accomplishments included a trip to China, two new master’s programs, the beginning of the Recreation Center project, crime lab updates and the rebuilding of the music program.

Douglas’ last accomplishment as president met its finale with the delivering of a finalized draft of an agreement with Crowder College.

The agreement involved Missouri Southern’s associate degrees.

Under the agreement, Crowder would take control of several programs offered currently by Southern.

These programs would be associate degrees in art, general business, accounting, pre-engineering, computer science networking administration, computer science website administration and computer aided drafting in graphic design.

Southern would retain control of associate degrees in dental hygiene, radiological technology, respiratory therapy, law enforcement, CIS, computer aided drafting and design in engineering technology and computer assisted manufacturing technology.

The agreement must be approved through the state before the changes can be made.

Douglas said he would personally hand the agreement over to Crowder after the meeting. He said he was happy to contribute to the work.

“It has been out there hanging on our head,” Douglas said.

Deffenbaugh took the gavel from Douglas at the conclusion of the old business.

“We thank you for your (Douglas’) service,” she said.

Dr. Richard McCallum, vice-president for academic affairs, reported on the status of the graduate degrees.

He said there are several new students in the programs and the classes are going well.

Twelve new faculty members have been hired since the last meeting. There were no retirements, two new department heads hired, one new assistant dean hired and one resignation of a department head since the last meeting.

After everything had been discussed, the Board went into executive session.

Deffenbaugh said she was honored to be the new president and looked forward to the coming year.

“I’m just excited for the students,” she said.