Board looks to examine rec center, east stands

T.J. Gerlach

Although student representative and Student Senate president Eric Ducommun was not in attendance, the Missouri Southern Board of Governors still discussed a Senate resolution proposed to the Board.

The resolution encouraged the Governors not leave the proposed recreation center on hold too long.

“The Student Senate has continued to support this project,” said Dwight Douglas, Board president. “The students are clearly in favor of it.”

Other Governors agree.

“This is an issue that is very important to our students,” said Dr. Douglas Brooks, Governor.

University President Julio León said there are two main questions concerning the rec center. The first considers what kind of facility is needed and what will it cost, and the other question is, “What will the cost to students be?”

Dr. Charles McGinty, Governor, said Southern still has the lowest student fees in the state.

“There’s a lot of room for us get up to the bottom,” he said.

The Board decided to look into the project by touring similar facilities at Crowder College in Neosho, the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville and at the University of Tulsa. The tours will allow the Board to come up with ideas for what would be in tune with Southern’s needs. All Governors were asked to attend the tours of the other campuses.

Douglas said the tours and a look at what type of facility the University can afford are needed before any decisions can be made.

Upgrading Hughes Stadium was also discussed at the meeting.

Dr. Terri Agee, vice president for business affairs, said completing the east stands up to the current railing and removing the remainder of the supports would cost about $228,000, and the cost would be $400,000 to complete the stands to the top of the supports.

Sky boxes were considered for the stands; the boxes would be an additional $537,000 on top of the $228,000 for the completed bleachers.

This figure is for basic boxes, such as the current press box above the west stands.

The Board decided to form a committee to address the issue.

“Everybody seems to have a different idea of what we should do about the stadium,” Douglas said. “My purpose in bringing it up was to stimulate this kind of discussion.”

Other matters discussed at the meeting:

* Rob Yust, University treasurer, said Southern is in the process of looking to refinance the University’s bonds.

* Agee said the pipes along the south side of the campus are a city sewer line project.

She said Southern and the City of Joplin have agreed to create a natural bridge in the area to provide students with a footpath to Northpark Mall and Northstar 14 Theaters.

The city will create the bridge and the University will provide lighting.

* Faculty liaison Dr. Vickie Roettger said the Faculty Senate recently discussed what it means to be a university, other than graduate programs.

Roettger also said she attended a statewide Faculty Senate convention and she discovered Southern saved the most money out of the other institutions with its new insurance providers.

* León said the Coordinating Board for Higher Education has narrowed its list of candidates for chairman down to two. He said it may be a while before any decision is made though.

* Dr. Richard McCallum, vice president for academic affairs, reported further progress with the graduate programs.

He said a masters in nursing program in conjunction with the University of Missouri-Kansas City may begin as early as summer 2005.

McCallum said a memorandum of understanding with Southwest Missouri State University for a masters of arts in teaching is awaiting both universities’ presidents’ approval.

He also said the next four courses for the current masters program with Northwest Missouri State University will begin in the spring.

He said feedback he has received said the students in the program are absolutely delighted with it.

* David Ansley, Governor, said he would like to establish a relationship with Troy University because of its international mission.

The Board will bring itself up-to-date on Southern’s international mission before the next meeting.

“I think we’ll become the envy of many a school if we continue to encourage [the international mission],” Ansley said.