Board discusses future of University, changes

The Missouri Southern Board of Governors met Friday, Oct. 18.

The board began the meeting by first recognizing Chuck Surface, a long time board member who passed away in September. 

“[Chuck] was member of a historic group of people here at Southern,” Dr. Sherry Buchanan said. Buchanan serves as the chair of the Board of Governors.  

Surface was one of the first students to get his associate’s degree at Joplin Junior College and was a part of the first graduating class in 1969 when Southern introduced the bachelor’s program. 

His widow accepted the award on Surface’s behalf. 

“I can’t express enough how much this institution meant to him,” Sherry Surface said. “This is a great honor, and please continue in doing your great work.” 

Surface was appointed to the Board on Oct. 26, 2011. 

Buchanan began the meeting by clarifying any confusion with the shared governance policy that the Board uses saying “some decisions are unilateral.” 

Treasurer Linda Eis had good news to share about the budget at Southern. According to the financial report presented, Southern has spent $600,000 less on construction projects this year compared to the same time  last year.

“We will see the impact of the construction project that we had last year compared to this year,” Eis said.

There was a slight decrease in revenue from tuition this year, but Eis says this is due to the Lion Pride Tuition Plan. 

With the implementation of the new program there is no longer a reason to offer the Non-Resident scholarship that Southern has previously had. 

“There is a ‘decrease’ in our spending, which causes an offset,” she said. 

Athletics Director Jared Bruggeman announced that the Lionbacker program has met its goal of adding 75 new members. 

“[I] wanted to thank the Lionbacker board for all of their effort,” board member Rod Anderson said. 

Vice President for Development and Executive Director of the Missouri Southern Foundation JoAnn Graffam announced that campus beautification projects will continue and also said Southern has seen an increase in social media interaction. 

“We are up 1,000 likes since last May and seen a 10 percent increase in followers on Twitter,” Graffam said. 

She also mentioned that many students are working hard to develop strategies within the University Marketing and Relations Department. 

“[We have] a lot of talented students on this campus,” Graffam said. 

The University was also a sponsor of the Maple Leaf Festival in Carthage last weekend. 

The Communication Department saw a course redesign last spring in their Oral Communication class. 

Department Head Kelly Larson and Associate Professor of Communications Shanna Slavings attended a course-sharing workshop in Columbia and told the board about it. 

Dr. Pat Lipira, vice president for academic affairs, and Dr. Richard Miller, dean of arts and science, also attended. 

“We were able to listen to schools across the state and three redesign courses were chosen for the Missouri Learning Common Scholars, which means you are now ready to take this across the state,” Lipira said. 

Larson and Slavings were chosen for the Common Scholars and are now able to go and give workshops to various schools. 

Southern also recently partnered with Crowder College to give current and future students the opportunity to complete their business administration degree with Southern on Crowder’s campus. 

The program will have an emphasis on management. 

“I hope it’s a start of several programs because I really think we work well together,” Lipira said. “A lot of positives that came out of that.” 

Darren Fullerton, vice president of student affairs, reported that the campus has signed a memorandum with the National Guard, bringing a reserve officer training corps program, also known as ROTC, to the campus.

The program, “Show-Me Gold,” will begin in the fall of 2013 and allow students to the opportunity to become commissioned officers. 

The Board also passed a motion that will give a flat dollar amount for each rank of faculty promotion for the 2013-2014 fiscal year. 

The motion was proposed by the Academic Affairs Committee and approved by the Board.

Student senate representative David Sigars was also present to report on the happenings in the Senate. Sigars said the biggest issue with the senate was discussion of the lion statue that was proposed in September. 

Student Senate unanimously approved appropriating $40,000 to the project in its meeting Wednesday. 

That total will be added to a donation of approximately $50,000 that was acquired by a donor.

The Board of Governors will meet again on Nov. 16.