Shared governance, tuition among topics for retreat

It’s the time of year again for the annual Board of Governors retreat, a time for the governors to take a more in-depth look at Missouri Southern’s issues. This year’s retreat is set for March 18-19.

The Board retreat will see presentations from faculty and administrators on several topics.

“We want to dig down deeper in some of the subjects and hear from people that don’t normally address the Board,” said Rod Anderson, chairman of the Board.

A full schedule was not available as of press time. The Board will have a regular meeting at noon on Friday, followed by several presentations until the evening. The retreat will resume Saturday morning, and presentations should be over before the evening.

One of those segments will include a question and answer session from six individuals at Southern. This “leadership panel” will include two representatives from Staff Senate, two from Faculty Senate and two from Student Senate.

Vice President of Academic Affairs AJ Anglin told the Faculty Senate on March 7 this will help the Board determine what the “real issues facing our campus” are.

“They [the Board] really do want to know: what are the issues that are out there that we talked about that need some resolution?” Anglin said.

He also said there will be a report on shared governance from Dr. Jack Oakes, a computer information science professor who helped administer shared governance surveys at Southern; Dr. Tia Strait, dean of the school of technology; and Stephen Schiavo, associate professor of computer information science. During this part, there will be some discussion of the shared governance survey taken by members of the University last November.

Another section of the retreat will deal with tuition.

“In the financial update, we’re going to get into tuition,” Anderson said. “[We’ll discuss] what the consequences [of raises] could be,” Anderson said.

He added that the Board will look at institutional comparisons in regards to tuition. However, there won’t be a vote on tuition during the retreat.

“This will give us some stuff to chew on, I think is what it really boils down to,” Anderson said.

Also, a brief discussion of the upcoming Higher Learning Commission focused visit will happen at some point during the meeting. The retreat is the last Board meeting before the HLC visit on April 4-5.

“They didn’t allow very much time for that, so it must all be pretty much signed, sealed and delivered,” Anderson said.

There will be a session regarding graduate programs and distance learning from Anglin and Dr. Jo Kroll, dean of graduate srograms. Anderson said it will be interesting to see the effects of raising the distance learning rates in the past year.

He doesn’t foresee the Board taking any actions or votes beyond the regular Board meeting at noon on Friday.

“The retreat is for discussion, and it’s not typical for the Board to take action on anything beyond the regular introductory meeting,” Anderson said.

The retreat will begin immediately after the regular meeting at 1:15 p.m. There are no plans for the Board to go into closed session.