Senators ask Foundation to support Spanish Village

Monday’s Faculty Senate meeting saw a group come together with one cause: resurrect the Spanish Village.

In the last half hour of the meeting, Dr. Chad Stebbins, director of the institute of international studies, made an appeal to the Faculty Senate to support Missouri Southern’s state-mandated international mission in the next few years of dwindling state appropriations.

“Here will be a great opportunity for Missouri Southern to make a statement,” Stebbins said.

He also mentioned the Spanish Village, a Missouri Southern program that recently fell victim to diminishing funds at Missouri Southern. To continue into next summer, the Village needed to raise $4,500 and make several cuts to its budget from the past few years. One of those cuts included the elimination of scholarships which allowed several children to attend the Village. Last week, the Village’s longtime director, Leslie Parker, decided to cancel plans to continue the Village in summer 2011 because there was no guarantee the Village wouldn’t be in the same boat next year.

Stebbins said the Village was “probably our most notable outreach to the community.” He added, “Here, we took what I think may have been the very best program in [community outreach] and eliminated it.”

After a discussion, the Senate voted to ask the Southern Foundation to fund Village scholarships in the next two years at $5,000 a year. Dr. Mark Parsons, vice president of university advancement, said Wednesday that he has talked to Faculty Senate President Cheryl Cifelli about the Senate’s vote, and the Foundation is looking forward to raising funds for the Village.

In other news from Monday’s Faculty Senate meeting:

University President Bruce Speck recommended two books to the senators during his remarks: Crisis on Campus by Mark Taylor and Scholarship Reconsidered by Ernest Boyer.

Vice President of Business Affairs Rob Yust said the Mansion Annex renovation is complete, and the Health Sciences Building is only waiting on an X-Ray machine before it is also complete. Southern only spent $18 million of the $18.9 million offered by the Lewis and Clark Discovery Initiative.

Southern’s website redesign will be droid phone/iPhone capable, said Parsons, and will launch Jan. 1.