UNDER FIRE: Board has vacant seat, no student rep

Parker Willis

With all of the speculation about job openings and new hires flying around campus, one board has dodged the spotlight on its open seats.

The Missouri Southern Board of Governors not only has one empty seat available, it has two expired seats and an empty slot for a student representative.

Rod Anderson, chair of the Board, had his seat expire earlier this month but still sits on the Board.

Anderson said he has put in his reapplication but is still waiting for Gov. Jay Nixon’s confirmation. He said until the governor makes a decision he’ll most likely remain on the Board.

Board member David Ansley was unavailable for an interview, but according to the Board of Governors Web site, his seat also expired at the beginning of this month.

Anderson said the vacant seat doesn’t keep the Board from conducting its regular business but he has pushed for it to be filled.

“There have been some applicants for that seat,” Anderson said. “So that appointment should be coming down at any time. I just hope it doesn’t take long.”

The student representative seat, however, doesn’t seem to be as close to being filled as the vacant seat. The last student representative, Ivy Love, was removed from the Board in January by Nixon because she was appointed by the previous governor. Now she is fighting to either get back her seat or get a student voice in place.

“I thought there was a mandate to have a student representative on the board,” Love said. “I don’t understand how we’ve been getting around the rules for this long.”

But Director of Student Life Darren Fullerton said it isn’t that easy.

Fullerton said the governor made a recent change in the process. Now the candidate applications not only have to be submitted by the student government president, but also have to go through an application process.

Will Lynch, Student Senate president, said he doesn’t have any applicants lined up at this time but hopes to have some ready by the October Board of Governors meeting.

“It’s extremely important to have a student representative on the board,” Lynch said. “Our voice isn’t always magnified the way it should be. And our desires and voice can be better heard when we have a student that reports directly to the Board of Governors.”

Love, having been the last student representative on the board, had similar thoughts.

“I feel like there are great governors on the board but without a student opinion, they can’t see the whole picture,” Love said. “If they don’t know what’s important to us, how are they going to make policies that affect us so directly?”

It is uncertain when Nixon will make appointments or who the student applicants will be for the open seat. Attempts by The Chart to contact the governor’s office about the appointments were unsuccessful.