Open letter to Dr. Speck

Editor’s Note: The following letter is printed here with permission of the author.

Dear Dr. Speck,

I’m writing to give input for the meeting scheduled for Sept. 12 to discuss the relative magnitude of the budget cuts for the MSSU international mission. I am unable to attend because, coincidentally, I am traveling to China on business.

I am a graduate of MSSU (1978) and have been a member (although unfortunately missing the last few meetings) of the advisory board for the school of business. In 1999, I was honored to be selected “Outstanding Alumnus.” In short, I have some history with MSSU and will always appreciate the opportunity it afforded me to complete my degree and to enjoy a career here at Leggett & Platt.

Today all segments of L&P have significant international business activities, whether they be sourcing related or actual manufacturing operations. As we recruit our future leaders, it is important that they have a background of understanding for the dynamics of international business. Graduates with international coursework will definitely be advantaged. With L&P headquarters here in southwest Missouri, we find a strong need to hire locally when possible. It can be difficult to recruit candidates away from the city lights. Therefore, MSSU is a preferred source, and it is important to us for your curriculum to embrace the international mission.

I understand that you are challenged to make tough financial decisions for the University and it would not be prudent for me to suggest that you be “hands off” with the international mission. But I will suggest that you recognize the importance of this part of your curriculum offering, as it relates to manufacturing business in particular, and not cut too deeply. From our perspective, that will certainly make your graduates less attractive.


Jack CrusaSenior Vice PresidentLeggett & Platt