July 31, 2009
Board hears proposal for new center at Mozingo Lake
The Northwest Missouri State University Board of Regents met in open session Thursday afternoon, July 30, in the J.W. Jones Student Union Boardroom. It was the first time the board had gathered in regular session during the new administration of President John Jasinski, who became the University's chief executive on July 1.
Jasinski and the regents used the occasion to usher in a new board meeting format that added recognitions, "awareness" presentations and individual reports from members of the Northwest Leadership Team, formerly known as the President's Cabinet.
The recognition section of the agenda included the presentation of a board resolution to former Regent Don Schneider, who resigned May 16 following the expiration of his term in January. Gov. Jay Nixon has yet to name Schneider's replacement.
Schneider, who was unable to attend the meeting, participated by telephone and received a standing ovation from regents, faculty and staff following adoption of the resolution, which commended him for his "dedication, loyalty, hard work, wise counsel and commitment" to Northwest as a member of the governing board.
Also recognized were Vice President of Student Affairs Jackie Elliott and Dean of Students Matt Baker, who recently completed doctoral degrees; Dr. Paul McGraw, the new director of Environmental Services; and Dr. Max Ruhl, dean of the College of Education and Human Services, who served as this year's summer commencement speaker.
The awareness portion of the meeting consisted of two presentations, including a joint proposal by the University's Department of Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (HPERD) and the city of Maryville for the establishment of a welcome and nature center at the Mozingo Lake and Golf Course recreation area.
Dr. Terry Robertson, HPERD department chair, said the center would be located in a city-owned 2,500-square-foot house on about 30 acres of land adjoining Mozingo Lake east of town. The property, he said, "would become the catalyst" for a number of programs and services staffed by Northwest students.
For its part, Robertson said, the city is offering to prepare the building and grounds for use. The University would pay utilities and other operational expenses. The idea is to create a "point of contact" for marketing and promotional efforts, special events, interactive displays, nature study and youth activities while providing hands-on learning opportunities for Northwest recreation majors.
A second presentation by retired Northwest administrators Dr. Bob Bush and Ray Courter summarized both the University's 30-year-old alternative energy program and its growing role in various regional development efforts, including the use of wind power to generate electricity.
Bush noted that Northwest, in terms of thermal energy used to heat and cool the campus, has been 80 percent fossil fuel free since 1999. In addition, the alternative fuels program has saved the state of Missouri $13 million is fossil fuel costs between 1983 and 2008 and cut the University's landfill input volume by about 40 percent. Over the years the program has garnered numerous grants and awards, including the 2009 Innovation Award from the Southern Growth Policies Board.
In summarizing Northwest's role as a regional leader, Bush mentioned its participation in numerous programs, including Missouri's P-20 initiative, an effort focused on coordinating learning from preschool through continuing education opportunities, and the Northwest Regional Culture of Character, a public dialog intended to encourage such virtues as responsibility, respect and cooperation in homes, schools and the workplace.
Lastly Bush summarized the University's interest in wind energy and developing wind technology degree partnerships with community colleges and technical schools.
Action items taken up by the board included approval of two faculty and one staff position related to Northwest's new Registered Nurse-bachelor of science in nursing degree completion program. The faculty positions are non-tenure track, nine-month term instructorships in biological sciences and health/physical education. The staff position is for an academic advisor who will serve freshman and transfer students in the Department of Biological Sciences.
The hires are being funded through a one-time state Caring for Missourians appropriation and anticipated increased enrollment driven by the RN-BSN completion program.
Highlights of staff presentations to the board appear below:
Orrie Covert, vice president of university advancement, interim vice president of marketing, said that Northwest Foundation scholarship support will increase slightly this year to just under $588,000. Due to the economic downturn, however, Covert predicts a significant drop in foundation scholarship dollars for next year.
Dr. Doug Dunham, provost, noted that 63 percent of rising Northwest juniors scored in the 50 th percentile or higher on the Measure of Academic Proficiency and Progress (MAPP) examination, the highest percentage among Missouri's moderately selective universities. In addition, 65 percent of Northwest teacher education graduates scored at or above the 50 th percentile on the National Teacher Examination (NTE), the third highest mark among all Missouri universities and trailing only Truman State (100 percent) and the University of Missouri-Columbia (76 percent).
Dr. John Rickman, vice president of information systems, said installation of wireless telecom equipment in the high rise residence halls and Roberta Hall should be complete by the start of the fall trimester, and that other scheduled wireless installations include Colden Hall, the Garrett-Strong Science Building and Valk Center.
Mary Throener, vice president for human resources and organizational effectiveness, announced that, for the first time, Northwest employees will be offered a choice of health-care plans, and that her office will conduct a series of informational meeting prior to the start of the plan enrollment period on Nov. 1.
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