Sept. 21, 2009
Northwest Regents approve curriculum changes
The Northwest Board of Regents met in open session Friday, Sept. 18, in the J.W. Jones Student Union Boardroom.
Several members of the University community were formally recognized for recent achievements. Individuals recognized for Deans Awards (teaching, research, service, student support and collaboration) were Amanda Petefish-Shrag, assistant professor of communication, theatre and languages; Dr. Rafiq Islam, associate professor of chemistry and physics; Dr. Renee Rohs, associate professor of geology/geography; Jacquie Lamer, instructor of mass communication; Dr. Janet Marta, associate professor of marketing/management; Rod Barr, instructor of agriculture; and Dr. Nancy Zeliff, professor of computer science/information systems; Patricia Thompson, assistant professor of curriculum and instruction; Dr. Terry Long, associate professor of health, physical education, recreation and dance; and Dr. Joyce Piveral, associate professor of educational leadership. In addition, Dr. Charles Badami, Dr. Jennifer Wall and Dr. Martha Breckenridge were recognized for recently completing their terminal degrees, and Brenda Untiedt, Andrea Wagner, Polly Howard, Neal Davis and Mitzi Craft were recognized for recently completing their master's in higher education leadership.
The awareness portion of the meeting consisted of two presentations, one given by Dr. Cleo Samudzi, dean of Missouri Academy of Science, Mathematics and Computing, and another by Dr. Jerry Wilmes, director of wellness services and emergency coordinator.
The Missouri Academy is a two-year accelerated early-entrance-to-college residential program that replaces a student's junior and senior years of traditional high school. Samudzi said the Missouri Academy students attend classes with Northwest students and upon graduation receive a high school diploma and an Associate of Science degree. Samudzi told the Board 90 to 92 percent of the Academy's funding is received from Northwest and the remainder is from the state's Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. The dean also emphasized of those who graduated from the Missouri Academy, 67 percent matriculated to Missouri institutions, 90 percent said the Missouri Academy preparation was good, and 92 percent said Northwest faculty were as good as those at their current universities.
During his presentation to the Board, Wilmes said the University's Wellness Center uses a holistic approach in improving student health and offers same-day appointments. Wilmes explained that university health services nationwide are seeing an increase in both frequency and complexity of medical and mental health issues, and the leading impediments to academics reported by Northwest students were stress and sleep difficulties. In addition, Wilmes said the Wellness Center offers a range of services in areas such as health services, public health and emergency management, personal development and counseling services, health promotion and institutional testing.
Action items taken up by the Board included approval of a revision to Northwest's Service Animal Policy that removes all references to "therapy animals." Approval also was given to a Memorandum of Understanding regarding the use of an agency, American Cross Border Education Institute, to recruit Chinese students to attend the Missouri Academy. Additionally, the Board gave its approval to several curriculum changes presented by Interim Provost Dr. Doug Dunham, including the removal of several Special Topics classes within the Department of English and the change in the course titled Special Projects in Writing to one titled Special Projects. In addition, a three-credit course titled Cartography was approved to be added to the core requirements in the geography major. In the Department of Educational Leadership, three new courses have been approved: Internship in Secondary Administration, Internship in Elementary Administration and Trends in Continuous School Improvement.
Northwest President Dr. John Jasinski read an unsolicited letter from the mother of a freshman who was pleased with her son's experience at Northwest. Jasinski said the letter was an "excellent tribute to our faculty and staff."
Jasinski gave a report on the Academic Quality Improvement Program's upcoming Strategy Forum that allows Northwest to work with six to eight other colleges and universities to discuss strategic issues as well as best practices. Regent Doug Sutton will join several representatives from the University at this forum in November. Jasinski also said Northwest's newly formed Strategic Planning Leadership Team will meet Thursday, Sept. 24.
Highlights of other reports to the Board appear below:
- Dr. Bob Boerigter, director of athletics, said the athletic training room will be officially named the David "D.C." Colt Athletic Training Room on Sept. 25 in honor of retired Head Athletic Trainer Dr. David Colt, and the damage to the athletic facilities caused by the June 25 microburst has been repaired.
- Orrie Covert, vice president for university advancement and interim vice president of marketing, said plans are moving forward for the Oct. 23 presidential inauguration. Activities include an installation ceremony, open houses with academic showcases, a flag-raising ceremony, the Valk Center dedication and a grand reception.
- Dunham reported Northwest's pre-census numbers are trending toward a record headcount of more than 7,000 as well as an all-time record number of freshmen.
- Dr. Jackie Elliott, vice president for student affairs, said Intercultural U is currently taking applications for the intercultural certification program, and 22 people have signed up for the program designed to develop intercultural trainers across the campus and community. The program is free and open to the public.
- Mary Throener, vice president for human resources and organizational effectiveness, said Northwest's Department of Campus Safety will be renamed the Northwest Missouri State University Police Department. She said Director Clarence Green and his staff collected benchmarking data from the University's 41 peer institutions and found that five were referred to as a security department, six were called the department of public safety and the remaining 30 were called university police. She told the Board the renaming allows Northwest to meet the recommendation by the Missouri governor's task force to state that primacy should be given to the campus police department.
- Dr. Max Fridell, associate professor of educational leadership and Faculty Senate president, indicated Faculty Senate committee chairs have met and are revamping committee purposes and a faculty evaluation committee has been formed, chaired by Dr. Rich Fulton, professor of history, humanities, philosophy and political science.
- Tanner Walker, Support Staff Council president, said $5,000 of the Support Staff Council's operating budget will be returned to the University's general budget.
The Board's next scheduled meeting is Dec. 18, although Regent Gary Panethiere suggested an additional meeting date be set for late October. The date of the meeting soon will be determined.
Following the open portion of the meeting, the Board met in closed session.
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