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Oct. 30, 2009
The Northwest Board of Regents met in open session Thursday, Oct. 29, in the J.W. Jones Student Union Boardroom.
Several University employees were recognized for recently completing their master's, including Crystal Ward, junior webmaster; Jessica Murry, financial aid counselor; Amee Wilmes, Pell coordinator/financial aid counselor; Tanya Riley, career services specialist; Susan Smith, secretary for academic affairs and student development at the Missouri Academy of Science, Mathematics and Computing; and Jeremy Waldeier, associate director of admissions. Teresa Burnsides, financial aid specialist, was recognized for receiving a bachelor's degree. Amanda Petefish-Schrag, assistant professor of communication, theatre and languages, also was honored as the recipient of the Governor's Award for Teaching.
The awareness portion of the meeting consisted of two presentations, one given by Del Morley, director of financial assistance, and another by Mary Throener, vice president of human resources and organizational effectiveness, and Paula McClain, coordinator of student employment.
During his financial assistance presentation, Morley said more than 80 percent of Northwest undergraduate students receive some type of aid, totaling more than $61.8 million for the 2008-09 academic year. Of that amount, 61 percent was federal assistance and 24 percent was assistance provided from the University. Morley said $14.7 million in scholarships were awarded at Northwest in 2008-09, and 70 percent of Northwest students borrow to help fund their education each year.
"Across the nation there has been a tremendous growth in the use of private educational loans to help fund the rapidly rising cost of a college education," Morley said, "and Northwest has experienced this same pattern of increased dependence on private loans."
Morley told the Board in 1998-99 his office processed less than $50,000 in private loans, but in 2000-01 the total was more than $500,000. This figure continued to grow substantially until the 2008-09 academic year when there was a decline in usage for the first time in 10 years.
"The decline appears to be holding true for 2009-10 at this time," he said. "We feel this is attributed to the increased eligibility for unsubsidized loans and the tightened credit market making the private loans harder to qualify for."
Morley cited several grant opportunities available to Northwest students, including the Federal Teach Grant for education majors planning to teach in high-need fields and willing to teach in low-income schools, the Access Missouri Grant as well as Northwest's American Dream Grant designed to remove the financial barrier for low-income students.
During her presentation to the Board, McClain said Northwest students may work a maximum of 20 hours per week, and wages range from $7.25 to $8.15 an hour. She said 950 student employees fill 1,250 positions, as several students are employed at more than one job on campus. Each April, Northwest recognizes the outstanding efforts of student employees and awards a Student Employee of the Year. That individual then advances to the State of Missouri Student Employee of the Year competition. McClain said a Northwest student has won the statewide competition seven of the last 10 years. Northwest's Career Pathing Program for students also was discussed. The program, which was piloted in 2005 and fully implemented in fall 2008, includes opportunities for advancement, structured personal and professional development sessions, performance-based evaluation and experience- and training-based compensation. McClain said Northwest's unique Career Pathing Program not only promotes increased responsibility and creates opportunities for pay advancement, but it also "encourages continual feedback for personal and professional development and promotes long-term employment relationships with departments."
Throener gave the Regents an overview of Northwest's staffing management processes, in particular in the areas of recruitment, hiring and employee separation. "Staffing management processes, by which Northwest finds and chooses its employees, determines and develops the effective functioning of the institution," Throener said.
After discussion, the Regents determined that since the University currently has an established legal counsel, Scott Sullivan of Kuhlman, Reddoch & Sullivan P.C. in Liberty, Northwest will begin the process of looking at the areas that its legal counsel might need additional assistance, which could lead to a possible RFP in specialty areas in the future. Kuhlman, Reddoch & Sullivan will be retained on a monthly basis from this point forward.
Action items taken up by the Board included approval of a Memorandum of Agreement between Northwest and Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica Inc. of St. Joseph to tailor the delivery method of Northwest's existing master's in biology degree program to fit the needs of BIVI staff scientists. Courses will be offered in a variety of methods, including traditional face-to-face instruction on campus, instruction at the Northwest St. Joseph Center, online and through blended instruction. BIVI representatives have agreed to enroll a cohort of 12 to 15 students in the program, scheduled to begin in January.
The Board also gave its formal approval to the Memorandum of Agreement to establish joint admission/reverse transfer for Metropolitan Community Colleges of Kansas City students and Northwest students as well as a Memorandum of Understanding with Missouri Southern State University to combine two previous MOUs related to education programs and an MBA program.
Additionally, the Board gave its approval to several curriculum proposals presented by Interim Provost Dr. Doug Dunham, including the addition of three courses in the Department of Agriculture: U.S. Agriculture Travel Experience, International Agriculture Travel Experience and Applied Research in Precision Agriculture. The independent study course titled Problems in Agronomy will be replaced with Applied Research in Precision Agriculture within the precision agriculture minor.
Furthermore, because of increased enrollment due to the University's Rational Expectations Enrollment Plan (REEP), the Board approved four new faculty positions, one each in the departments of communication/theatre/languages, marketing/management, educational leadership and computer science/information systems.
Northwest President Dr. John Jasinski gave a report stating that all Northwest Leadership Team members and two to three of their direct reports have completed the National Incident Management System's Introduction to Incident Command course. The Federal Emergency Management Agency's Emergency Management Institute administers the course. Jasinski also cited the "significant progress" being made related to the University's budget. Jasinski also told the Board Lowell Kruse, retired CEO of Heartland Health in St. Joseph, will be the December commencement speaker.
Highlights of other reports to the Board appear below:
Following the open portion of the meeting, the Board met in closed session.
The Board's next scheduled meeting is Dec. 18 .
Mark Hornickel, Media Relations Specialist
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