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News Release

Oct. 14, 2018

Board approves Roberta Hall refresh, accelerated master’s program

Northwest Missouri State University’s Board of Regents approved a proposal to begin working toward upgrading Roberta Hall as well as an accelerated option for a master’s degree in recreation and a license agreement with the city of Maryville during its open session Friday.

Regents approved the refresh of Roberta Hall, not to exceed $1 million, and authorized the University to execute contracts through a competitive bid process. Northwest Vice President of Student Affairs Dr. Matt Baker explained the project will include plumbing, electrical, lighting and other improvements to improve the living experience in the residence hall.

The project is a part of Northwest’s Residential Life Master Plan and it will be funded with money from the University’s auxiliary capital and campus master plan funds. Baker also noted Northwest’s recent work to refresh the first floor lounge areas of Dieterich and Milikan halls and this past summer’s $5 million renovation of Franken Hall.

Completed in 1922 as the University’s first residential hall, Roberta Hall has undergone extensive renovations throughout its history, with the most recent occurring during the 1993-94 academic year. The building houses sorority women and includes designated spaces for sorority chapters to gather for meetings, study and events.


Accelerated master’s in recreation

The Board also approved a proposal by the University to begin offering an accelerated option for its master’s degree in recreation, beginning fall 2019. The program will allow outstanding students to concurrently pursue bachelor’s and master’s degrees in one of Northwest’s recreation programs and complete graduation requirements for both degrees within five years.

Northwest offers bachelor’s degree programs in parks and recreation, corporate recreation and wellness, and therapeutic recreation, and master’s programs in recreation resource management and therapeutic recreation.

Northwest Provost Dr. Jaime Hooyman said the accelerated option will make the recreation program more attractive for prospective students and enhance the graduate program by integrating and retaining high-quality undergraduates who have a high potential for success.

Hooyman also noted other regional universities in Missouri offer accelerated programs in different majors. She said Northwest’s accelerated program will not replace its traditional master’s degree program in recreation.


License agreement for Hughes Fieldhouse

With Friday’s meeting taking place just hours before Northwest was set to host a dedication and ribbon-cutting ceremony at the Hughes Fieldhouse, the Board approved a license agreement outlining the facility’s usage and operational funding for the University and city of Maryville.

The agreement was developed jointly by Northwest and city of Maryville representatives. The Maryville City Council approved the document during its Oct. 8 meeting.

“We’re excited about the partnership, and we always are when we have the opportunity to partner with Northwest Missouri State University and on behalf of our community,” Maryville City Manager Greg McDanel said. “We believe the license agreement is an overarching document that provides some basic parameters for the partnership but also is flexible enough that we both can meet our goals from a community perspective as well as for the University.”

Funding for the construction and operation of the facility comes from private contributions, University funds, students and proceeds from the city’s transient guest tax. In the fall of 2016, Maryville voters approved a 5 percent transient guest tax to promote economic development and tourism for the Maryville community. The tax is expected to generate about $150,000 that will be dedicated annually to Hughes Fieldhouse operations and used to promote economic development and tourism in the Maryville community.

“We’ve been talking about this being the largest public-private partnership in the history of this institution and likely in northwest Missouri. This codifies it,” Northwest President Dr. John Jasinski said while thanking McDanel, Baker and all involved for their leadership on the project.


Board recognitions

To open the meeting, Northwest administrators recognized several faculty and staff members for individual achievements and involvement in University successes this fall.

  • Department of Mathematics and Statistics faculty members Dr. Mary Shepard, Csilla Tasi and Brian Swink have provided exemplary leadership on the Missouri Mathematics Pathways Committee, which is dedicated to moving college students successfully toward degree completion in developmental math. Associate Provost of Undergraduate Studies Dr. Michael Steiner noted Northwest has been a leader in the effort, statewide and nationally, and was the only institution in Missouri to convert all of its non-calculus math courses to co-requisite course offerings simultaneously.
  • Dr. Himadri Chakraborty, an associate professor of physics, received a $300,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to further his research of carbon fullerene molecules and related derived materials.
  • Dr. James Campbell, an assistant professor of biology, led an effort that resulted in a National Science Foundation grant for $225,607 and the purchase of a high computing cluster, which the University named “Bartik.”
  • Dr. Carol Spradling, the director of the School of Computer Science and Information Systems, was honored last month by Central Exchange with a STEMMy award in recognition of her work related to computer ethics, profession-based education, digital media, database systems project management, and expanding the involvement of underrepresented groups and women in computing.
  • Dr. William Richardson, a professor of music and the assistant chair of the Department of Fine and Performing Arts, has been named Northwest’s first Dennis C. Dau Professor of Instrumental Music. 
  • Wellness Services staff members Jerry Wilmes, BK Taylor, Kristin Peltz were awarded a three-year grant of $306,000 from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration to administer suicide prevention programming.
  • Northwest Grants Coordinator Tye Parsons has helped the University achieve $746,000 in grant funding since Aug. 1.
  • The Missouri Arboretum on the Northwest campus, directed by Pat Ward, recently received Level II accreditation from the ArbNet Arboretum Accreditation Program, making it one of just 86 arboretums in the world to earn the designation.
  • Northwest’s Center for Accessibility and Accommodations has moved to the first floor of North Complex. Led by Accessibility Coordinator Patricia Wyatt since 2007, the center has grown from serving 78 students to providing accommodations for 640 students this fall. The center will host a grand opening at its new space on Oct. 30.

The Board of Regents is responsible for sound resource management of the University and determining general, educational and financial policies.

For more information, please contact:

Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager | 660.562.1704 | Fax: 660.562.1900

Northwest Missouri State University
215 Administration Building | 800 University Drive | Maryville, MO 64468