A-Z Index

News Release

Dec. 14, 2020

Regents approve amendment to Student Code of Conduct, hear results of financial audit

Northwest Missouri State University’s Board of Regents during its regular meeting Thursday approved an updated Student Code of Conduct policy that clarifies and codifies the University’s possible actions when addressing hate speech involving students on campus.

Presenting the Student Code of Conduct policy, Northwest Vice President of Student Affairs Dr. Matt Baker said the update resulted from a request by students and alumni last summer to adopt a hate speech policy that could ensure enforcement and punishment for “hateful and harmful occurrences.” This fall, a team of Student Affairs leaders met with student leaders, members of the Faculty Senate and Staff Council, and attorneys from Husch Blackwell to consider policies the University could enact.

Baker said the group met with a goal of engaging in dialogue to understand the concerns of underrepresented students and educate people about the University’s obligations to uphold individuals’ freedom of speech rights. Team members spent time defining the problem and considering ways to address expressed needs through policy, communication and community resources.

Their work resulted in an amendment to Article III of the Student Code of Conduct that outlines when action can be taken as a result of speech. The revised policy is accessible by clicking here.

“The process really was a learning journey,” Baker said. “It's very easy to sit on the outside of a process and say, ‘the University should do X or Y, or they need to do this,’ but we really went for a lot of learning and teaching and development around what is possible and what limits do we have when it comes to freedom of speech and/or hate speech.”

Additionally, Regents heard the results of the institution’s FY20 financial audit completed by RubinBrown, LLP. Stacy Carrick, Northwest’s vice president of finance and administration, presented the results to the Board and noted the audit resulted in an unmodified opinion of the University’s financial statements with no misstatements.

The University is required to complete an annual audit of its financial statements by an external audit firm. RubinBrown completed the audit as well as a review of compliance and internal control over the University’s financial reporting.

In other business, the Board approved adjunct faculty to teach at the University during the spring 2021 semester and the appointments of two University Police officers, per Missouri statute. Regents also approved 673 graduation candidates who completed bachelor’s, master’s and specialist degrees at the conclusion of the fall semester ending Dec. 11.

The December Board meeting was the last for Dr. Marilou Joyner, who was appointed in 2015 for a term that ends Jan. 1, 2021. She served as the Board’s vice chair from January 2018 until becoming chair in August 2019; she served as chair until June of this year.

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


Dr. Mark Hornickel
Administration Building
Room 215