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April 1, 2022

Jasinski announces June departure from Northwest


Dr. John Jasinski

Dr. John Jasinski

Dr. John Jasinski, who has served as the 10th president of Northwest Missouri State University since 2009, announced today that he will depart the institution June 30.

The message Jasinski emailed to the University community is provided below. For more information about Jasinski and his presidency at Northwest, visit www.nwmissouri.edu/aboutus/president/.

It is with a heavy, yet lightened Bearcat heart that I announce my departure from Northwest Missouri State University, effective June 30, 2022.

Northwest’s Board of Regents has chosen not to renew my contract that ends June 30. The Board chair indicated this to me verbally and told me it has nothing to do with the institution’s or my performance, that the Board feels like we accomplished a tremendous amount since 2009 and the institution is in a far better place than it was 13 years ago, but the Board wishes to turn to a new chapter. The Board has taken no formal vote on the matter. The Board chair also said recently at a Board work session that we are a well-run organization.

Friends, Northwest stands in a strong position today because of your ongoing efforts in addressing our mission of focusing on student success – every student, every day. We are in a better position than the vast majority of our peers because of how you carry out “Being a Bearcat” – learning, caring, connecting, practicing civility and showing pride.

Our results are unquestioned. We neither gloat nor take our performance for granted, as it comes through sweat and toil, tough decisions and leading from a position of strength – amid a currently divisive society. Northwest’s sustained performance and institutional viability are widely acknowledged as being the norm, and a fellow long-serving state president reinforced that recently when talking about our performance compared to other state institutions. Backing it up is easy, as follows.

Two consecutive years of record enrollment. The only public institution in the state with enrollment growth during the last five years. Record retention rates. A graduation rate at the 90th percentile of our peers. Equity gaps beginning to close. Affordability being in the top one-third of peers and ranked in the top 23 percent of public institutions nationally for affordability. The best university in the state regarding student job placement. One of only five institutions nationally selected to join the American Association of State Colleges and Universities' (AASCU) pilot cohort focused on student success strategies, a grant-funded program through the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Earning national Excellence and Innovation Awards, presented by AASCU, five times during the last seven years, most recently last fall for our COVID-19 pandemic response.

Extensive work on creating a diverse and equitable Northwest, including implementing an Inclusive Excellence framework. Focused on employment during the pandemic, one of the Missouri institutions to not invoke layoffs, furloughs, or reductions in force throughout the pandemic.

A complete financial turnaround since 2009 – being placed on our accreditor’s financial watch list as I arrived in 2009 but now the second-healthiest institution in the state. Generating $87.7 million in cost containment and efficiencies between 2012 and 2019. Extremely high debt levels cut in half since 2009 – yet more than $100 million in infrastructure improvements through innovation and partnerships. Alternative revenues increasing since 2016. The most efficient among state universities for state appropriations per degree and certificate granted. Steering through the pandemic in a strengthened financial position.

A successful Forever Green comprehensive campaign that included raising $55 million against a $45 million goal, complete with incredibly strong leadership from the Northwest Foundation Board of Directors and the Northwest Alumni Association, a $21 million Hughes Fieldhouse and $11.4 million Agricultural Learning Center. In fact, we have raised more than $73 million since 2009 – with the institution’s total since 1905 being more than $130 million.

More than 60 national championships in academics and athletics since 2009 – and we of course celebrated the men’s basketball program’s three-peat (four of the last five!) last weekend! Economic impact of $617.5 million and strengthened community relations as witnessed through unparalleled university, city and county growth during the past decade. Innumerable partnerships advancing academic quality. Numerous other national and state distinctions. A workforce that goes above and beyond to serve our students, visitors and all who come in contact with Bearcat Nation. And the list goes on from here. We are truly stewards of place.

Culture indeed wins and we have established a culture with high expectations. Persistence, good old-fashioned hard work and acting with integrity have been our underpinning actions. We have accomplished a great deal together during the past 13 years, and my presidency has been both uplifting and difficult. I have made mistakes along the way, and, like all organizations, Northwest has gaps and opportunities. I have been ensuring these are addressed in our strategic plan, at our All-Employee Meetings and in comments and remarks with leadership groups. Northwest’s core competencies of being safe, trusted, invested and resourceful (STIR) shine through, and our strategic plan, “Adventure 2030,” guides all that we do. Plans are in play, for example, to address strategic and difficult issues ahead: Academic plan, Strategic Enrollment plan, Inclusive Excellence plan, Compensation and Benefits plan, Well-Being plan, Information Technology plan, Athletics plan, Residential Life plan and a transformation of the power plant.

Think about lives impacted and communities bettered because of our work together! Side by side with you, Mrs. J and our family have worked tirelessly to better Northwest, and we have been blessed being associated with so many good people, fantastic experiences and an institution that truly has separated the gap from our peers. I thank Mrs. J, our children (Ruby and Daisy, too!), teammates and the vast array of faculty, staff, alumni, donors and friends and partners who have supported the journey.

I ask you to look critically at the Board of Regents. Understand the innerworkings and ties to others, discern the intended direction, ascertain support or lack thereof for critical issues and weigh in on the institution’s future. Civility with accountability are words that come to mind as you do so.

As for Mrs. J and me, we continue to be patient as this stage of our life unfolds. We are considering a range of options, but please know Denise and I will continue our journey of helping others and uplifting the communities we serve. We are thankful for the positive relationships built through our time at Northwest and in the community. We have been blessed to be the 10th presidential couple and a small part of Northwest’s 117-year lifespan to date – and we are quite proud to be leaving the institution and the community better places than when we arrived. We have focused on viability and vitality. Mission accomplished.

Thank you for how you have supported student success and thank you for how you have enriched our lives. As the spring unfolds, new life and new beginnings are ahead. Spring 2022 commencement exercises will yield the end of a journey for our students yet unpack another phase in their development. Mrs. J and I feel the same way as we approach our own graduation of sorts.

Green lights ahead, my friends. We promise to remain headlights, not taillights, as the late John Lewis said. And we leave with a favorite quote of my late mother’s, from Mary McLeod Bethune, that conveys our thoughts and feelings quite appropriately: “I leave you love. I leave you hope. I leave you the challenge of developing confidence in one another. I leave you a thirst for education. I leave you a respect for the use of power. I leave you faith. I leave you racial dignity. I leave you a desire to live harmoniously with your fellow man. I leave you, finally, a responsibility to our young people.”

Continue being Bearcats! Learn. Connect. Care. Practice civility. Show pride. Take these in, infuse and act on them. Let these mantras flow from your minds and hearts.

On behalf of Mrs. J, I offer our gratitude, love and best wishes.

Here’s to a strong end of the spring 2022 semester! We promise to do our part in leading the way as we celebrate Northwest’s performance and all that you do in the name of student success.


Media contact:

Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager | mhorn@nwmissouri.edu | 660.562.1704