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News Release

Dec. 9, 2022

Regents approve residence hall removal, degree programs, laptop replacement


Northwest Missouri State University’s Board of Regents approved the demolition of two residence halls, the addition of two degree programs and an extension of the University’s laptop program on Thursday during its last session of the fall semester.

North Complex (Northwest Missouri State University photo)

North Complex (Northwest Missouri State University photo)

Phillips Hall (Northwest Missouri State University photo)

Phillips Hall (Northwest Missouri State University photo)

As part of a multi-year plan to address the University’s residential facilities, Regents approved Northwest’s plan to begin removal of North Complex and Phillips residence halls after the conclusion of the spring 2023 semester.

Presenting the proposal to the Board, Vice President of Student Affairs Dr. Matt Baker said the $3 million project will use unrestricted funds from the University’s auxiliary budget. The plan includes abatement of hazardous materials, a relocation of offices and programs from North Complex, and demolition as well as groundwork to make the sites suitable for potential future buildings.  

North Complex was completed in 1962 and last housed students regularly in 2018, though a small number of students lived in the building at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, and Northwest has offered it as a low-cost alternative to its other residence halls. Phillips Hall, one of four seven-story residence halls on the campus, was finished in 1968 and last housed students in 2014.

“We are at a point now that allows us to remove buildings that were slated to be demolished years ago,” Baker said, adding their removal will reduce the University’s residence hall capacity from about 2,800 beds to about 2,300 beds. “That’s still excess capacity. We are balancing the use of our funds to invest in student spaces to help with recruitment as well as addressing infrastructure challenges. Both of those buildings are beyond their useful life in terms of deferred maintenance.”

Additionally, Regents approved the replacement of shower systems in South Complex at a cost estimated to be about $1.3 million.

Curriculum additions

Regents approved two degree programs, adding a Bachelor of Science in social media management within the School of Communication and Mass Media and an online Master of Science in nutrition in the School of Health Science and Wellness.

The social media management degree is designed to prepare students for careers in developing social media messaging and campaigns while enabling them to take analytic and creative approaches to social media usage. The program will help students build skills in video and audio production, layout and design, creating messages and analyzing data to place messaging in specific venues and timeframes.

Presenting the proposal to the Board, Provost Dr. Jamie Hooyman highlighted the unique scope of the major, which no other college or university in the region offers and addresses a new market for students. Projections indicate the field could add 22,300 jobs in the next decade with titles such as digital engagement specialist, social media strategist and online community manager.

The new master’s degree in nutrition will address changing requirements in the dietetics field. Effective Jan. 1, 2024, the Commission on Dietetic Registration will require a minimum of a master’s degree in addition to the completion of a dietetics internship program to be eligible for the credentialing exam and becoming a registered dietitian nutritionist.

New laptops in fall 2023

First-year students check out their Northwest laptops when they arrive on campus each fall. All Northwest students will receive a new laptop in fall 2023 through a purchase agreement with Hewlett-Packard Company. (Photo by Lauren Adams/Northwest Missouri State University)

First-year students check out their Northwest laptops when they arrive on campus each fall. All Northwest students will receive a new laptop in fall 2023 through a purchase agreement with Hewlett-Packard Company. (Photo by Lauren Adams/Northwest Missouri State University)

Northwest students will receive new notebook computers when the fall 2023 semester begins as Regents approved the purchase through Hewlett-Packard Company, not to exceed $3.75 million.

A hallmark of Northwest’s emphasis on providing students access to an affordable education, Northwest provides laptops and textbooks to students as part of their tuition and fees, ensuring all students have access to the tools they need to be successful in the classroom. Combined, the programs save students an estimated $6,800 during their four-year academic career, compared to students attending other institutions.

Northwest’s technology program provides students with low-cost, efficient and up-to-date computing technology and computer labs that enhance the learning environment. Additionally, it furnishes classroom and computer lab equipment, help desk services and a host of other networking services funded through a student-approved technology fee as well as education and general funds.

Presidential search update

Board Chair John Moore, who also chairs Northwest’s Presidential Search Committee, provided an update on the University’s progress toward finding its next leader and said finalists could appear on campus for public forums as early as February.

The search committee convened Dec. 1 to review the applications of 16 candidates presented to the committee after a screening process conducted by Anthem Executive, the firm partnering with Northwest on its search. Moore said the search committee selected nine of those candidates for a first round of interviews that will occur in closed sessions during January.

Moore said all of the selected candidates have doctorate degrees and extensive administrative experience. He added that most have teaching experience, and some have experience as presidents and provosts.

For more information about Northwest’s presidential search, visit www.nwmissouri.edu/presidentsearch/.

Other business

In other business, the Board:

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



Contact

Dr. Mark Hornickel
Administration Building
Room 215
660.562.1704
mhorn@nwmissouri.edu