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News Release

Dec. 8, 2023

Regents approve Forest Village renovations, bachelor’s programs in GIS, sociology; Tatum reflects on first six months

Northwest Missouri State University's Board of Regents on Thursday approved renovations to residential facilities and the creation of two degree programs in addition to accepting the institution’s FY23 financial audit during the Board’s last session of the fall semester.

As part of a multi-year plan to address Northwest’s residential facilities, Regents approved the University’s proposal to renovate two buildings within the Forest Village Apartment complex, Willow and Hawthorne, next summer. The $700,000 project will use unrestricted auxiliary funds to update flooring, paint and furniture as well as kitchen and bathroom fixtures in both buildings. 

Opened in 2004, the Forest Village complex comprises three buildings offering fully furnished apartments with two‐ and four-bedroom layouts that include living, kitchen, dining and storage spaces.

Northwest renovated the Sycamore building within the apartment complex last summer.

Curriculum approvals

Regents approved the creation of Bachelor of Science degree programs in sociology and in geographic information science, which Northwest will begin offering next fall. Both programs, Northwest Provost Dr. Jamie Hooyman said, will fill gaps in the University’s current offerings and respond to market demands.

The Bachelor of Science program in sociology will be delivered online and on campus to serve students who desire employment or want to pursue graduate studies in sociology, social work, counseling, public administration or public health, among other fields. The program also will integrate with Northwest’s existing offerings in human services, criminology and its sociology minor.

The Bachelor of Science program in geographic information science will offer Northwest students a range of technical courses to provide the necessary knowledge and training needed for a GIS career or graduate education. While Northwest already offers a GIS emphasis within its geography program, Hooyman said half of geography majors choose GIS and the University determined a separate GIS program is needed.

President Tatum reflects on first six months

Northwest President Dr. Lance Tatum, during his report to the Board, reviewed his first six months at the University since arriving June 1 and offered some of his goals for the remainder of the academic year.

Tatum first expressed thanks to the Board of Regents, the Northwest Leadership Team and Senior Leadership Team members for their support and assistance to help him understand the University’s challenges, needs and vision. Additionally, he expressed gratitude for opportunities to meet and begin to build relationships with local legislators, Gov. Mike Parson and University donors.

“Everything that I’ve experienced at Northwest has been incredibly smooth, and I could go through a really long list of groups and individuals that I could thank for that,” Tatum said.

In addition to highlighting the Board of Regents’ approval in September of a $105 million energy infrastructure modernization project and Northwest’s record enrollment, Tatum said he has enjoyed attending numerous University activities, including music and theatre productions, athletics events and Student Senate meetings.

“It really is inspiring to see the talent that exists within the University, both at the student level and the faculty level,” Tatum said. “You never miss an opportunity to congratulate the faculty and students for work well done.”

In outlining his next six months, Tatum expressed his interest in helping to develop leaders at the University, enhance recruitment and admissions processes, and build a legislative agenda to garner federal support for the University in alignment with the work already being done to gather state support.  

Tatum concluded his remarks by highlighting the University’s winter commencement ceremonies taking place Friday.

The University’s inauguration of Tatum as its 11th president is scheduled for Friday, April 19, in Bearcat Arena.

Other business

In other business, the Board:

  • Approved graduation candidates completing bachelor’s, master’s and specialist degrees at the conclusion of the fall semester.
  • Approved the appointments of 21 adjunct faculty to teach during the spring 2024 semester.
  • Approved the renewal of a 12-month lease agreement for 2024 with Boulder Industries LLC for laboratory and office space in the Dean L. Hubbard Center for Innovation.
  • Accepted the results of the institution’s FY23 financial audit completed by RubinBrown, LLP, which provided an unmodified opinion of the University’s financial statements with no misstatements.
  • Approved a reimbursement resolution prepared by the University’s bond counsel that will allow Northwest to reimburse itself for funds expended prior to the approval of the resolution and prior to the issuance of tax-exempt bonds in conjunction with planning for the University’s energy infrastructure modernization project.
  • Approved a three-year agreement with two additional subsequent three-year renewal options to retain Husch Blackwell for the University’s legal services.

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


Dr. Mark Hornickel
Administration Building
Room 215