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Education news and issues in the Ozarks.

In Annual Address, Smart Sets Sights on Retention, Degree Programs, and Salaries

Megan Burke/ KSMU Radio

Missouri State University President Clif Smart gave the annual State of the University address on Monday, highlighting accomplishments over the past year and identifying things to work on. KSMU’s Megan Burke was there and has more.

Smart touted the university’s triumphs in the state legislature, including a new state law that lets MSU offer more doctoral programs.

Faculty diversity reached 14 percent—up from 11.5 percent two years ago.

Smart said he was disappointed that state funding didn’t allow for an across-the-board pay increase for faculty and staff.  He said the university will submit a plan to boost employee paychecks to the Board of Governors in the coming weeks.

MSU also hopes to expand the Jordan Valley Innovation Center, part of which would be financed by tax credits.  And a video highlighted a new MSU institute that combats racism and a program that gives people with intellectual disabilities an opportunity to attend college.

Credit Megan Burke/ KSMU Radio
Smart addresses the crowd while giving the annual State of the University Address on Monday, October 1.

Retention rates dropped last year at MSU.  Looking forward, Smart said retention and graduation will be major priorities, and that MSU will grow its academic programs with more strategy in mind.