Engaging the Community

Third Friday of each month at 7:45 a.m.

This monthly program features Missouri State University President Clif Smart discussing the implications of national and international events on the University and local community. Join us as we look at current events and public affairs through a local lens. You can also email topic suggestions for this program.

Ways to Connect

Ryan Welch / KSMU

More than $88 million in construction projects either approved or underway is transforming the look of the Missouri State University campus.

The most recent project to be green lit is Hill Hall, which the Board of Governors approved a contract for this week. It calls for major renovations for one of the school’s original buildings, and with it the College of Education and Psychology Department. It’s projected to be ready for by fall 2018.

MSU banner
Scott Harvey / KSMU

As Missouri State University’s emergency preparedness manager, David Hall’s responsibilities include planning for and coordinating during crisis situations on the Springfield campus. He also conducts training throughout the university system.  

Hall, the city of Springfield’s former fire chief, has been on the job at MSU since February 1. For starters, he says it’s important to establish a good basis of understanding about the campus.

Scott Harvey / KSMU

Missouri State University’s Bias Response Team has handled 20 cases of perceived prejudice so far this year.

The unit is comprised of nine officials, including students, faculty and staff; and is headed by MSU Dean of Students Dr. Thomas Lane.

MSU West Plains
Jennifer Moore / KSMU

Since Gov. Eric Greitens announced his Fiscal Year 2018 budget proposal in February, and in some cases before that, there have been ongoing discussions amongst administrators at Missouri’s colleges and universities about how to manage fewer appropriations.

International Flags
Missouri State University

“International exchange is a core value and strength of American higher education,” says Missouri State University President Clif Smart. He's referring to a letter sent by the American Council on Education, which the school has endorsed.

Missouri Capitol
David Shane / Flickr

Legislative goal items for many of Missouri’s public colleges and universities took a hit this week when the state’s governor restricted $68 million from two and four-year schools.

Missouri capitol
history.com

Missouri’s newly elected officials and the people they represent will learn a lot about each other as the state’s legislative session gets underway next year. For many entities, that relationship-building has been ongoing for some time.

Missouri State University President Clif Smart says his team has been in talks with those inside Governor elect Eric Greitens’ camp. According to Smart, partnerships with outgoing Gov. Jay Nixon were key in elevating the value of higher education in the state. He’s hoping to achieve the same support with a Greitens Administration.

Citizen Scholar Statue
Missouri State University

For many college students across the country, last Tuesday’s election was the first in which they could cast a ballot for U.S. president. But it’s likely not the first time they’ve influenced decisions on leadership and policy.

On campuses across the country, students help drive these outcomes in a variety of ways.

At Missouri State University, engagement in the democratic process is encouraged through its Public Affairs Mission, according to President Clif Smart.

Missouri State University

Nearly a year after renewing its accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission, Missouri State University says it’s moving forward on various recommendations that came in the HLC’s final report.

The commission applauded the school for efforts relating to its public affairs mission, quality programs and a transparent budget, among other areas.

Scott Harvey / KSMU

Enrollment growth at colleges and universities can be attributed to an institution’s advancements across a variety of platforms. While this boost is generally welcome by school administrators, more students on campus may require changes to accommodate everyone.

Carrington Hall
Archive / KSMU

Higher education institutions are among the businesses facing big changes to their payroll structures on Dec. 1, the day new requirements to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) kick in.

Specifically, the new rule increases the minimum annual salary for exempt employees from $23,660 to $47,476.

“We have a lot of people that make more than $23,000 but less than $47,500 that are in that managerial responsibility and so we’ve gotta figure out how we’re gonna handle that,” said MSU President Clif Smart.

KSMU Archives

Late August is when many of the bills passed this session by the Missouri Legislature and signed into law by the governor go into effect. That could mean changes for state businesses and organizations.

For Missouri State University, more than half a dozen bills will require action on the school’s part to be in compliance with new law.

Scott Harvey / KSMU

While enrollment of first-year students at Missouri State University has been on an upward trend, it could mean expanding housing services as capacity meets or exceeds needs.

President Clif Smart says a feasibility study is underway to determine the need for a new “traditional style” residence hall.

“If you look back a few years ago our freshmen class; we had a few less than 2,500. And this last year we were about 3,150. In the fall we anticipate being well over 3,200. So we’ve got a growth of about 750 freshmen in the last three years,” says Smart.

Scott Harvey / KSMU

Missouri State University is preparing to finalize its long-range plan that will guide the school from 2016-2021.

The Board of Governors will consider approval of the plan at its June meeting. President Clif Smart says as each unit sets their goals for next year they’ll “begin with this document.”

“Not a top-down approach… Centrally, we’ll say ‘here are three or four things we hope to emphasize.’ But everybody then gets to decide how they plug into that,” says Smart.

JQH Arena
Scott Harvey / KSMU

Athletic success is one way higher education institutions can raise their profile and offer a peek into the school’s other offerings.

For Missouri State University, a recent example of that was the success of and national attention paid to last year’s postseason run by the Bears’ baseball team. It’s one of 17 athletic programs at the school.

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