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.

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At various times throughout the year, colleges and universities across the nation invite guest speakers to campus to address students, faculty and community members.

On Thursday night, former Secretary of State General Colin Powell addressed a large crowd inside JQH arena as part of Missouri State University’s Spring Public Affairs Convocation.

Scott Harvey / KSMU

Missouri State University President Clif Smart says the school learned some things from an October case that prompted the lockdowns of some area schools and businesses.

That’s why during a vague threat on February 4, MSU made efforts to consistently update faculty, staff and students of the situation.

When it comes to asking for money, it’s about matching the interest of a donor to that of a program or proposal, says Clif Smart, president of Missouri State University.

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Factoring in inflation, Missouri State University is $17 million behind in its operating budget since 2002, according to President Clif Smart.

Outlining the school’s priorities for the upcoming Missouri legislative session, Smart says that after years of declines in appropriations, MSU hopes to get a boost from the state for the second straight year.

Missouri State University President Clif Smart says passage of recent initiatives by both the Board of Governors and students show the institution’s inclusiveness and desire to support new school endeavors. 

Missouri State University President Clif Smart will tell you that research is strong at the school, where undergraduate students are getting hands on experience in projects ranging from health to agriculture.

To better highlight those projects, MSU recently published Mind’s Eye. This 19-page compilation features, among others, work by Dr. Paul Durham, professor of cell biology and director of the Center for Biomedical and Life Sciences.

Missouri State University

During our monthly conversation with Missouri State University President Clif Smart, the President examines some key points from Thursday’s State of the University Speech.  

More than 23,000 students throughout the Missouri State University System are expected to converge on campus next week for the start of fall classes. The total figure is projected to top enrollment from this time a year ago, according to President Clif Smart.

“On the Friday before classes to a year ago the Friday before classes we’re up in every category. We’re up in freshmen, we’re up in transfer students, we’re up in graduate students, we’re up in students of color, we’re up in international students,” Smart said.

Scott Harvey / KSMU

State entities are adjusting their budgets for the 2014 fiscal year after Gov. Jay Nixon’s recent decision to restrict millions in funding. Despite vetoing HB 253 in June, the Democratic Governor cited cost concerns of the bill, which could be overridden by lawmakers during their September veto session.

Students at Missouri State University can’t help but know the name John Q. Hammons, given there are four campus facilities that bear his name. And while it’s hard to rank what contribution of Hammons has had the most significance, it’s easy to say the impact of each was vast; whether at MSU, around Springfield, or beyond with his many hotel developments.

Scott Harvey / KSMU

It’s the first time in five years that the Missouri General Assembly has increased funding appropriations for Missouri State University. As KSMU’s Scott Harvey reports, the additional $25 million lawmakers set aside for higher education, which still awaits the signature of Gov. Nixon, means an additional $2.4 million for MSU.

Scott Harvey / KSMU

With severe weather season on the horizon, education administrators are among the officials analyzing current procedures ahead of any potential storms.

At Missouri State University, those who sign up for the school’s notification system will be alerted of, among other things, inclement weather which could affect university operations. The practice is not uncommon these days, with smartphones offering immediate and advanced notifications.

New funding for higher education is among the proposals this year from Gov. Jay Nixon, who said during his State of the State address in January he’d like to dedicate $34 million to the state’s colleges and universities based on their performance.

For Missouri State University, that means an additional 4.3 percent in funding, or roughly $3.3 million, for achieving all five performance measures.

Efforts to make a business more efficient to keep pace with the changing times and climate is nothing new. At Missouri State University, officials say the recent addition of a chilled water loop is one example, helping save on air conditioning costs. But its reliance on coal has many asking what other sources can be used instead.

In December, students urged the Board of Governors to focus on wind, solar and geothermal technology to derive 100 percent of its energy from renewable sources. So is that possible?

Missouri State University President Clif Smart says roughly 50 percent of the school’s graduates have a job lined up before they receive their diploma.

Citing figures compiled by the institution’s Career Center, the President says there’s been more job activity this time around than the last couple of years. The ascent has been rather slow, however.