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Missouri Western’s Board of Governors held their second meeting of the semester earlier today discussing a multitude of topics from new programs, searching for new staff, Covid updates and the university’s current financial standing.

With the talks of new programs was the discussion of the Masters Academic Plan (MAP). MAP is a strategic plan that will eventually be implemented for Academic Affairs, the plan consists of four primary global initiatives, applied learning, essential skills acquisitions, innovative learning, and belonging and a sense of community. To put these initiatives into action they are focusing on teaching curriculums that align with workforce demand, make students feel like part of the community, and engage in educational and real world experiences. 

The MAP team began its research in September 2020, and is now continuing to plan their timeline and implantation of goals. According to the board book MAP is setting out to “Establish MWSU as the “premier open access regional university.”” The research of the MAP team is due July 1, 2022.

The university currently has open faculty positions after several staff members left prior to and during the current semester. Among these positions are athletic director, provost and vice provost. Currently the interim athletic director role is held by Theresa Grosbach and the interim provost role by Dr. Marc Manganaro. In President Elizabeth Kennedy’s report she stated the following on the search's progress.

“Drs. Richtmyer and Hunter of Academic Search indicate that the search process for a permanent Provost and VP of Academic Affairs is moving forward as projected. To date, we have had over 60 applicants for the position.” Dr. Kennedy reported. “The search committee has reconvened, reviewed the initial set of applicants, and are working toward the next stage in the process. In the meantime, Interim Provost Dr. Marc Manganaro continues to provide solid leadership for the Office of Academic Affairs.“

She went on to explain that after a committee reviewed an initial pool of applicants, they had three potential candidates for athletic director visit the campus. They are currently reviewing the data from internal and external stakeholders. Shortly after the meeting it was announced that the search would be paused until January. As her report went on she covered the university's current financial status compared to the previous semesters.

“We are addressing our current budget situation. We recognize that our revenues have been lagging to our original projections and we have adjusted the revenue forecast. I have asked Vice President Morrison to work with our administration as well as our campus community so that we can regain that balance by the end of the second quarter in December.”

Continuing on she delved into the current status of Covid related findings. Dr. Kennedy was happy to report that by the end of the Max the Vax vaccination incentive plan more than one-third of the campus self-reported as being fully vaccinated. In addition she stated that the number of positive cases in Buchanan County as well as the numbers on campus have been in a continued decline. She briefly mentioned as well that the winter commencement speaker had been chosen, Esther George, president of the Federal Reserve Bank. She ended the meeting with a summary and a reassurance that Missouri Western is moving with a clear path in mind.

“As MWSU moves toward the end of the fall semester, our efforts to improve, grow, and strengthen our institution continue. Regardless of the challenges facing us, our commitment to our students and their success, our dedication to providing an excellent education at an affordable price, and the irrefutable value that MW places on its faculty, staff, and administrators – those who form the foundation of our Griffon Family – remain steadfast. As I routinely report, MWSU is moving forward with clear direction and sure purpose, and I am thrilled to be part of this momentum.”

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