On Feb. 24, the Board of Governors met to discuss achievements and plans for the University.

The meeting opened with a report from the Academic and Student Engagement Committee. The chair presented an overview of the Committee's most recent meeting, primarily focusing on Missouri Western’s Counseling Center. The Center has continued to help a steady number of students, with 236 served in the fall of 2019 and 220 in the fall of 2021.

The Policies and Bylaws Committee then presented the final draft of the Policy on Policies, a general “rule book” for the various committees to follow.

Marc Manganaro spoke for the Academic Affairs division. The Early College Academy has seen recent growth, with enrollment up by 14% compared to the previous spring semester. Roughly 1,040 students are enrolled in the program.

The program works with local high schools to offer vocational courses for students and has proven to be a vital recruitment tool for the university.

“Between 18-20% of students with at least one ECA course end up articulating as full-time students at Missouri Western,” Manganaro stated.

There are also plans for two new websites for the University. One will be a user-friendly grant website with everything faculty may need to apply for grants. The other will be the Applied Learning Dashboard, an interactive website that will document Applied Learning experiences that students participate in.

Melissa Mace then spoke for the Student Affairs and Enrollment Management division. The Missouri Western Campus Cupboard received a grant of $3,000. The $3,000 is to fund a student worker to expand the Cupboard's hours of operation.

Mace presented the recruitment statistics of the recent semesters, announcing that the numbers have seen a positive trend. This year 1,614 students were recruited which is significantly higher than last year.

“We have already admitted more freshmen this year than we did in all of last year. We understand we have a great deal of work yet to do,” Mace said.

The University Advancement & MWSU Foundation division also offered good news. The speaker, Marc Archambault, mentioned a new scholarship created for students in education. The MWSU Foundation saw the addition of five new directors as well.

“We’ll be increasing and emphasizing a growth in connectivity, communication, coordination and integration among our own team's efforts with partners across the University and…our partners in the community,” Archambault said.

Theresa Grosbach reported on athletics. Missouri Western athletes have shown impressive academic success. In the last semester, the teams averaged a 3.13 overall cumulative GPA. 380 student-athletes were honors students, and 116 achieved a 4.0 GPA.

President Elizabeth Kennedy spoke about Gold Fridays, summarizing a campus-wide survey regarding the initiative. 95% of students, 68% of faculty, and 58% of staff indicated strong support for Gold Fridays.

“The bottom line is, based upon the survey results that were reported, there is clear support for continuing Gold Fridays and the four day schedule,” Kennedy reported.

Missouri Western will continue to run surveys regarding Gold Fridays in upcoming semesters, but the initiative will remain in place.

“I am routinely reminded that Missouri Western is an excellent institution of higher education,” Kennedy said. “Missouri Western is moving forward with clear direction and sheer purpose, and I am incredibly proud of being part of that moment.”

The Board of Governor's next meeting will be on April 28, 2022. For more information on what was discussed at the meeting, the board book and agenda can be found at https://www.missouriwestern.edu/about/bog/.

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