New Regent sworn in and facilities management plans evaluated in first Board of Regents meeting of the semester
The Southeast Board of Regents approved a new president and vice president, swore in a new senator, approved a number of motions and received reports and updates about upcoming events and projects on campus at its Feb. 14 meeting.
The meeting started with the swearing-in ceremony for James P. Limbaugh. Limbaugh replaced Donald G. LaFerla of Joplin, Missouri, whose term on the board has expired. He served a previous six-year-term ending in 2013 and also served as board vice president for one year.
The regents elected Edward P. Gargas of Dexter, Missouri, as president of the Southeast Missouri State University Board of Regents, and Tina L. Klocke of St. Louis vice president.
Vice president for finance and administration Kathy Mangels gave a progress report on university contracts and facilities management projects.
Mangels highlighted renovations to create a cyber range in Dempster Hall, an indoor batting facility adjacent to Capaha Field, tunnel repairs and an integrated energy master plan. She also highlighted a variety of renovations that will be completed this summer, such as the Holcomb Success Center and fire alarm upgrades for Towers East and South.
A professional engineer and associate with KPFF Consulting Engineers Bob Daughtery and professional engineer and director of Bernhard TME Erich Blaufuss gave a report on the condition of the university’s utility tunnels.
KPFF Consulting Engineers recently completed an assessment of the utility tunnel system and identified the 11 tunnels in most critical need of repairs, starting with tunnels 51 through 55. The estimated cost of repairing the 11 tunnels is $8.5 million to $11.8 million depending on the extent of the repairs needing to be made.
The board considered FY20 Residence Life room and board rates, the award of the Southeast Bookstore contract and changes to academic programs.
The regents voted in favor of increasing Residence Life room and board rates, resulting in a .49 percent increase in board rates and a 3.97 percent increase in the average room rates. This results in a 2.83 percent increase in the average combined room and board rate effective Fall 2019.
The Southeast Bookstore contract was awarded to Follett Higher Education Group Inc. for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2019, with nine optional annual renewal periods. The new contract was awarded after a Request for Proposal (RFP) was issued in November 2018.
Vice president for enrollment management and student success Debbie Below explained how the proposals were evaluated by a committee using criteria such as performance, experience/reliability and financial offer.
“Follett is committed to a cooperative partnership with Southeast,” Below said.
Southeast received offers from Barnes & Noble College, Follett and BBA Solutions, but the committee and regents felt sticking with Follett was the best thing to do given the evaluations.
In other business, the regents approved to change the title of an option and minor in the marketing program and added two new options to the Bachelors of Arts in Communications studies.
The marketing major option, previously known as the major in marketing with an option in sales management, will now be known as the major in marketing with an option in professional selling. The minor has been changed from a minor in marketing: sales management to minor in professional selling.
The communication studies program has added two new options — communication studies: relational communication, and communication studies: rhetoric & public communication.
Different representatives gave their reports, beginning with a student presentation from senior Mary Ramey, a McNair Scholar double majoring in applied mathematics and cybersecurity.
In her presentation, Ramey shared her research experiences and what she has gained from being part of the program as well as coming to Southeast, explaining how “Southeast is more of a close-knit family.”
President of Student Government Association (SGA) Matt Rolwing also gave a report about SGA initiatives and upcoming events for the spring semester.
Chair of Faculty Senate David Powell updated the regents on actions the Senate has been taking, such as initiating a series of listening sessions that began last November and special task forces that will review topics and issues on campus.
The “listening sessions,” Powell explained, is a series in which university administration guests are invited to share their perspectives and vision of shared governance and how to improve communication and morale across the university. Powell said these conversations have helped cultivate a renewed culture of communication and collaboration.
Powell explained there will be a special task force set up to identify issues related to the purpose, process and progress of winter session courses, including comparing grades in winter session courses opposed to those earned in regular session coursework.
Task forces on shared governance, faculty morale, workload and recruitment have met or are meeting for the first time this month. Powell said these task forces were created after a recent Faculty Senate poll of senators and departments identified the need to further explore these topics.
“We look forward to building, rebuilding and reinforcing strong relationships and a sense of community between all constituencies on campus,” Powell said.