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SEMO Board of Governors names Roy Blunt Vandiver Show Me State Award recipient, approves academic program changes
Southeast Missouri State University’s Board of Governors met to approve changes to academic programs and name the Vandiver Show Me State award recipient on Nov. 9.
The award is named after former SEMO University President William Duncan Vandiver was created in 1997 and will be given to Senator Roy Blunt. The award is given at the board’s discretion. University president Carlos Vargas said the award is meant to recognize a person or an organization’s “contributions to the institution, the region and the state.”
“We believe that this would be a fitting recognition to the efforts that [Blunt] has been making to help us over the years, but in particular, recently, with some of the projects that we’re engaged in — the Houck project,” Vargas said.
Vargas said he hopes the board takes “advantage” of the award more often.
“I actually feel that it's a good action by the board to take advantage of this Vandiver Award more visibly and more frequently than we have done so far, as a way to recognize individuals,” Vargas said.
The award will be presented to Senator Blunt at the 2 p.m. commencement ceremony Dec. 17.
Academic program changes
Provost Mike Godard presented changes to two different academic programs: the addition of a histotechnician undergraduate certificate and the deletion of the Bachelor of Arts in Psychology degree. Godard said the histotechnician program will offer a way for students to be a licensed histotechnician. According to the Mayo Clinic, a histotechnician plays “a crucial role in the diagnosis and treatment of diseases by turning tissue samples into microscope slides.
“[Students,] if they completed the 43 credit hours in this program, they could sit for the national certification exam to become a histotechnician,” Godard said.
Governor and SoutheastHEALTH hematologist/oncologist Dr. Andrew Moore said the creation of the certificate would fill a need for pathology labs and hospitals.
“I assure you, every graduate with this certificate or bachelor's degree [in histotechnology] will have a job any day, anywhere they want to go,” Moore said. “Our pathology lab at the hospital — I mean, we cannot keep this type of employee [because of the industry’s need].”
Godard said the Bachelor of Arts in Psychology degree will be deleted because SEMO already has a Bachelor of Science in Psychology degree option that overlaps with the bachelor of arts option.
“What we found is, our Bachelor of Arts in Psychology was not quite preparing students to be successful in getting admitted into some graduate programs in psychology,” Godard said. “The Bachelor of Science has those courses already built into it, and so, we will just move individuals from the B.A. into the B.S. quite seamlessly.”
Godard said the bachelor of arts option is “100%” online for students with no face-to-face options, and the bachelor of science has an in-person option, along with a fully-online option. Godard said with the deletion of the bachelor of arts option, students enrolled currently will still have the option to finish their degree path or move to the bachelor of science.
Both program changes were unanimously approved by the board.
Dr. Andrew Moore sworn in
SoutheastHEALTH hematologist/oncologist Dr. Andrew Moore was sworn into his position as governor on the board by Judge Stephen Limbaugh Sr. Moore was appointed to the board by Gov. Mike Parson in Sept. 2022 with a term ending Jan. 1, 2029.
The next Board of Governors meeting is set to take place Dec. 16.