One of the first actions taken by Dr. Nietzel after becoming president of Missouri State University was the establishment of the Task Force on Missouri State University Futures. For membership on that Task Force, President Nietzel selected some of the University’s most accomplished faculty, recognized for their influential scholarship and for their ability to understand the University in broad, inclusive terms and to represent the highest standards of excellence in teaching, research, and service. President Nietzel appointed Associate Provost Frank Einhellig as chair of the Task Force.
President Nietzel emphasized from the beginning that the examination of future areas of research and scholarly focus was to be led by faculty. The membership and composition of the Task Force represented the President’s desire to engage faculty in key decision-making tasks that will help shape Missouri State's future.