Missouri State University

Futures Task Force Minutes

December 1, 2005

Those attending were: Frank Einhellig, Chair, Marc Cooper, Julie Masterson, Jim Baker, Jane Doelling, D. Wayne Mitchell, Chris Barnhart, Ryan Giedd, Elizabeth Rozell, Mike Carlie, Michael Hignite, Peter Collins, Katie Hope

Staff: Tami Sutton

Dr. Frank Einhellig, Chair of the Future's Task Force began the meeting at 3:30 pm with the review and approval of the November 17 meeting notes.

Dr. Einhellig then led the Task Force in a discussion regarding the open forums that had been held November 28 and 29 to solicit faculty input. Notes from each of the open forums, including the community input forum hosted by the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce, had been prepared by Tami Sutton and emailed to the Task Force earlier that day. The general consensus of the Task Force was that there were no major changes to be made to the research and scholarship emphasis areas gleaned from the open forums – only minor adjustments. Those were:

  • To add the wording "examples of" to the definition portion of the research and scholarship area templates under each of the major headings; Funding, Growth, Unique Resources, Collaborations, Strengths, Mission Fit, and Education Fit. This will emphasize that the items listed are examples only and not all-inclusive data collected.
  • Re-title "Environment and Water Quality" to "Environment and Water Resources"
  • Re-title "Health" to "Clinical Health"
  • Re-title "Teaching and Learning Research" to "Research on Learning and Teaching"

Dr. Einhellig briefly reported on the Community Input Forum hosted by the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce. He reported to the Task Force that the forum was well attended by key business and community leaders with approximately 40 in attendance. Comments by attendees were as follows:

  • Overall, it would be good to condense and consolidate the areas of focus.
  • The focus areas seem well aligned with Chamber and business community goals.
  • Must continue to strategically tie into community needs, such as those highlighted in the Community Focus report card for Springfield and Greene County.
  • Try to find a specific example in each area of how the Missouri State University program can better connect with the community or serve an important community need.
  • Importance of foreign language studies and international programs must continue to be recognized.
  • How will Missouri State evaluate this program and remain flexible to change as new areas of focus emerge?
  • Report should better recognize the strength of the College of Business Administration, and place continued emphasis on the value of internships for both students and local businesses.
  • Health and Life Span Research sections could be combined.

Dr. Einhellig requested that the Task Force Subgroups assigned to each research area make the necessary changes and forward the final document to Tami Sutton by Tuesday, December 6 for inclusion into the final report to President Nietzel.

It was also decided to de-activate the comment portion of the research and scholarship emphasis areas and infrastructure documents posted on the website.

Dr. Einhellig then focused the discussion to the development of the final report. Dr. Einhellig, with the assistance of Dr. Jim Baker will develop a draft copy of the final report to be emailed to the Task Force for their final review and comment.

A lengthy discussion followed regarding the content of the final report. Major points to be included in the introductory portion of the report are:

  • Re-emphasize process (criteria, data, current research, etc) utilized by the Task Force in developing the research and scholarship emphasis areas.
  • Re-emphasize that areas listed within the research clusters examples of areas in today's climate only – time, resources, activity, etc. will influence future changes in the clusters.
  • Possible future research and scholarship emphasis areas were not addressed by the Task Force, but areas that might come out of the Task Force on Public Health, etc. could be areas to develop.
  • Mechanism for measuring success and for ongoing review of the research areas – faculty involvement in review of areas.
  • Organizational structure for coordination and distribution of university resources in development of identified research areas. Possibly faculty committee with Vice President for Research & Economic Development as Chair to make recommendation(s) to Provost and President for final decision(s).
  • Possible mechanism to encourage faculty to work together on interdisciplinary projects.

The meeting concluded with review and discussion of the proposed area presented in hard copy by Dr. Art Spisak, Faculty Senate Chair, titled, "The Human Dimension, Civil Society, and Citizenship." The Task Force decided that the proposed area's focus of humanities and public affairs should not be singled out, but rather should be an intricate part of each proposed research and scholarship emphasis area. With the importance of this in mind, the Task Force also directed Dr. Einhellig to include a statement in the introduction section of the final report emphasizing how each proposed research and scholarship emphasis area relates to the Public Affairs Mission and supports the University's themes and that this was a criteria utilized by the Task Force in the development each of the proposed areas.

The next meeting of the Futures Task Force will be Thursday, December 8 at 3:30 pm in PSU 317. Agenda items for the next meeting will be 1) Discussion of the Task Forces' final report and, 2) Discussion of a concept document presented by Dr. Mike Carlie. The document is an example of a way to bring faculty together to collaborate in their research (as well as their teaching and service activity).

Respectively submitted,

Tami Sutton
Executive Assistant