"Our dedication is visible in the implementation of energy efficiency projects, water conservation initiatives, waste reduction and recycling programs, and increased support for sustainable transportation options."
Though funding formulas and budgets for an institution the size of Missouri State can be complicated, we strive to be good stewards of what we’ve been given. Whether through state funding, private gifts, bonding or tuition, we recognize the dollars matter and allow us to continue to build, improve and expand.
One great example of our financial stewardship is the Foster Family Recreation Center. The Bill R. Foster family generously gave a major gift in October 2011 and the center officially opened in October 2012 as an amazing addition to the campus. But it started as a student idea in May 2004, and the recreation center was designed by the students for the students. Students wanted it to be environmentally sustainable and accessible to all, and they initiated a student fee that would build this space that allows students, faculty, staff and alumni to stay healthy.
A firm Foundation
Private support has been vital to the success of this university for decades and may be more important now than at almost any time in our history.
The Missouri State University Foundation works tirelessly to garner support from the more than 100,000 alumni and friends of the university. These gifts offset costs of improvements on campus we could not otherwise make.
Thanks to private gifts through the foundation, we’ve been able to name new facilities, fund new professorships, create scholarships, support specific academic or extracurricular programs, and so much more.
These gifts also allow prospects to become Bears – possibly the Citizen Bear that will become the next president.
In addition to being good stewards of the financial resources we’ve been given, we continue our desire to be good stewards of the Earth. During this period, we’ve instituted many changes to improve our carbon footprint and make better choices to sustain natural resources.
Student driven sustainability
We’re proud that the Student Government Association’s sustainability commission has led so many initiatives. Students have supported a campus garden, increased water conservation in residence halls, purchased bike racks, installed water bottle refilling stations, supported a bike-rental program, competed in Campus Conservation Nationals and more.
In fall 2015, we introduced an interdisciplinary minor in sustainability, which could complement any number of majors on campus. We’ve also established Eco-Reps, a group of students who provide sustainability education to their peers, increase involvement and encourage behavior change.
Bears show their green side
The university continues to work toward eco-friendly decisions when it comes to purchases, processes and facilities. For example, we installed solar paneling and demonstrated leadership in the Springfield community by purchasing wind power.
But in the offices of Missouri State, small daily changes are making a big difference, too, led in part by the 23 Green Teams across campus. These faculty and staff are working to reduce the environmental footprint of their office or department and the campus as a whole.
Dining services is a great example. They used unique carbon-tracking software to identify problem areas and reduced the carbon footprint.
In every area, we’re evaluating the ways in which we can improve our sustainability efforts.
Facilities: Growth and expansion
When students visit our campus, we hear two things universally: The people were so friendly, and the campus was so beautiful. We take pride in the fact that our grounds and facilities are maintained and manicured, though keeping up with the aging process is a challenge.
We prioritize maintenance projects and carefully consider building proposals to ensure that we can meet the needs of the Missouri State community without overcommitting ourselves financially. We consider occupancy alternatives and alternative funding sources and consider the recruitment capacity of the finished projects.
Some flagship projects were completed during this time, intensifying the welcoming nature and beauty of our campus. These improvements to campus demonstrate that we are growing and thriving.
In 2015, Plaster Stadium underwent extensive renovation, removing the track and building a new student section.
Betty and Bobby Allison South Stadium
This new field is an NCAA regulation soccer field surrounded by a new synthetic track. This facility is also used for student recreation.
Foster Family Recreation Center
The entire campus community is welcomed to work out, play and learn about healthy living at the FRC.
O’Reilly Clinical Health Sciences Center
This new building is the home of many health fields and the MSU Care Clinic. It includes state-of-the-art facilities, simulation labs, offices, classrooms and group study spaces.
Silver STARS rating
The university submitted its second Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating System (STARS) report in April 2015, and we received a Silver STARS rating from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education. This was an improvement from our previous Bronze ranking.
Some standout initiatives include:
- A minor in sustainability
- Green Teams
One of the top challenges facing Missouri State is state funding for higher education. We have adjusted in a number of ways, all while giving our students the best education possible for the lowest cost possible.