May 13, 2021

Minutes of the
Board of Governors
Missouri State University
Wednesday, May 13, 2021, 8:30 a.m.

Governor Amelia “Amy” Counts, Chair of the Board of Governors, called the meeting to order at 8:32 a.m. in Plaster Student Union, Traywick Parliamentary Room on the Missouri State University campus in Springfield, Missouri. The meeting was livestreamed via Zoom webinar for the public.

Roll Call

Present –

  • Amelia “Amy” Counts, Chair of the Board
  • Briar Douglas, Student Governor
  • Craig Frazier, Governor
  • Gabriel Gore, Governor
  • Beverly Miller Keltner, Governor
  • Lynn Parman, Governor
  • Carol Silvey, Governor
  • Carrie Tergin, Governor
  • Jay Wasson, Governor
  • Chris Waters, Governor

Also present –

  • Clif Smart, President
  • Jim Baker, Vice President for Research and Economic Development and International Programs
  • Jeff Coiner, Chief Information Officer
  • Ryan DeBoef, Chief of Staff and Assistant to the President for Governmental Relations
  • Rachael Dockery, General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer
  • Brent Dunn, Vice President for University Advancement
  • Frank Einhellig, Provost
  • Steve Foucart, Chief Financial Officer
  • Dennis Lancaster, Interim Chancellor of the West Plains Campus
  • Natalie McNish, Interim Director of Internal Audit and Risk Management
  • Kyle Moats, Director of Athletics
  • Matt Morris, Vice President for Administrative Services
  • Wes Pratt, Chief Diversity Officer
  • Suzanne Shaw, Vice President for Marketing and Communications
  • Dee Siscoe, Vice President for Student Affairs
  • Rowena Stone, Secretary to the Board of Governors
  • Shawn Wahl, Dean of the Reynolds College of Arts and Letters

Approval of Minutes

Governor Counts called for a motion to approve the open and closed minutes of the February 19 and April 21, 2021, Board of Governors meetings. Governor Lynn Parman provided a motion, receiving a second from Governor Craig Frazier.

Motion passed 9-0.

Consent Agenda

Governor Counts noted that the next item of business on the agenda was the approval of the consent agenda. Items included in the consent agenda:

Human Resources:

  • Approval of Actions Concerning Academic Employees (Human Resources No. 1671-21)
  • Approval of Actions Concerning Non-Academic Employees (Human Resources No. 1672-21)

Procurement and Financial:

  • Approval of Procurement Activity Report (Purchasing Activity Report No. 499-21)

West Plains Campus:

  • Approval of Actions Concerning Academic Employees (West Plains Campus Personnel No. 459-21)
  • Approval of Actions Concerning Non-Academic Employees (West Plains Campus Personnel No. 460-21)
  • Approval of the New Associate of Arts in Human Services (West Plains Curriculum No. 106-21)

Governor Carol Silvey provided a motion for approval of the consent agenda, receiving a second from Governor Chris Waters.

Motion passed 9-0.

Making Our Missouri Statement – Lady Bears

Kyle Moats, Director of Athletics, introduced Amaka Agugua-Hamilton, Head Coach of the Lady Bears; Emily Gartner, Lady Bear; and Elle Ruffridge, Lady Bear. A video with highlights of the season was reviewed and Mr. Moats moderated a panel discussion.

Board members asked questions, congratulated the team on their success, and thanked them for participating on the panel.

Committee Reports

Governor Counts reported out on the March 17, 2021, Executive Committee meeting.

Governor Silvey reported out on the April 28, 2021, Risk Management and Audit Committee meeting.

Governor Waters reported out on the May 12, 2021, Finance and Facilities Committee meeting.

Governor Parman reported out on the May 12, 2021, Programs and Planning Committee meeting.

President’s Report

President Clif Smart welcomed everyone to commencement weekend. He shared that 3,011 students will graduate, with 2,170 student earning undergraduate degrees and 841 with graduate degrees, 117 of which being doctorates. 226 students will graduate with associates degrees from the West Plains campus on Saturday.

President Smart provided a COVID-19 update for the Springfield campus. He reviewed cases by week and category. He shared vaccination and testing numbers and positivity rates on campus. Through April 30, a total of 16,277 vaccines have been administered on campus. He reviewed responses of the Bears Care Survey that showed there was improvement in numbers for those with Wi-Fi or computing issues, those with academic aid concerns, and students unsure if returning. He shared that the plan for the fall semester is to have as close to a normal semester as possible.

President Smart provided a summary of the legislative session. The state’s budget was passed last week that included significant funding increases for the university that includes a 3.7% core operating appropriation increase for all public universities. This is in addition to the ongoing state appropriation for core operations by $3.5 million, taking it from $94 million to $97.5 million. The legislature also included one-time funding for university projects and initiatives that include $1.8 million to establish the Missouri Cybersecurity Center of Excellence at the Roy Blunt Jordan Valley Innovation Center, $4 million to expand facilities at the Darr Agricultural Center, and $1 million to build a welding lab on the West Plains campus.

The budget will now go to Governor Parson for signature, veto, or line-item veto. The university has already begun efforts to advocate with Governor Parson and his team for items in its budget. President Smart thanked legislators that played a significant role in support of the university to make the funding items happen. He thanked Senators Hegemann and Hough who led the effort to increase university core funding and to include the funding for JVIC in the state’s operating budget. He thanked Representatives Cupps, Black, Boggs, Fishel, Fogle, Kelly, and Riley who were critical in getting the Darr Agricultural Center funding in the House’s version of the capital bill; Senators Hough, Brown, and Crawford for keeping the funds in the capital bill when it reached the Senate; and Senator Eslinger and Representative Evans for their work in getting the West Plains welding lab funding added to the capital bill.

President Smart presented a resolution for approval of the 2021 Wall of Fame Inductees (Awards No. 96-21). The resolution approves former Missouri State University employees to be added to the Wall of Fame. President Smart reviewed the 2020 inductees and stated that both the 2020 and 2021 classes will be inducted during Homecoming. The 2021 recommended inductees include Dr. Anson Elliott, Dean of the Darr College of Agriculture; Mike Jungers, Dean of Students; Dr. James Moyer, Department Head and professor of Religious Studies; Dr. Thomas Plymate, Department Head and professor of Geography, Geology, and Planning; and Mark Stilwell, Sports Information Director. Governor Silvey made a motion for approval, receiving a second from Governor Frazier.

Motion passed 9-0.

Academic Affairs

Dr. Chris Herr, Chair of Faculty Senate, provided a report on happenings of Faculty Senate. Highlights of his report included an update from the policy review committee, faculty awards, curricular proposal actions, and recognition of outgoing officers.

Dr. Frank Einhellig, Provost, provided an update on happenings in Academic Affairs. He asked for approval of a resolution of recognition for Dr. Cameron Wickham, outgoing Faculty Senate Chair (Recognition No. 4-21). Governor Beverly Miller Keltner provided a motion, receiving a second from Governor Parman.

Motion passed 9-0.

Dr. Einhellig reviewed the process for faculty to apply and be selected for the Missouri State Foundation Awards in Teaching and Services. He announced the teaching award winners, Dr. Kyler Sherman-Wilkins, Assistant Professor in Sociology and Anthropology and Dr. Margaret Weaver, Professor in English. He announced the services award winner, Dr. David Romano, Professor of Political Science.

Dr. Einhellig introduced Dr. Keri Franklin, Associate Provost for Public Affairs and Assessment, to announce the winners of the 2021-2022 Excellence in Public Affairs award recipients. Faculty winners included Dr. Judith Martinez, Associate Professor of World Languages and Cultures; Dr. Gary Meints, Associate Professor of Chemistry; and Caryn Saxon, Senior Instructor of Criminology. Staff winners included Dr. Tara Benson, Associate Director of Plaster Student Union and Director of Student Engagement; David Hall, Director of University Safety; and Travis Schilla, Residence Life Coordinator of Leadership Development and Programming. Governor Counts recommended approval of the resolution to acknowledge the 2021-2022 Excellence in Public Affairs award recipients (Awards No. 97-21). Governor Jay Wasson provided a motion, receiving a second from Governor Waters.

Motion passed 9-0.

Dr. Einhellig concluded his report by providing an update on the spring 2021 virtual research presentation forums.

Diversity and Inclusion

Wes Pratt, Chief Diversity Officer, reported out on the 2021 Collaborative Diversity Conference. The conference was held virtually and made free for all attendees due to the generous support of sponsors. A pre-conference facing racism session was held and the conference had a full day of sessions that included a presentation from Professor Irshad Manji as the plenary speaker.

The Board asked about participation in the Bear Bridge Faculty Mentorship Program. Mr. Pratt shared that over the past year the program had 30 mentors and 21 mentees. President Smart commented that this program has been very successful and meaningful in helping retain new diverse faculty at Missouri State. Mr. Pratt shared that the program is going to be continued.

Student Affairs

Tara Orr, Student Body President, provided a report on happenings of the Student Government Association and the student body. She shared that SGA passed 45 resolutions over the year and highlighted accomplishments of individual team members. Ms. Orr thanked the Board for their support over the past year and introduced Michael Chapman, incoming Student Body President. Mr. Chapman provided comments and shared his plans for the upcoming year.

Dr. Dee Siscoe, Vice President for Student Affairs, presented two resolutions for approval. Governor Counts requested approval of the following resolutions, to be approved at the same time:

  • Approval of a Resolution of Recognition of Tara Orr for Service as Student Boyd President (Recognition No. 5-21)
  • Approval of a Resolution of Recognition of Blake Haynes for Service as Student Body Vice President (Recognition No. 6-21)

Governor Frazier provide a motion, receiving a second from Governor Silvey.

Motion passed 9-0.

Staff Senate

Dr. Ryan Reed, Chair of Staff Senate, provided a report on happenings within Staff Senate. Highlights of his report included the election of the new executive board for the upcoming year, funds raised for the Jason Rhea memorial fund, developing a staff emergency fund, and an overview of the staff satisfaction survey. President Smart commented that the Board has challenged the administrative team to continue work on improving compensation and benefits for university employees.

Matt Morris, Vice President for Administrative Services, presented a resolution for the approval of recognition of Dr. Ryan Reed for Service as 2020-2021 Staff Senate Chair (Recognition No. 7-21). Governor Miller Keltner provided a motion, receiving a second from Governor Tergin.

Motion passed 9-0.

Facilities and Equipment

Mr. Morris presented a resolution for approval of consultant and authority to enter into an agreement for professional services in conjunction with the improvements to the pedestrian underpass at Grand Street (Agreement No. 444-21). Governor Silvey provided a motion, receiving a second from Governor Parman.

Motion passed 9-0.

Mr. Morris presented a resolution for approval of bids and award of contract for the tunnel lid repairs at Bear Boulevard on the Springfield Campus (Bids & Quotations No. 1587-21). Governor Waters provided a motion, receiving a second from Governor Tergin.

Motion passed 9-0.

New Business – Financial Aid and Student Debt

Dr. Siscoe provided an overview of the Division of Student Affairs. She shared that Enrollment Management and Services is one of the areas that falls under the Division that includes Admissions, Career Center, Financial Aid, Scholarships, Office of the Registrar, and the Oldham Family Veterans Student Center. She introduced Dr. Rob Hornberger, Associate Vice President for Enrollment Management and Services; Heather King, Director of Scholarships; and Rob Moore, Director of Financial Aid. Dr. Hornberger provided an overview of the Enrollment Management and Services structure. Mr. Moore provided an overview of the financial aid process for students, student eligibility, financial need, cost of attendance, and types of financial aid. Ms. King provided an overview of the types of scholarships. She highlighted the different institutionally funded undergraduate scholarships and their expenditures for 2019-20.

A fire alarm was observed from 11:03 a.m. – 11:14 a.m.

Mr. Moore shared university communications and messaging to students about financial aid offers through texting, mailings, emailing, and social media. He reviewed the tools available to connect students to aid that include the Financial Aid website and portal. Dr. Hornberger shared additional ways to connect students to aid that included outside scholarship searches and automated client services with extended business hours. Mr. Moore shared information on costs and loan debt. He stated that with rising costs, grants alone are insufficient to cover all direct costs (tuition and housing) and students turn to borrowing. He shared that Missouri State graduates borrow below the national and state averages. Averages of student loan debt were reviewed.

Dr. Hornberger reviewed the connection of financial aid and student debt to the strategic enrollment management (SEM) plan. He shared that one of the goals included financial preparedness with decreasing the average loan debt of undergraduate degree recipients by 5% after inflation by 2026. Strategies to reach the goal include proactively implementing targeted interventions and realignments of institutional resources that help prevent attrition and decrease student loan debt, developing and deploying a financial preparedness education program for students and family members that begins with the financial aid award letter and continues through graduation, and to identify and implement advising practices that improve enrollment efficiency and therefore contribute to lowering student debt. Mr. Moore reviewed tactics related to student debt that include student loan awareness and overborrowing prevention, financial literacy education and counseling, default prevention, and state and federal advocacy initiatives.

The Board asked questions about additional communications and of upcoming changes to the process. Mr. Moore shared that there is a financial aid presentation at every student orientation, advisement, and registration (SOAR) session and that they work with other departments to share the information to more specific, targeted groups. He shared that the university visits high schools and hosts college and FASFA nights to assist incoming students with completing the paperwork. During the pandemic, the efforts moved to a virtual format and additional connections were made with high school counselors. The Board suggested the team reach out to the College of Education to make additional connections through its “Bear in every Building” initiative and for the Foundation to expand on their donor scholarships to include a housing component.

The Board thanked Dr. Hornberger, Ms. King, and Mr. Moore for their presentation.

Governor Tergin made remarks about enjoying having the opportunity to host alumni events surrounding the Lady Bears success this season and the football team’s trip to the Capitol to be recognized. She recognized the chorale and their performance at Governor Paron’s inauguration. Lastly, she expressed how she has heard from community members how well Missouri State University handled the pandemic.

Closed Session

It was determined that the Board of Governors needed to meet in a closed session to consider items of business provided in the Revised Statues of Missouri. Governor Counts asked if a resolution authorizing a closed meeting of the Board was prepared. Thereupon, the following resolution was presented for consideration:

BE IT RESOLVED by the Board of Governors for Missouri State University that a closed meeting with closed records and closed vote, be held during a recess of this regular meeting of the Board of Governors to consider items pursuant to:

  • R.S.Mo. 610.021(3). “Hiring, firing, disciplining or promoting of particular employees by a public governmental body...” and
  • R.S.Mo. 610.021(13). “Individually identifiable personnel records, performance ratings or records pertaining to employees or applicants for employment...;”

Governor Parman provided a motion for approval, receiving a second from Governor Tergin.

A roll call vote on the motion was as follows: those voting in favor – Governors Counts, Frazier, Gore, Miller Keltner, Parman, Silvey, Tergin, Wasson, and Waters; those voting against – none.

The open meeting was recessed at 2:04 p.m. to go into closed session.

The open meeting reconvened at 12:45 p.m.


With no additional information needing to be discussed, Governor Counts called for a motion to adjourn the meeting. Governor Wasson provided a motion, receiving a second from Governor Silvey.

Motion passed 9-0.

The meeting adjourned at 12:45 p.m.


Amelia Counts

Amelia Counts
Board Chair



Rowena Stone

Rowena Stone
Secretary to the Board