Southwest Missouri State University
Dr. Russell Keeling was named acting-president effective October 1, 1992. Roy Ellis and Duane Meyer both previously served in that capacity, with Meyer holding the title twice prior to assuming the presidency.
Keeling’s watch produced some important achievements for the institution. On April 15, 1992, the long coveted AACSB accreditation was granted to both undergraduate and graduate programs in the College of Business Administration. The teacher education program was reaccredited by the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education with the highest overall rating ever awarded by DESE. The University also was recognized as ranking first among American Association of State Colleges and Universities members and among the 10 Missouri Valley Conference schools in number of National Merit Scholars enrolled. The debate squad won its first national tournament championship, and the Lady Bears went to their first Final Four in the NCAA tournament.
Dr. Keeling brought a wealth of experience to his leadership role. He was a championship debater at SMS and returned as a faculty member in 1968. He served as an assistant dean throughout the Meyer administration. He subsequently served as Assistant to President Gordon, Acting-Dean of the College of Arts and Letters and Acting-Vice President of Academic Affairs.