Southwest Missouri State College
While serving only three years as president, Dr. Leland Traywick's leadership extended into succeeding administrations who worked to implement his ambitious vision. Just two weeks after assuming the presidency, Dr. Traywick established a “Committee on the Future of SMS,” chaired by Dr. Duane Meyer.
The Committee, made up of 10 faculty members and two administrators, was charged with making recommendations on 15 concerns outlined by Traywick touching on student life, faculty responsibilities, curricular changes and college facilities. The composition of the Committee was, itself, precedent-setting, providing clear evidence of the principle of “shared governance.”
While his tenure was short, his achievements were groundbreaking. He established the Faculty Senate which possessed powers of shared governance; reduced faculty teaching contracts from 11 to 9 months with no change in salary; reduced faculty teaching loads from 16 to 12 hours per semester; adopted the semester system and reorganized the curriculum to fit that format; established a general education program; installed electronic data processing equipment; secured an appropriation to build a new Greenwood Laboratory School and expand the Memorial Library; and found funding to enlarge the student union and increase dormitory space. The agenda he prepared challenged the college for several decades.
The Traywick era also included the beginning of the Tent Theatre tradition, the opening of the West Plains Residence Center, and adding baseball, wrestling, women’s volleyball, field hockey, and tennis to intercollegiate sports competition.