Bennett’s Bulletin for Thursday, October 19, 2017

Message from Chancellor Drew Bennett to Faculty and Staff

This edition of Bennett’s Bulletin includes Fiscal Year 2017 highlights and updates on enrollment, the upcoming Higher Learning Commission visit, the amphitheater grant and nursing department pass rate.

Fiscal Year 2017 Highlights

The annual report covers the highlights of a very successful year in 2016-17.

  • Donors, University Officials Break Ground on Hass-Darr Hall
  • Major Milestones Reached at 2017 Commencement Ceremony
  • Overcoming Obstacles, the Greater Ozarks Center for Advanced Technology (GOCAT) Facility Opens in Fall 2017
  • Board Approves Management Agreement for Grizzly Lofts
  • Other campus highlights include continued success by our students on the Collegiate Assessment Of Academic Proficiency (CAAP) test, an impressive showing by the Agriculture and Phi Beta Lambda student groups at state and national competitions and academic honors for the volleyball team.

Check out the Annual Report for more information on the successes mentioned above and other highlights.


A total of 1,930 students are enrolled this fall at Missouri State University-West Plains. This figure is slightly less than last year’s overall tally of 1,951 students. We are pleased that enrollment continues to be consistently above 1,900 students at a time when enrollment is projected to be down at almost every two-year college and several four-year colleges across Missouri. The fall enrollment numbers show that our increased focus on retention is paying off with a 6 percent increase in the retention rate of full-time freshmen compared to last fall. Moving forward, we will focus on our mission of providing accessible, affordable and quality educational opportunities, while continuing to expand our recruitment and retention efforts.

Higher Learning Commission Visit (HLC)

Missouri State-West Plains is on the Standard Pathway of the HLC accreditation process. As part of the Standard Pathway, institutions are required to submit an Assurance Argument at Year 4 of the process. This review is to ensure institutions are meeting the Criteria for Accreditation but is not a comprehensive evaluation. The HLC team will visit the West Plains campus Nov. 6 and 7. One team member will also visit the Missouri State-West Plains branch campus in Dalian, China, in mid-November. The branch campus is an educational cooperation project between Liaoning Normal University (LNU) and the Missouri State University System, which offers a curriculum leading to an Associate of Arts in General Studies degree, with an emphasis in business, through Missouri State-West Plains.

In preparation for the visit, a campuswide meeting will be held at 3 p.m. Nov. 2 in Melton 112. All faculty and staff are encouraged to attend. We will talk about what to expect with the visit and go over the meeting schedule.

Amphitheater Grant

Missouri State-West Plains has been awarded a $202,137 grant from the U.S. Department of Interior’s Land & Water Conservation Fund for construction of an outdoor amphitheater. This project has been a goal for the West Plains campus for many years. The grant, along with private donations already received or pledged, will allow for the amphitheater to become a reality. Plans call for an 850-seat venue, which will be constructed just west of the Smith-London Centennial Bell Tower, and provide the University and the greater West Plains community an outdoor venue for spectator events, concerts, rallies, films and theatrical performances. A significant aspect of this project is that it will be built without the use of operational funds or reserves.

Nursing Department Pass Rate

Congratulations to the nrsing department for the excellent National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) pass rates for the May 2017 graduates! Their dedication is reflected in rates that exceed state and national averages.

Upcoming events include the following:

  • Oct. 19-21: Annual meeting of the American Association of Geographers West Lakes Division at the West Plains Civic Center
  • Oct. 24: Grizzly Volleyball vs. East Central College, 6:30 PM, West Plains Civic Center Arena
  • Oct. 25: Town Hall meeting with President Clif Smart, 2 PM, Melton 112
  • Nov. 3-4: Grizzly Tip-Off Basketball Classic. Both games start at 7 p.m. in the West Plains Civic Center Arena.
  • Nov. 10: A Musical Salute to Veterans, 1:30 PM, West Plains Civic Center Theater.
    Admission is free.
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    Thank you for what you do!

    Drew A. Bennett

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