Message from Chancellor Drew Bennett to Faculty and Staff
This edition of Bennett’s Bulletin includes an HLC visit update, reminders about the United Way and Health Risk Assessment deadlines and a Thanksgiving Holiday message, along with faculty recognitions for significant accomplishments.
Higher Learning Commission (HLC) team visit
After the 2014 HLC visit, HLC officials voted to continue Missouri State-West Plains’ accreditation and our institution was placed on the Standard Pathway with “the next Reaffirmation of Accreditation in 2023-24.” Last week’s visit by the HLC team and this week’s China visit is part of the Year 4 Assurance Review that is required in the Standard Pathway process.
Thanks to all of the faculty and staff involved in developing the Assurance Argument and preparing for the recent HLC assurance review. The team was very complimentary of the hospitality they received while on our campus. The team has four to six weeks to draft its report and recommendations. We will have the opportunity to correct any factual errors before the report is submitted to HLC for review and action by the Institutional Actions Council.
As we enter this holiday season we have much for which to be thankful. Many of us will be traveling over the next few days in order to be with friends and family as we celebrate. I would ask everyone to take special care when on the road. Please wear a seat belt, drive no faster than the speed limit or weather conditions dictate, pull over if you become fatigued, and don’t drink and drive. Thanksgiving is a time of joy; drive safely in order to keep it that way. I want to see each and every one of you return to campus! Have a safe and happy holiday!
United Way Campaign
As we approach the Dec. 8 deadline for our 2018 United Way Campaign, I encourage everyone to consider giving to this worthy cause. Thank you to those who have already turned in their pledges. If you have not turned in your pledge, please consider joining us as we work with our community to improve people’s lives. While many of you contribute to the community in other ways, I hope you will consider being a part of this campuswide effort to support these local agencies as they work together to help people in need right here in Howell County. Attached is the pledge card. Your support really matters.
Health Risk Assessment (HRA) deadline
If you haven’t done so already, please complete the HRA to save $30 per month on your health premiums for 2018. The deadline is Dec. 1, 2017.
Faculty and Staff Recognition
- Dr. Phil Howerton, professor of English, for being featured in two publications, the Cave Region Review and the Arkansas Review. Dr. Howerton also had his book of poetry The History of Tree Roots reviewed in the Arkansas Review: A Journal of Delta Studies.
- Dr. Jason McCollom, assistant professor of history, for his contribution of a chapter of the book Farming Across Borders: Selections on Transnational Agricultural History in the North American West” titled “We are tied together…in a hundred different ways: Farmers and Farm Organizations Across the 49th Parallel, 1905-1915.”
- Dasha Russell, instructor of accounting, on another impressive performance of Phi Beta Lambda students, this time at the 2017 Show-Me Leadership Conference. Three Missouri State-West Plains students placed in those competitions including two first place awards and one second place award. In addition, thanks to all of the faculty members who helped prepare these students to compete at the conference.
- Scott Schneider, director of business and support services, will receive Missouri State University’s 2018 Staff Excellence in Community Service award in recognition of the impressive amount of personal time and effort he gives to helping people in our community and beyond, serving as an exemplary role model for the university’s public affairs mission. The award will be presented at the January 10, 2018, awards ceremony on the Springfield campus.
- Dr. Rajiv Thakur, assistant professor of geosciences, for his leadership in bringing the American Association of Geographers West Lakes Division conference to West Plains Oct. 19-21 for its annual conference. A special thanks to the faculty, staff and students who volunteered their time to help make this event a success. Conference attendees included 21 faculty and 28 students from 11 states.
Upcoming Events include the following:
- Nov. 17: Red Carpet Day
- Nov. 17: Friends of the Garnett Library Fashion Show, 11:30 AM-1:30 PM, West Plains Country Club
- Nov. 18: Beyond the Circle Dancers, 7 PM, West Plains Civic Center Theater, free admission
Thank you for what you do!
Drew A. Bennett