Message from Chancellor Shirley Lawler to Faculty and Staff
Greetings to all!
We have had a great start to a new academic year. The first couple of weeks of classes have gone smoothly. I really enjoyed participating in the “Welcome Week” activities; students and instructors alike seemed excited to be back on campus. It was great to watch the enthusiasm of the students as they moved into the Grizzly House and Lofts. I would like to thank all the staff and faculty who came out on Saturday, Aug.18, to assist the students moving into the housing facilities. The final activity of the day was the alumni volleyball game. I loved seeing the lights come on in the civic center arena and students and community members filing into the stands. The fall semester has started!
We have all worked diligently to increase enrollment for this fall. Our staff has done an amazing job of trying to recruit new students and encourage returning students. As of today, our enrollment is down 7 percent and our headcount is 1,831. (Many of the two-year degree granting colleges in the state have also experienced a decline in enrollment for this fall—when the employment rate is up, many students go to work full-time and leave their college plans behind.) As we move into a new academic year, we will focus on both recruitment and retention strategies.
As I have conversations with faculty and staff, I am encouraged by the many new ideas being discussed in an effort to expand our program offerings and increase our enrollment. Many of you have stopped by the office to get acquainted, tell me about your background, and talk about a vision for this campus. I have truly enjoyed these conversations. If you have not made an appointment to stop by, please do so. These discussions are giving me great insight into the many opportunities that we offer to students on this campus.
Please join us for the faculty and staff picnic on Sept. 13 at 5:30 p.m. at the Richards House. We are very thankful for the generous donation by John Plummer of Landmark Bank. John’s group will be providing the grill, the hamburgers and hotdogs, and they are sending a cooking crew! Please thank John when you see him for assisting us with this event. I look forward to all the employees coming together with their families for good food and good conversation. There will be some entertainment for the children, so please bring the whole family.
As we begin this new academic year, I hope everyone is looking forward to new possibilities for Missouri State-West Plains. This University has so much to offer the region, and as we all work together to fulfill our mission, we will see the campus continue to grow and flourish.
As we move forward into September, we have many activities on the calendar…
Items of Note
- Sept. 8: Join us for the < a href="https://calendar.wp.missouristate.edu/event/100986/189890">Grizzly Booster Club Annual Picnic and Hall of Fame Ceremony at 5 p.m. in the West Plains Civic Center Exhibit Hall as we kick off the new athletic season. Everyone is invited to join us at the free picnic to celebrate the beginning of the season and to recognize two of our former Grizzlies. At 6:30 p.m., the Lady Grizzlies will take the court for their first home game of the season. Admission to the game is also free.
- Sept. 13: If you haven’t already, please sign up online for the Faculty and Staff Family Picnic as soon as possible so we can plan for how much food to order. Everything for the meal is being provided, so bring your family and drop in between 5:30 and 7:30 p.m. at the Richards House to enjoy the festivities.
- Sept. 20-22: The theme for the 12th annual < a href="https://ozarksymposium.wp.missouristate.edu/">Ozarks Studies Symposium is “Social Architecture and Foundations of the Ozarks.” The event celebrates various aspects of Ozarks culture and history through a variety of presentations and performances. Admission to the symposium is free.
- Sept. 26: The Hass-Darr Hall Dedication Ceremony has been set for 10:30 a.m. This is going to be an historic day for our campus as we recognize donors and others who have made this much-needed facility a reality. I hope to see many of you there!
Check out the Web Master Calendar for a full listing of upcoming events.
- Thanks to Sylvia Kuhlmeier, Neva Parrott, Sophia Skinner and Rose Scarlet for going above and beyond the call of duty with the help provided to Missouri State Professor Brooks Blevins when he was writing a book about the history, culture and geography of the Ozarks region. The Garnett Library staff were recognized in the book’s acknowledgements for their help researching.
- Congratulations to Amy Ackerson and the entire nursing department for a job well done on the recent Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) visit. We just received word that the Associate of Science in Nursing degree program has been granted continued accreditation for eight more years, the longest time period possible. This strong stamp of approval by the ACEN is a testament to the dedication of our nursing faculty and the quality education available to our nursing students.
Always remember, what we do each day for students does make a difference.