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Athletics News

Staff Senate

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June 21, 2012

Dr. Sherry Buchanan Re-Elected Board Chair

Missouri Southern State University’s Board of Governors elected Dr. Sherry L. Buchanan, Joplin, to serve as Board Chair for the 2012-2013 fiscal year.

The annual Board reorganization action was taken during a regular meeting Thursday, June 14, 2012.

This will be Dr. Buchanan’s second term as Board Chair. She was first elected in June 2011 and served in the position for the previous 2011-2012 fiscal year.

Gov. Jay Nixon appointed Dr. Buchanan to the MSSU Board in 2009. Her current term on the Board will end Aug. 30, 2014.

She retired in 2008 from her private practice as a licensed psychologist. Prior to her retirement she was co-executive director of the Children's Center of Southwest Missouri, a child advocacy center, in Joplin.

For nearly 10 years she was director of domestic violence and sexual assault intervention services at Lafayette House in Joplin. She earned her Ph.D. in counseling and psychology, her Master's degree in guidance and counseling and her bachelor's degree from the University of Missouri – Kansas City (UMKC).

She also was a teacher, counselor and psychological examiner at the high school level for Lee's Summit and East High School in Kansas City, and has taught at several other schools, colleges and universities, including MSSU.

Richard (Dick) A. Walter, Joplin, was elected for the third time as Vice Chair of the Board. His current term on the Board expires Aug. 30, 2013. Mr. Walter was appointed by Gov. Matt Blunt to the eight-member Board of Governors at MSSU in 2007. He retired in 2005 as a district engineer from the Missouri Department of Transportation.  Read more.

Habitat Build, Delayed this Morning, to Resume

Nearly 100 representatives from the St. Louis Rams arrived in Joplin early this morning to work on the Habitat for Humanity Houses.

Bob Harrington, Physical Plant, says with the rain having subsided, the Rams will be taken to 23rd and Kentucky at 1 p.m.

Anyone from the Missouri Southern faculty/staff who planned to work who can take part is invited to join the team.

Remember to wear closed toe shoes.  

Also, you might want to bring sun screen to keep from getting sunburned.

They will have tools available, but if you have a tool belt with tools you like to use, feel free to bring them and use them. 

Board Extends President's Contract

The Missouri Southern State University Board of Governors approved a two-year extension to the contract of MSSU President Bruce Speck at the group's June board meeting.

President Speck’s current contract, which extends through 2013, has now been renewed through June 30, 2015. The Board of Governors voted to approve the extension based on a comprehensive review that consisted of a number of factors, including Speck’s accomplishments from the past year, input from university employees, and an assessment of his community involvement.
“Dr. Speck has met the board’s expectations during a very difficult year for the university and the Joplin community,” said Dr. Sherry Buchanan, chairperson of the MSSU Board of Governors. “Through it all, Dr. Speck has capably led the university with energy, optimism and vision, and we applaud his leadership.”
The board reflected on multiple challenges the university has faced in the past year, including a decrease in state funding, a difficult economy, the tornado and its effects on the community and the MSSU student body, and a resulting decrease in enrollment. Read More.

Hearnes Hall Ribbon Cutting, Open House

The public will see the results of a major renovation of Hearnes Hall at Missouri Southern State University early next week.
A Joplin Chamber of Commerce Ribbon Cutting and Open House will be held from 4 - 5 p.m. on Tuesday, June 26 on the first floor of Hearnes Hall.

MSSU faculty, staff, students, Chamber of Commerce members and the general public are invited.

The project is one part of Missouri Southern’s new master plan.
“This renovation project allows us to offer a one stop shop to better serve our students,” Missouri Southern president, Dr. Bruce Speck explains. “We think this is a very good thing and will serve us very well in the future.”

In keeping with that goal, a new “front door” has been created in Hearnes Hall. The completely new and contemporary office space features a three-story atrium with a glass walled entrance.
Entering the building from the south side, students and visitors will be greeted by a terrazzo floor with a green and gold Lion head in the center of the spacious, multi-story atrium. 

The main corridor features a cloud ceiling with frosted glass walls and doors that open into each suite.  Next to each entrance are flat-screen TV monitors that stream continuous live information and announcements. In addition, the 40-year-old heating, air conditioning and lighting is being replaced with energy efficient systems.
Construction on the renovation was done by the Bales Construction Company. Architects from Ness Design Group Architects of Joplin designed the space.

Rob Yust, vice president for Business Affairs at Missouri Southern, says the cost of the project, including construction and furnishings, amounts to about $2.1 million.

Registration for SouthernFest '12 Now Open.

Registration for SouthernFest '12 is now open!  The fourth annual event is scheduled for August 2-3.  Aaron Lewis, Athletics, says the Lion Pride Dinner/Auction will again be held at Downstream Casino Resort's outdoor pavilion on Thursday night, August 2nd.  The Rod Smith Green & Gold Golf Classic will be the following day, Friday, Aug. 3  at Eagle Creek Golf Course. 

Our online home for SouthernFest is up and running and can be accessed by clicking here or by going to and clicking on the SouthernFest button on the right hand side.  There you will find online registration, a printable registration form, an auction item donation form, video and pictures from last year's events, and a link for special rates on room reservations at Downstream.

Tickets to the dinner/auction are $40.  Individual playing spots in the golf tourney are $125 or $500 for a four-person team.  There are also various sponsorship levels available that combine publicity opportunities with golf and dinner/auction tickets.  You can view these sponsorship levels on the SouthernFest online site.   

Key to growing this event even more is acquiring great auction items.  As Lions fans, even if you can't attend the event you can contribute by thinking about who you know that might be able to donate such items as tickets to sporting events, cultural events or other experiences, vacation stays at condos or timeshares, electronic or home improvement items, or whatever else your imagination can come up with.  All auction item donors will receive charitable gift receipts from the MSSU Foundation. 

Downstream is again the title sponsor.  Supporting partners are Arvest Bank, Contractors' Equipment Company, Hiland Dairy Foods and Beimdiek Insurance. 

Any questions concerning SouthernFest '12 shouldddressed to Aaron Lewis at or 417.625.3075 or to Kate Mata  at  or 625.3576.

Freedom of Information Training Session

Journalists, instructors, students and others wanting to learn about accessing public records (or needing a refresher course) are invited to attend the Access Across America II Project, presented by the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ).

The training session will take place from 2 - 4 p.m. on Tuesday, June 26 in the fourth-floor conference room, Room 413, of Spiva Library at Missouri Southern State University.

Topics will include accessing public records, creating ideas for record-based stories, making effective requests and developing tactical strategies to overcome denials and exorbitant copy fees.

Dr. Joey Senat, associate professor of mass communications at Oklahoma State University, will conduct the training session. Dr. Senat writes an open-government blog that is quoted frequently by the press on Freedom of Information and media law issues. The blog provides a model letter for requesting public records that is widely used in Oklahoma. Read more.

Southern Service Champ Nominations

The Staff Senate is seeking nominations for the Southern Service Champ Award for the April 1 - June 30 quarter. 

The Southern Service Champ Award is a quarterly award given to one outstanding member from classified, physical plant and professional staff.  Award winners are selected based on nomination from staff.  Criteria of nomination must meet at least one of the five pads of the lion paw:  Respect to campus community, Positive attitude, Pride in work, Exemplary dependability and Excellence in customer service. 

Nominations forms are available on the Staff Senate webpage and can be submitted online or hard copy. 

The deadline to submit nominations is June 30.

Joplin Pops Concert

 Joplin Pro Musica presents the 32nd Annual Joplin Pops concert at 8 p.m., Friday, June 22 on the MSSU Oval.

The American Legion Band of Greater Kansas City will present a program "under the stars" of light classics, show tunes and patriotic songs.  Learn more.