Homecoming Recap and October Board of Governors Meeting

Homecoming Recap and October Board of Governors Meeting

October 26, 2020

Dear Colleagues:

Truman Homecoming 2020 “Close or Apart, We are Bulldogs at Heart” was a wonderful celebration thanks to all of you!  While a number of the traditional Homecoming events were cancelled due to the pandemic, I was delighted that many of our students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends participated in multiple socially distanced and virtual events to show their Bulldog pride.

One of the highlights of this year’s Homecoming festivities was the “Top Dog Challenge,” a fundraising competition with the Greyhounds of the University of Indianapolis.  Thanks to a complete community and campus effort, the Bulldogs were victorious in both the total amount of contributions raised and the total number of donors!  Various student organizations held competitions throughout the week to raise money (I was “honored” to win the pie in the face competition sponsored by SAAC); the City of Kirksville was very supportive and very involved; and A. T. Still University was our top donor.  Donations made on Truman’s behalf will be directed to the Food Bank for Central and Northeast Missouri and the Adair County Humane Society and as a result of our win, UIndy President Rob Manuel is required to post a picture on social media wearing Truman apparel as well as send a gift box filled with local treats to the University.  I am so very proud of our campus and our community for supporting our local charities, and I thank everyone who was involved.

As has been past practice, the Truman Board of Governors conducted their annual October meeting in conjunction with Homecoming.  The masked and social distanced meeting was held in the Student Union Building this past weekend under the leadership of Board Chair Jennifer Kopp Dameron.

During the meeting, the Board received a number of reports.  In addition to my regular report, Brent Stevens, a Partner with RubinBrown LLP accounting firm, reported on the annual audit of the University.  Tyana Lange, Vice President for Enrollment Management and Marketing, provided an enrollment management report.  Ernie Hughes, Vice President for University Advancement, shared an Advancement update, and Kara Jo Levery, Chair of Staff Council and Career Ready Coach in the University Career Center, provided the annual report from Staff Council.  The Board also reviewed financial reports, received updates related to on-campus construction projects, and heard reports from their Academic and Student Affairs, Budget and Capital Projects, and Finance and Auditing committee meetings.

In terms of action items, the Board approved the addition of a new graduate program, pending the approval of the Coordinating Board for Higher Education.  The new online Gifted Education, M.A. degree builds upon the University’s certification in Gifted Education, adding six additional credits to the program to afford students the opportunity to earn a master’s degree.

Lastly, knowing that offering a new faculty retirement incentive would be mutually beneficial for the faculty member and the University, the Board approved a one-time faculty early retirement incentive program with a separation/retirement date no later than May 31, 2022.  Eligible for the early retirement incentive program are all full-time faculty members and other employees with faculty rank currently employed at Truman who meet one of the following conditions by May 31, 2022:  1) MOSERS Participant (MOSERS Retirement Eligible on or before June 1, 2022); and 2) CURP Participant (Age plus years of service must equal 70 on or before June 1, 2022).  The program is not available to employees who have already committed their written intent to retire from the University.  The program is limited to thirty-five (35) participants and provides a cash incentive payment of $30,000 payable as a lump sum upon retirement.  The enrollment period runs from November 2 through December 4, 2020.  Later this week, the Human Resources Office will distribute additional information as well as directions on how to apply by December 4.

A copy of the complete agenda from the October 24 meeting can be found on the Board of Governors website located at http://www.truman.edu/about/our-people/board-of-governors/board-of-governors-agendas/.  The next meeting of the Board is scheduled for Saturday, December 5.

Take care and be well!