University Spring SPAW and February Board of Governors Meeting

University Spring SPAW and February Board of Governors Meeting

February 7, 2023

Dear Colleagues:

It is my pleasure to invite you to the Mini Strategic Planning Assessment Workshop (SPAW) and provide a report on the February 4th Board of Governors Meeting.

Truman’s 2023 Spring Mini SPAW is scheduled for Tuesday, February 28, from 3-4:30 p.m. in the Georgian Room of the Student Union Building.  The Mini SPAW will include my annual All-University Address, this year entitled “A Tale of Tails” which will be followed by a hot takes session focusing on strategic plan and key University initiative updates.  I look forward to seeing you there!

Truman’s Board of Governors met this past weekend under the leadership of Board Chair Cheryl Cozette.  During the Chair Report, Governor Cozette expressed appreciation to Governors Phil Christofferson, Nancy Gingrich, and Bill Lovegreen for their participation in the winter commencement ceremony.  She recognized Governor Lovegreen for his selection to the Silver Beaver Class of 2022 by the Boy Scouts of America Great Rivers Council, and she presented Governor Sarah Burkemper with a framed gavel in recognition of her service as Chair of the Board of Governors for the 2022 calendar year.

Dr. Eric Freedman, Truman’s next Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost, joined the Board at their luncheon and was introduced at their meeting as part of my President’s Report.  Dr. Freedman will begin his role at Truman on May 22, and Dr. Charles McAdams has graciously agreed to serve as Interim Provost through spring commencement.  Within my report, I also highlighted Governor Parson’s FY 2024 budget recommendation to provide a 7% increase to Truman’s core appropriation and provide additional capital funding for 50% of Truman’s match for the Kirk Student Success and SKILLS Center.  I noted that Governor Lovegreen’s appointment to the Board of Governors has been confirmed by the Missouri Senate and that the Office of Boards and Commissions expects to have a student representative named to the Board and confirmed by the Senate by the beginning of April.  In addition, I noted the recent passing of former Truman President Russell G. Warren, the upcoming investiture ceremony of Dr. Janet Gooch as Chancellor of the University of Illinois Springfield, and the University’s involvement in the upcoming Polar Bear Plunge in support of Special Olympics.

Also providing reports were Mike Gibbons with GibbonsWorkman, LLC (Truman’s Missouri Governmental Relations Services Consultant) who shared his perspectives of the 2023 Missouri Legislative Session, and Kennedy Cooper and Esther Fox, President and Vice President of Student Government, who provided the annual Student Government Report highlighting the organization’s many impactful activities and initiatives.  In addition to reviewing their conflict of interest policy, the Board received enrollment, financial, investment, and on-campus construction project reports.   The Board also received updates on Truman’s Strategic Plan Advising Initiative and the use of micro-credentials to verify and validate the mastery of specific skills and/or competencies.

In terms of action items, the Board approved two items within the area of academic affairs and student services and two items in the area of budget and capital projects.

Academic Affairs and Student Services
–The Board approved the Academic Calendar for August Interim 2024 through Summer Session 2026.  The calendar is similar to the current academic calendar with one exception.  Due to the timing of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday in 2024 and 2025, the spring semester will begin before the holiday rather than after.
–A proposal from Enliven Agency LLC to perform Brand and Marketing Management Consultant services to support the University’s admission team was approved.  Given that the recent marketing director search was unsuccessful, these services will also be used to fill that gap until the reposted search process is complete.

Budget and Capital Projects
–The 2023 Roof Replacement Project was approved.  The roofs on the older portions of Ophelia Parrish are 20 years old and have deteriorated.  In addition, a portion of Magruder Hall needs a roof replacement.  This project will address these issues and the schedule is designed to allow work to be completed during the summer of 2023.
–The Board approved a proposal to contract with Venable LLP to provide Federal Governmental Relations and Policy Services to the University.  While Truman obtained federal appropriations for the Greenwood and Kirk Projects without assistance, as our University is very new to the federal arena, working with a governmental relations firm is essential to extend our success.  The potential return on investment from a federal-level advocate is significant.

Finally, based on his credentials and experience, Dr. Eric Freedman was awarded academic tenure in conjunction with his appointment as Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost and Professor of Communication, a recommendation that was supported by the School of Social and Cultural Studies and the Department of Communication.

A copy of the February 4th open session agenda can be found on the Board of Governors Agendas website.   The Board’s next meeting is scheduled for Saturday, April 1, 2023.

All the best,