Invitation to Start of Academic Year Events and Recap of August Board of Governors Meeting

Invitation to Start of Academic Year Events and Recap of August Board of Governors Meeting

August 7, 2023
Dear Colleagues:

The August Board of Governors Meeting (please see highlights below), signals that summer is rapidly coming to an end and the new academic year is just around the corner.  We are so excited to welcome new students, faculty, and staff to campus and reconnect with returning students and University community members! 

Once again, we will gather for the Fall Opening Assembly scheduled for Wednesday, August 16, at 1:00 p.m. in the Ophelia Parrish Performance Hall and the Ready-or-Not Faculty and Staff Appreciation Luncheon scheduled for Friday, August 18, at noon in the Georgian Room of the Student Union.  In addition, I invite all of you to attend New Year’s Rockin’ Eve on Sunday, August 20, from 7:30-9:00 p.m. on the Quad.  In celebration of the start of the new academic year, a variety of mocktails, snacks, lawn games, party hats, noisemakers, and stickers specific to the event will be provided, and there will be live music and a countdown to the new year.   

Finally, I ask that you please volunteer to support Truman Week and Welcome Week activities.  Most of the volunteer opportunities require an hour or less of your time and they are a great way to welcome our new Bulldogs and join in the excitement of a new academic year.  Volunteers may sign up here (please scroll down to Truman Week and Welcome Week to find the activities).  Thanks in advance for helping in this fun and impactful way!  


The Truman State University Board of Governors met this past weekend under the leadership of Board Chair Cheryl Cozette.   

Dr. Cozette began the meeting by welcoming Ella Schnake to her first formal meeting serving in the role of Student Representative to the Board of Governors.  During the meeting, the Board approved the following action items.

Marketing Services:
Enliven Agency, LLC was appointed to provide marketing services to the University for the period of August 4, 2023, through June 30, 2024.  Following an unsuccessful employment search for an executive director/assistant or associate vice president of marketing, the University published a Request for Proposals (RFP) for contracted marketing services designed to procure strategic consulting and digital media services.  Enliven’s proposal provided a detailed budget recommendation for undergraduate, graduate, and transfer enrollment as well as an innovative framework for strategic planning and branding.  The goal is to hire an associate director of marketing who will work as the point person between Enliven and the University. 

Kirk Building Renovation Project:
As expected, the Board approved the Kirk Building Renovation Project.  The project will renovate the Kirk Building to house the new Student Success Center to be utilized by Truman students, and the SKILLS Center to serve the community and region. The facility will include the Career Center, Center for Academic Excellence, Communication Lab, Counseling Services, Student Access and Disability Services, Student Health Center, Rural Telehealth Counseling Center, Tutoring Services, and the Writing Center.  Funds are provided by state appropriations and a federal appropriation secured by Senator Roy Blunt. 

Local Capital Budgets for Fiscal Year 2024:
The local capital improvement budgets are reviewed and approved annually to provide funding for major building and renovation projects on campus.  This year’s budgets were designed to reflect institutional priorities identified in Truman’s Strategic Plan and the Campus Master Plan and provide general budget parameters.  As capital projects are designed and bid, approval by the Board of Governors will be obtained for any funded project following established procedures. 

State Appropriation Request for Fiscal Year 2025:
The University’s Fiscal Year 2025 State Appropriation Request is submitted each year to the Missouri Department of Higher Education and Workforce Development as well as the State Office of Administration.  The request is for funding to support the Education and General Budget.  Truman’s FY2025 request includes a funding increase linked to the rate of inflation, maintenance and repair funds, and what are known as New Decision Items which target new academic initiatives.

Federal Government Relations and Policy Services:
The Board authorized the University to extend the contract with Venable LLP to provide federal governmental relations and policy services to the University through August 31, 2024, with the option to extend the contract for one additional year.  In February, following an RFP process, the Board authorized the University to execute a contract with Venable to provide federal governmental relations and policy services through a three-phase approach that included an assessment of whether Truman was positioned to pursue federal funding, an implementation plan, and a three month review period to evaluate whether the University would continue to engage with Venable after the initial implementation of the plan.  Based upon that review, it was recommended that Venable’s services be retained based on the performance of the firm and the potential return on investment from a federal-level advocate.  

 During my President’s Report, I shared an update on the university funding formula and efficiency study work being conducted at the request of the legislature; recapped my recent trip with Venable to Capitol Hill where I met with eight of the ten Missouri delegations, including both Senate Offices; and provided information about the honorees to be recognized at Homecoming.  

A copy of the open session agenda from the August 5 meeting can be found on the Board of Governors Agendas website.   The next meeting of the Board is scheduled for Friday, October 20, in conjunction with Homecoming activities.   

Enjoy your last days of summer, and I hope to see you at the new academic year kickoff events!