The Southeast Missouri State University Board of Regents voted June 26 to offer Dr. Carlos Vargas a new three-year rolling contract to continue as President of Southeast Missouri State University. The vote was unanimous with all six Regents voting to approve. According to Board President Jay B. Knudtson, the new contract, effective July 1, 2017, runs through June 30, 2020. There was no salary increase or additional compensation awarded at this time.
Board President Knudtson said the new contract was based on the Board’s assessment of the University’s accomplishments and University President Vargas’ leadership during the past two years. In addition, Knudtson indicated that the Board felt it was imperative to reward Dr. Vargas for the superior job he was doing, while holding the line on any salary increase so as to be consistent with the faculty and staff. Knudtson added that, “since taking office, Dr. Vargas has performed at a level that has met and exceeded the Board’s goals and objectives. Dr. Vargas has clearly assumed the role of leader of Southeast Missouri State University and is the architect behind a culture and campus that is booming with excitement, enthusiasm and optimism. Dr. Vargas has gained the respect of the students, faculty, staff and community alike, and is leading initiatives to enhance the profile of Southeast.”
Some of the accomplishments Mr. Knudtson cited include:
- The University’s elimination of the nine (9) hours of upper-division UI and IU University Studies requirements, which will enable many students to complete their degree programs more quickly, with less cost and time to finish;
- The implementation of several new high-skill STEM-based undergraduate programs such as Geographic Information Science, Unmanned Aircraft Systems and Industrial and Systems Engineering – the first of their kind at Southeast;
- The initiation of two research-related programs – the “Faculty-Mentored Student Research and Creative Activity Grant” and the “Student Government Undergraduate Research Grant” with 20 proposals funded during the 2016-2017 academic year involving 55 students;
- The development of the Transfer Mentor Program, which is designed to improve degree completion rates by offering students at community colleges guided pathways to success, concurrent enrollment opportunities, and reverse transfer credits to earn the Associate of Arts degree while enrolled at Southeast;
- The development and implementation of the Southeast Shout-Out Award, which celebrates University employees who put forth the extra effort to help, challenge and inspire students;
- The University’s increased involvement and engagement with external stakeholders such as alumni, donors, corporate and industry partners, and elected officials; and
- The University’s efforts to better integrate Athletics and school-spirit into every aspect of the fabric of the University.
“I am very humbled and honored by the Board’s action to extend my contract,” Vargas said. “I have enjoyed working with the Board and appreciate their leadership and support. At Southeast, we are fortunate to have dedicated faculty and staff that play vital roles in ensuring the success of our students, and the accomplishments presented to the Board are really the result of our collective efforts. Pam and I are delighted to be at Southeast, and I look forward to continuing to work with the Board of Regents and the entire University community to enhance the profile of Southeast locally, regionally, across Missouri and throughout the United States.”