Wednesday, March 3, 2021

CAMPUS

Letter to the Campus from President Carlos Vargas

Dear Members of the Campus Community, 

As you may have read in last week’s Newswire, the Board of Regents conducted a Board meeting and Board Retreat last week on Thursday and Friday.  The meeting and retreat were very productive and highlights included the following: 

• Board approved a $114 million operating budget and $37.8 million in auxiliary operating budgets, both for fiscal 2017 which begins July 1. The approved budget includes a 4 percent increase in state appropriations for fiscal 2017 equating to a $1.918 million increase for Southeast. Because Southeast met all five performance funding indicators established with the Missouri Department of Higher Education for the fiscal 2017 appropriation process, Southeast received a 3.67 percent appropriations increase. Southeast also received an additional .58 percent in appropriations based on a funding formula designed to compensate institutions for increased enrollment. 

• Board approved a faculty base merit increase of 1.3125 percent and 0.1875 percent salary pool to fund post-professorial merit increases, and a 1.5 percent increase to the overload and part-time faculty compensation levels.  The budget also includes a staff base merit salary increase of 1.5 percent for administrative/professional staff and clerical/technical/service staff. 

• Board approved a $73.7 million biennial capital budget request for FY18 and FY19 to be submitted to the Missouri Department of Higher Education. Priorities focus on campus-wide renovations, including maintenance of the tunnel system, and renovations to the Art Building, Rhodes Hall, Johnson Hall and Pacific Hall. 

• Board approved a bond resolution authorizing the issuance of System Facilities Revenue Bonds Series 2016C proceeds to be used for advance refunding of the System Facilities Revenue Bonds Series 2011B. The debt service savings from the refunding would reduce the annual expense for the Residence Life auxiliary system and could provide funds for needed capital repairs/improvements within the system. 

• Board approved a revised FY17 schedule of major capital projects and maintenance and repair items. The schedule calls for:

• Engaging an external consultant to conduct an update to the University’s campus-wide Facilities Master Plan;

• Site improvements to accommodate the relocation of the University’s marching band to the River Campus. Work will begin this summer and be completed during the fall semester; and

• Improvements to Parker Field, including a landscape feature recognizing the history and presence of the National Pan-Hellenic Council organizations on campus, and additional lighting for evening and daytime use.


• Board approved a new Bachelor of Science in Geographic Information Science (GIS). 

• Board approved changing the title of the Specialist in Educational Leadership Development to Teacher Leadership. 

• Board approved a resolution of honor for outgoing Student Regent Austin Cordell. 

In closed session, the Board conducted the annual presidential performance appraisal, and granted post-professorial merit to 12 faculty members and promoted eight faculty members to the rank of professor and seven to the rank of associate professor with tenure. In addition, 14 faculty members received non-tenure track merit.  We congratulate those members of the faculty and you can read about them at http://news.semo.edu/regents-grant-faculty-post-professorial-merit-promotions-tenure-and-merit/

You will soon be receiving your annual salary letter which will outline your salary for
FY 2017.  The letter also will outline several other faculty and staff benefits, including several new enhancements, one of which will provide eight (8) additional hours of vacation for every year of service following an employee’s first year of service, up to ten (10) years of service.  Specific accrual rates can be found on the Human Resources website at http://semo.edu/hr/employees/index.html under “New PTO Accrual Rates Effective July 1, 2016.”  

As you may be aware, there have been several recent administrative position hires, including the following:  Brady Barke named Athletic Director; Kevin Timlin, director of the International Programs Office at Northern Michigan University, has been named executive director of International Education and Services, and will begin his new role July 5;  Barbara Glackin, assistant university librarian for Resource Services and Technology and associate professor at the Branford P. Millar Library at Portland State University, has been named dean of Kent Library and will begin her new position July 18; and Floyd Davenport, CIO/Director of Information Technology Services at Washburn University, has been named assistant vice president of Information Technology and will begin his duties July 25.  I know you join me in congratulating Brady, and in welcoming to campus Kevin, Barbara, and Floyd.  There also are a number of new faculty and staff members who will join us for the Fall 2016 Semester, and we’ll provide a full listing at the beginning of the new semester. 

Thank you and congratulations to all of you who assisted in the success of this past weekend’s River Campus Summer Arts Festival.  There were a record number of events and a record crowd, and it was a wonderful day at the River Campus!  You may have also noticed a number of young students on our campus during the past several weeks who are participating in various summer campus and conferences.  I hope you will reach out and make them all feel welcome as these students could possibly be our students of tomorrow. 

This has been an outstanding year for our University in so many ways.  We have continued to grow both our academic programs and our enrollments look very strong.  Your hard work, dedication, collaboration and cooperation are most appreciated.  Thank you so much for all you continue to do for our students, service region, and University. 

Have a great summer,

Carlos

 

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