CAPE GIRARDEAU, Missouri, March 2, 2015 – The Southeast Missouri State University Board of Regents Feb. 28 elected Jay Knudtson of Cape Girardeau, Mo., as its new president. His appointment is effective March 1.
Knudtson succeeds Doyle L. Privett, whose term on the Board of Regents officially expired Jan. 1, 2015; however, Privett will continue to serve on the Board until Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon names a replacement. Privett, chief financial officer for the Kennett National Bank, was elected president of the Board of Regents in December 2012. Kendra Neely-Martin of St. Louis will continue to serve as vice president of the Board.
“I am so proud to have been associated with a quality institution that has provided so many outstanding graduates for our region, our state, and our nation. I have sincerely enjoyed and appreciated my time on the Board,” Privett said.
University President Kenneth W. Dobbins praised Privett’s service as president of the Board since 2012 and as a Regent for more than 16 years.
“Doyle’s over 16-year tenure as a member of the Board of Regents and his two and a half years as president of the Board have seen significant challenges and accomplishments for Southeast Missouri State University. Among those accomplishments are record-breaking enrollments, construction of Robert A. Dempster Hall, the River Campus, Vandiver, Merick, and LaFerla residence halls and the dedication of the Dobbins River Campus Center this year. Kent Library Information Commons, David M. Barton Agriculture Research Center, the Autism Center for Diagnosis and Treatment, and The Douglas C. Greene Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship all opened during Doyle’s time on the Board. The renovation of the 108-year-old landmark Academic Hall with the addition of a mezzanine area to showcase the architecture of the dome was completed in Fall 2013. The expansion of our regional campuses, online learning, and a variety of new academic programs and partnerships were also accomplished, just to name a few. Doyle’s leadership was instrumental in all of these major initiatives and many others,” Dobbins said.
Knudtson also spoke highly of Privett’s service. “The members of the Board know how supportive Doyle has been to the University. For almost two decades, he has spent countless hours in service to our students, faculty and staff, and the region, and the University community has benefited greatly from his dedication. Doyle has been determined to make certain Southeast continues offering quality, accredited academic programs while remaining the most affordable of Missouri’s comprehensive regional universities. We thank him for his work, and I know the Board looks forward to continuing the initiatives that have been so important to him over his past two and a half years as president,” Knudtson said.
Knudtson, former mayor of Cape Girardeau and a 2006 recipient of Southeast’s prestigious Vandiver Show Me State Award, is a member of First Missouri State Bank’s executive team that launched the bank in 2002. He currently serves as the chief lending officer and bank board director. He previously served for nearly 12 years as senior vice president of Bank of America in Cape Girardeau. Knudtson was born and raised in Minnesota and has spent most of his professional career living and working in Cape Girardeau.
Knudtson has attended the Graduate School of Banking in Boulder, Colo.; the Graduate School of Real Estate Finance in Dallas, Texas; and the University of Minnesota.
He serves as the chair of the Board of Directors for the Cape Girardeau Chamber of Commerce and is past treasurer and executive board member. Additionally, he was awarded the 2015 Rush H. Limbaugh Award by the Chamber, which is presented annually by the chamber to an individual who has distinguished him or herself through community service for a significant period of time. He is a trustee of SoutheastHEALTH and a member of the Cape Girardeau Noon Lions Club, Elk’s Club and LaCroix United Methodist Church. He also is chairman of the Transamerica Corridor, past chairman of the Cape Girardeau Parks and Recreation Board and past member of the Easter Seals Board. He served as chairman of the Cape Girardeau Area Magnet Board of Directors and on the Homeland Security Committee for the State of Missouri.
Knudtson and his wife, Cindy, are the parents of a son, Gunnar.