Progress Report 2003


Southeast Missouri State University forged ahead in 2003, breaking ground on the River Campus, launching a new Innovation Center, opening a new Southeast Missouri Regional Crime Lab and boosting the regional economy with a total University impact of $125.6 million.

The University celebrated these highlights while continuing to face uncertain times regarding its level of state funding. In November, after a comprehensive review of all academic and non-academic programs, the Southeast Board of Regents voted to eliminate three academic programs with low numbers of majors – geography, sociology and geosciences — modify other academic programs and reduce the scope of several non-academic units, including intercollegiate athletics. The Board voted to eliminate the men’s golf program in June 2005.

Southeast President Kenneth W. Dobbins said the targeted reduction in academic and non-academic programs was necessary to reduce expenditures and keep student fees as low as possible while minimizing the number of students impacted and maintaining quality throughout the University after massive cuts in state appropriations over the past two years.

The Board declared a state of financial emergency in June 2002 after the state withheld over $7 million from Southeast’s FY02 appropriation near the end of the 2002 fiscal year. That state of emergency was reaffirmed by the Board last June as a result of 10 percent and 6.8 percent reductions in the University’s base appropriations for fiscal 2003 and fiscal 2004 respectively. Southeast’s base appropriation is now $8.5 million less than it was in fiscal 2001, and one-time withholdings since fiscal 2001 have reduced the amount of state funding available for operation of the institution by almost $10 million more.

In response to these reductions, the Board, earlier last year, directed the president to conduct a review of all academic and nonacademic programs, a review of the faculty profile, and a review of all curricula within University Studies and academic majors. The first phase of the program review process is now completed. During the second phase, the University will review its mission statement and strategic plan and establish an ongoing process for reviewing academic and non-academic programs to ensure they are cost-efficient, support the mission of the University and serve the region.

Dobbins said students not only will continue to experience top quality educational programs taught by fully qualified faculty using state of the art instructional technology, but also will continue to experience top quality “student life” and support services.


Quality programs continued to attract students to Southeast last year. Total combined undergraduate and graduate student headcount stood at 9,570 for the fall 2003 semester, up .4 percent from fall 2002. This came after Southeast set an all-time enrollment high for spring semester enrollment at the institution in 2003. Combined undergraduate and graduate student headcount was 8,993 according to a fourth-week census report in spring 2003.

“We’re pleased with enrollment and that we can continue to serve the region despite the economic challenges and uncertainties the State of Missouri is facing,” said Dr. Dennis Holt, vice president for administration and enrollment management.

River Campus

University officials say Southeast will serve the region in a big way when the River Campus project is completed. In May, officials held a long-awaited groundbreaking ceremony for the River Campus, which will become the new home of the University’s School of Visual and Performing Arts. The River Campus will be built on the 16.6-acre St. Vincent’s College and Seminary property on the banks of the Mississippi River, adjacent to the new Bill Emerson Memorial Bridge.

Last year, plans also were finalized to build an affiliated Missouri Welcome Center along the western edge of the property off the Fountain Street extension connecting Route 74 and Morgan Oak Street. Since the groundbreaking, Fountain Street, constructed with brick paving stones, has been extended and the new Bill Emerson Memorial Bridge over the Mississippi River opened in December. Clearing on the property and preliminary site work is under way, and construction of a River Campus Terrace Park, including a pavilion, and trail could begin this summer.

Construction of the main buildings on the River Campus is expected to begin next spring, University officials say. The River Campus is expected to open in late 2006 or early 2007. Budgeted cost of the project is $35.6 million. In addition, significant federal and state monies have been allocated for various enhancements to the project.

“The River Campus is going to bring to this region unparalleled performances in music, theater and dance, and outstanding artistic endeavors,” Dobbins said. “We are all looking forward to the opening of this tremendous addition to our University.”

Southeast officials say the River Campus project is expected to boost the regional economy during both the construction and operational phases.

Economic Impact Study

This is in addition to the economic impact the University already makes on the region each year. Southeast boosts the regional economy with student expenditures of $51.2 million annually and a total University impact of $125.6 million, according to two related studies conducted last year by Southeast students and professors in the Donald L. Harrison College of Business. 

“Clearly, student spending in the Cape Girardeau area makes a significant impact,” said Dr. Judy Wiles, Southeast professor of marketing, whose students calculated student expenditures in the Cape Girardeau area as part of the study. A corollary study to determine the overall impact of students, employees and University spending on Cape Girardeau County was conducted by Dr. Bruce Domazlicky, Southeast professor of economics. Major findings of that study show total spending by University employees having a $35.6 million impact and total spending as an institution having a $17.9 million impact, along with student impact of $72.1 million, to make up the total of $125.6 million.

Southeast Missouri Regional Crime Lab

In addition to its economic impact, the University provides a tremendous service to the region with its Southeast Missouri Regional Crime Lab. In September, a dedication ceremony was held to mark the opening a new state-of-the-art lab at 122 S. Ellis in Cape Girardeau. The building in which the new laboratory is located, the Tlapek Building, is a former warehouse owned by the University. Part of the building has been remodeled and upgraded into a modern facility thanks to a $1.98 million federal earmark from the National Institute of Justice, an arm of the Department of Justice that deals with science and technology (forensic sciences).

In addition, Southeast and the State of Missouri supplied more than $350,000, and city and county governments pledged about $250,000. The new lab is situated in about 8,000 square feet of space, up from about 2,000 square feet in its previous location. The lab was relocated from its longtime home in a house along Henderson Street on the Southeast campus. The house has since been razed to make room for additional parking on the campus.

The lab provides testing for drugs, firearms examinations, blood/body fluids, serology, trace evidence, arson, fingerprints, alcohol in blood, urine toxicology and DNA.

Innovation Center

An added boost to the region also is expected to come from Southeast’s new Innovation Center announced last year. The Innovation Center is working to develop initiatives to assist faculty and businesses in applied research projects in plant and life sciences, value-added agriculture and manufacturing technology. The Innovation Center is closely allied with the Missouri Research Corporation, also launched last fall.

Dennis Roedemeier, former director of business development for the State of Missouri, was named executive director of the new Southeast Missouri State University Innovation Center and chief executive officer of the new Southeast Missouri University Research Foundation.

The creation of the Innovation Center comes as the University, in cooperation with the Missouri Department of Economic Development and the Missouri Technology Corporation, is establishing a Technology initiative with a focus on research designed to develop, attract and retain quality companies that will increase the number and quality of jobs in the southern region.

Dobbins said the three major statewide technology-based economic development initiatives being advanced by Missouri Gov. Bob Holden are life sciences, advanced manufacturing and information technology.

“Within that framework, Southeast’s efforts will focus on applied plant life science, value-added agriculture and advanced manufacturing,” Dobbins said. “This is a natural fit for Southeast’s Innovation Center because of the service region’s economic reliance on agriculture and manufacturing.”

The center will include incubator space and services for start-up companies. It will provide supporting infrastructure and a nurturing environment to encourage technology companies at early stages of their development, as well as established ones, to improve profitability.

Dobbins said that as the leader of Southeast’s initiative, Roedemeier will strive to create a strong and continuing partnership between the Missouri Technology Corporation, the Governor’s Research Alliance of Missouri and the University, area communities, and businesses and industries to achieve their individual and joint objectives by working together.

“The Interstate-55 corridor from St. Louis to Cape Girardeau to the Missouri University Delta Center at Portageville to the Arkansas line has great potential for developing businesses related to the life sciences,” Dobbins said, “and we look forward to working with the Delta Center, the citizens of our area, and our state’s major research institutions, under the leadership of Mr. Roedemeier, to make a positive impact on the quality of life for our people.”

Southeast’s Innovation Center is temporarily housed in Dempster Hall until its new offices are ready to be occupied on the former First Baptist Church property, which the University Foundation purchased last year.

University Purchases First Baptist Church Properties

The Southeast Missouri University Foundation in May made an offer to purchase the properties of First Baptist Church and the Baptist Development Association at 926 Broadway as a means of addressing several short- and long-term space needs of the University. The $3.5 million purchase was made from auxiliary operations funds, private donations and federal/state grants and earmarks. No tuition dollars were used for the purchase.

The properties are located on 3.4 acres and consist of an extensive parking area and three main buildings – the Sanctuary Building, the Education Building and the Activity Building. The Activity Building comprises two floors and a gymnasium. The Sanctuary Building is a four-story structure, and the three-story Education Building is connected with a breezeway to the Sanctuary Building.

Dobbins says acquiring the property allows the University to increase student parking without building a $3.2 million parking garage previously planned on Henderson Street between Broadway and Normal. It also is expanding opportunities for student recreational sports on the south end of campus. Thanks to the purchase of the property, Southeast opened a Student Recreation Center South Campus in August in the former church activity center. This new facility is particularly benefiting students living on the south campus, including residents of the new residence hall on the east side of Henderson between Broadway and Normal, and the residents of Dearmont and Myers halls. 

Private Giving to University Foundation Increases 57 Percent

Endeavors such as the purchase of the First Baptist Church properties are possible, thanks, in part, to private gifts to the University Foundation, which increased 57 percent in fiscal 2003. Giving to the University Foundation exceeded $4.7 million between July 2002 and June 2003. This total represents a 57 percent increase over the previous fiscal year and includes $1 million for the River Campus, the University’s highest capital fund-raising priority.

In addition to current gifts, the Foundation secured $2.25 million from 17 deferred gifts in the form of annuities, bequests and beneficiary designations. This total represents a 137 percent increase over the previous fiscal year.

“This show of generosity during such a difficult economic period is very gratifying,” said Alan Zacharias, vice president for University Advancement and executive director of the Foundation. “Private support is essential to Southeast’s success and will play an increasingly important role as we work toward our goal of becoming one of the nation’s foremost comprehensive regional universities.”

Private gifts contribute to the long-term success of the University by helping it provide scholarships and achieve academic and research excellence in areas not fully funded by other sources.

Other University Highlights in 2003

  • Dobbins accepted a new five-year contract in July to continue as president of Southeast Missouri State University. He also was elected president of the Council on Public Higher Education (COPHE) for 2003-2005. COPHE is comprised of the presidents and chancellors of the 13 public four-year college and university campuses in Missouri.
  • Gail Robertson of Poplar Bluff, Mo., was sworn in April 16 as a member of the University’s Board of Regents. She replaced Kim Mothershead of Benton, Mo., whose term on the board expired. Also new to the Board is Edward Matthews III of Sikeston, Mo., and India Jeffery of St. Louis, both of whom were sworn into office last week on campus. Matthews replaces Doyle Privett of Kennett, Mo., whose term on the Board expired. Jeffery, the new student regent, replaced Laura Hockensmith, whose term also expired.
  • An Ohio Valley Conference (OVC) championship by the Southeast women’s outdoor track team highlighted 2003 for athletics at Southeast. The women’s track team tallied 193 points to claim the OVC title in Nashville, Tenn. Heather Jenkins was selected as the OVC Women’s Outdoor Track Athlete of the Year after winning both the shot put and discus and Joey Haines was named Women’s Coach of the Year.
  • A record 144 student-athletes at Southeast Missouri State University were honored recently as Southeast Scholar Athletes for having a 3.0 or higher cumulative grade point average. The previous high was 136 in 2002. The 144 student-athletes represent 52 percent of the 278 student-athletes at Southeast and that percentage is also a new school record. In addition to the 144 athletes, 13 cheerleaders, seven Sundancers and 12 student athletic trainers were also honored as Southeast Scholar Athletes. “It is a tremendous accomplishment for over half of our student-athletes to have over a 3.0 cumulative grade point average,” said Don Kaverman, Southeast Director of Athletics. “Our coaches continue to recruit students who perform well athletically and academically. Our athletes are students first and athletes second.”
  • Southeast athletics received significant national television exposure in 2003. The increased national television coverage began when the Southeast women’s basketball team played in the OVC finals in Nashville with the game televised by Fox Sports Net South. The coverage continued in football with two nationally televised games, one on Fox Sports Net Midwest and Fox Sports Net Chicago and the homecoming game on The Football Network.
  • Southeast greatly expanded the availability of its online courses, including a full bachelor of general studies program on the Web. A total of 105 Web-based courses were offered in summer 2003 and more than 100 were available in the fall.
  • A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held in August to mark the opening of a new 5,000-square-foot addition at the Harry L. Crisp Bootheel Education Center (CBEC) in Malden, Mo. The $500,000 addition features four classrooms and a Rice Research lab.
  • The parking lot that serves the Towers residence hall complex was reconfigured and repaved to provide approximately 100 additional surface parking spaces.  A parking deck also was constructed that provides 212 spaces. 
  • Donald C. Bedell, a Sikeston, Mo., businessman, was named the 2003 “Friend of the University” by the University Foundation. Bedell, chairman of the board of Health Facilities Management Corporation, received the award at the annual President’s Council dinner in April. Bedell made a seven-figure gift to the Foundation in fall 2001 to support the construction of a premier performance hall at the River Campus. The hall, which is expected to be the “crown jewel” of the River Campus, will be named in Bedell’s honor. His gift is the largest single cash gift in the 18-year history of the University.
  • Six alumni received the University’s 2003 Young Alumni Merit Award. Recipients were Scott Carlton of Northville, Mich.; Trent Ball of Cape Girardeau; Scott Spindler of Belleville, Ill.; Kimberly A. Bowie of Tucson, Ariz.; Dr. Yvette Patmore Fobian of Wildwood, Mo.; and David Welker of Festus, Mo. The awards were presented May 17 during spring commencement exercises.
  • Four alumni received the annual Merit Awards presented by the University’s Alumni Association during Homecoming weekend. The awards recognize graduates who have brought distinction to themselves and to the University. Recipients were Lt. Gen. James Conway of Camp Pendleton, Calif., commanding general of the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force; Dr. James Jett of Rochester, Minn., professor of medicine at the Mayo Medical School; Dr. Raymond Reiker of Hilton Head, S.C., a private consultant and advisor to the Vatican World Food Supply Organization in Rome; and Dr. Bradley Wigger of Louisville, Ky., associate professor of Christian education and director of The Center for Congregations and Family Ministries at Louisville Presbyterian Theology Seminary.
  • The 2003 recipient of the Faculty Merit Award was Dr. Jack Sterrett, professor of marketing and chair of the Department of Management and Marketing at Southeast. The Faculty Merit Award was given during Homecoming festivities and is presented for excellence and distinction in teaching.
  • The National Art Education Association honored Dr. Edwin Smith, Southeast professor of art, with the 2003 Missouri Art Educator of the Year Award.
  • Dr. Bruce Domazlicky, professor of economics, was the recipient of the Governor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching and the PRIDE Award. Recipients of the Governor’s Award are selected by their respective institutions for their effective teaching and advising, service to the school community, commitment to high standards of excellence and innovation in course design and delivery. The PRIDE Award recognizes a faculty member who has demonstrated excellence as a teacher, an extraordinary level of scholarship and service, and whose overall accomplishments are especially noteworthy.
  • The Alumni Association installed Michael Parker of Sikeston, Mo., as its new president, and Michael Price of Cape Girardeau as its new vice president. Their terms run through August 2005.
  • The Alumni Council honored six individuals with Distinguished Service Awards during Homecoming festivities in October. Recipients were Bekki Cook of Cape Girardeau; Rev. Bernard Johnson (formerly Henry A. Johnson) of Vina, Calif.; Gov. Ted Kulongoski of Salem, Ore.; Michael Landrum of Blooming Grove, N.Y.; Weldon Macke of Gordonville, Mo.; and Helen Harrelson of Dobbs Ferry, N.Y. The Distinguished Service Awards are given to individuals who attended Southeast but who did not graduate.
  • Thirty-five faculty members were granted post-professorial merit in June, the first of whom to be granted this new designation. The new post-professorial increment is a new voluntary additional step in the current promotion process recommended in a new Faculty Merit Bill and approved by the Board of Regents in fall 2002. Under the bill, faculty become eligible to apply for post-professorial merit five years after attaining the rank of full professor and every five years thereafter.
  • Chartwells, the contracted food service provider for Southeast Missouri State University that provides residential dining, retail operations and catering services, was named 2002-2003 National Account of the Year at its national awards celebration last fall.
  • Southeast was awarded a five-year $1.01 million federal grant to establish the Ronald E. McNair Postbaccalaureate Achievement Program, which began here in September. The McNair program, one of the federal TRIO programs, prepares first generation, limited income and underrepresented students for doctoral studies through involvement in research and other scholarly activities.
  • The University received a $1.1 million four-year grant for Project Upward Bound. Upward Bound, one of the University’s federal TRIO programs, enables high school students with low income and who are potential first-generation college students with a need for academic support to achieve their educational goals. The Upward Bound program is designed to generate skills and motivation necessary to complete a program of secondary education and to enter and succeed in a post-secondary education. 
  • Dobbins signed grant agreements with the Delta Regional Authority that are providing $600,000 in federal support for three University endeavors. The Delta Regional Authority awarded $200,000 in federal funds for a new University greenhouse, $200,000 to help support an addition of four new classrooms at the Kennett Area Higher Education Center and $200,000 to create an Entrepreneurial Training and Micro-Loan Program for small businesses in the region.
  • The Department of Nursing was awarded a $699,478 federal grant for its “Advanced Education Nursing: Rural Linkages” initiative. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources, and Services Administration (HRSA) awarded the grant in September for a three-year period. The grant is designed to change the health status of the rural disadvantaged region in the Missouri Bootheel.
  • The University made several key staffing announcements in 2003. Dr. Mel Gillespie of Blacksburg, Va., and formerly director of the Office of Equal Opportunity at Virginia Tech University, was named assistant to the president for equity issues. Dr. Sue Shepard, former chair of the Department of Educational Administration and Counseling, was named interim dean of the College of Education. Phil Brodeur of Leyden, Mass., and former director of human resources at Marlboro College, was named director of human resources at Southeast. Debbie Below, director of admissions at Southeast, was named Southeast director of enrollment management. Lori Lynn, director of recreational sports at Southeast, was named director of campus life at Southeast. Dr. Kelly Burris Wesener, former assistant dean for housing and residential life at Hope College in Holland, Mich., was named director of residence life at Southeast.
  • Missouri Gov. Bob Holden appointed Dr. Loretta Prater, dean of the College of Health and Human Services, to the Governor’s Commission on the Special Health, Psychological and Social Needs of Minority Older Individuals. Holden also appointed Dr. Bonnie Stepenoff, professor of history, to the Missouri Advisory Council on Historic Preservation and Dr. Mary Virginia Moore Johnson, associate professor of business law, to the Missouri Training and Employment Council.