CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., March 3, 2006 — The year 2005 was characterized by national academic achievement and continued outreach to the region and to the community in which Southeast Missouri State University has thrived for more than a century.
University President Kenneth W. Dobbins set the tone for the 2005-2006 academic year, telling University faculty and staff in his State of the University Address early last fall that Southeast is poised to make the transition “from good to great.”
Academic Hall Centennial
While the campus is ever evolving, some aspects remain rooted in tradition. This academic year, the University is celebrating the centennial anniversary of Academic Hall, the centerpiece of Southeast Missouri State. Festivities at Homecoming 2005 highlighted the evolution of the University which has touched the lives of thousands of students for more than 125 years. Floats depicted Academic Hall during various eras, in celebration of the building’s 100th anniversary. Alumni who returned to campus for Homecoming were invited to tour the Academic Hall dome. The Southeast Missouri Regional Museum currently is celebrating the 100th anniversary of the building by exhibiting artifacts, architectural models, photos and more. Visitors are invited to come and see a bit of Southeast Missouri State University’s prestigious past at the exhibit that runs through March 24.
Though the Copper Dome is a beacon for all who pursue a college degree at Southeast, its academic programs remain at the heart of the institution. After a decade in the making, Southeast secured a five-year accreditation of its mass communication programs by the prestigious Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications (ACEJMC). Southeast now joins 106 institutions nationwide and only two in Missouri with this elite accreditation, the other being the University of Missouri-Columbia. Specific accredited programs include advertising, journalism, corporate video, mass communication and public relations. Cultural horizons were expanded even further last year when Southeast signed an historic agreement with two Chinese universities, Sichuan Normal University and Hunan Normal University. This agreement allows students from the three universities to combine the best of Western and Chinese education. This program allows for one year of study in China, two at Southeast, followed by a final year of study in China. Southeast officials also entered into an agreement last month with SoonChunHyang University in Korea that will provide a dual degree program between the two institutions. In addition to its cultural expansions, the University also is proud of the growth in research opportunities afforded to both students and faculty this past year. Dr. Robert Hamblin, professor of English and director of the Center for Faulkner Studies, delivered online lectures and moderated questions for Oprah Winfrey’s Book Club as part of a summer reading series devoted to the works of William Faulkner. Oprah’s Book Club is the world’s largest with more than 600,000 members. Hamblin conducted a number of short online video lectures concerning characters, themes and techniques found in Faulkner’s work.
Thanks to a $35,000 Square-D Matching Grant, along with the acquisition of an environmental trace laboratory from the University of Missouri-Rolla and laser measuring equipment from Boeing, the University is now able to create an Energy Management Laboratory. The creation of this facility is part of the development of Southeast’s School of Polytechnic Studies as a Missouri Center of Excellence in Advanced Manufacturing Technology.
Southeast’s Department of Theatre and Dance finished another successful season with a rousing production of the classic musical “Guys and Dolls.” Colorful sets and talented dancers, actors and singers combined to create a theatrical experience that continued the tradition of excellence in the arts at Southeast. One of the coaches for this production, renowned contralto vocal artist Judith Farris, accepted a faculty position in the Department of Theatre and Dance for the 2005-2006 academic year, a development welcomed both by the department and the students who benefited from her coaching during the spring 2005 semester.
Beginning in the summer of 2005, both the MBA general management option and the bachelor of science in business administration option in organizational administration became available on the Internet.
Outreach to the Region
In addition, Southeast expanded the availability of its undergraduate and graduate business degrees by giving students the opportunity to earn these degrees online. Services at the University’s area higher education centers have been expanded, and the centers at Sikeston, Kennett and Malden now offer a bachelor of general studies (B.G.S.) degree completion program. Students at these centers now have the option of completing a B.G.S. degree without visiting the Cape Girardeau campus, while still receiving instruction from Southeast professors.
In January, the Sikeston Area Higher Education Center (SAHEC) held a ceremony, celebrating the opening of its 10,800-square-foot expansion that includes additional classroom and office space, a science laboratory and a new child care center. The two-story addition on the north end of the building increases the current size of the 33,000-square-foot SAHEC facility by approximately one-third, according to Tom Hadler, project manager with Southeast’s Facilities Management.
Southeast’s area higher education centers were honored as an exemplary initiative in rural development last year by the Southern Growth Policies Board. It awarded Southeast its 2005 Regional Innovator Award for Missouri. Only 14 award recipients were selected from among more than 200 nominations. Southeast was recognized for its area higher education centers in Kennett, Mo., Malden, Mo., Sikeston, Mo., and Perryville, Mo., and was honored last summer at the Rising Together: The Summit on the Rural South conference in Point Clear, Ala. As one of 14 regional innovators, Southeast also was honored at an awards ceremony and reception hosted by Alabama Gov. Bob Riley. Southeast officials say the University’s higher education centers boost the quality of life in Southeast Missouri by providing access to postsecondary education and adult literacy.
Also providing access in Southeast Missouri is the University’s new mobile museum, the Southeast Explorer, which is a 38-foot walk-through vehicle. The Southeast Explorer is allowing the Southeast Missouri Regional Museum to transport exhibitions, art and archeology programs to locations throughout the region. The vehicle also is used by the University’s NASA Educator Resource Center for various traveling educational programs. So far, the Southeast Explorer has traveled 18,000 miles and has made 118 visits to towns, 163 visits to schools and reached more than 30,000 visitors. The University soon will be able to make another direct outreach effort thanks to a $650,000 earmark grant announced by Senator Jim Talent. The grant makes possible the creation of the Mobile Assessment and Education Health Fair, administered by the College of Health and Human Services, and also funds the establishment of a mobile health unit, to be called the S.H.O.W. Mobile (Southeast Healthcare On Wheels) that will travel to Mississippi, Pemiscot, New Madrid and Dunklin counties. Operated by Southeast staff, faculty and students, the mobile unit will perform screenings for diabetes, cholesterol, blood pressure, speech, hearing and vision problems, and is expected to hit the road this summer. Innovation Center Southeast continues to pursue advances and, in September, launched its new Innovation Center, one of only four in the state and the only one not connected to the University of Missouri system. The Center is expected to play a key role in Missouri’s Life Sciences State Plan to become “The World’s Life Science Gateway.” In conjunction with the development of the center, Southeast has been designated as a “Missouri Innovation Center in Plant Life Science.” Internationally known research organizations, such as the Danforth Plant Science Center in St. Louis, are leading this initiative.
Within this partnership of ideas, Southeast will focus on applied research, commercialization and applications that would provide a boost for economic and workforce development. The Innovation Center, with its business incubator component, is allowing science, agriculture, and business faculty and students the opportunity to participate in applied research. In addition, it will expand the current pool of plant sciences and agricultural jobs in the state, particularly in and around the Cape Girardeau area. The University purchased the facilities of the First Baptist Church located on Broadway and has remodeled parts of the structure for the relocation of several campus offices, including the new Innovation Center. The education building, which is part of this acquisition, is providing space for the startup of the Innovation Center and several incubator facilities. With the opening of the center, about 100 life science companies already operating in Missouri, as well as startup firms developing innovative crops and products in the life sciences, will be able to use the center and the University’s contacts to arrange field-based testing and other research on Southeast Missouri farms. Agricultural Initiatives Southeast continues to plan new programs in the field of biotechnology in support of the region’s strong agriculture/agribusiness industry. Preliminary planning, financed by a federal earmark, is under way for development of the existing University Farm into a technology and applied research park, emphasizing the area of plant life science. Dovetailing with this planning, the Southeast Missouri University Foundation last May purchased farm property just west of Cape Girardeau that ultimately will become the new home of the Southeast Missouri State University Demonstration Farm. The property is located on the east side of Highway 25, just south of the intersection with Route K in Gordonville. Southeast plans to relocate its current beef cattle operation there and to launch a new row crop operation. The purchase of the farm lays the groundwork for the University to move forward with plans to develop the current 410-acre farm property north of Cape Girardeau along I-55 into a technology and applied research park, according to Dennis Roedemeier, chief executive office of the Missouri Research Corporation.
At present, the University continues work at the University Rice Research Farm, located south of Qulin, Mo., breeding new rice varieties for the growing rice industry of Southeast Missouri. Also, the construction of the new Charles L. Hutson Horticulture Greenhouse, partially financed through federal funds from the Delta Regional Authority, will enhance the school’s existing rice research effort and other life science initiatives. Southeast sees a future where faculty and staff will provide farmers and agribusinesses with research-based information, technical assistance and management advice needed to put new biotechnologies into production and to develop profitable businesses based on those innovations. In the future, the University plans to develop a state-of-the-art wet lab incubator facility at the Innovation Center, which will provide incentive for startup firms in the life sciences to locate in Southeast Missouri. In addition, Southeast has added a new viticulture program, which includes a 10-acre vineyard under development. Facility Improvements/Additions The University Center, a place for students to relax, get lunch and gather for various social functions, has received a facelift after 30 years. Among the improvements are the creation of an outside “bistro” area with umbrella tables, an outside entrance to the new University C-Store and remodeled office space for student organizations on the second floor.
Students also are seeing an improved entrance to the campus from Henderson Street thanks to a widening of the intersection of Broadway and Henderson, a new façade for Houck Field House, new paved parking lots and new entrance signs to the University. The University installed gateway entrance signage on the east and west sides of Henderson at Broadway last year. The entrance features rough-cut limestone, with each structure spanning about 35 feet, capped on each side by five-foot square pedestals eight feet in height with smooth-cut limestone caps. The concave face of each monument features a water curtain with the name “Southeast Missouri State University” in pin-mounted lettering above. The monuments are mirror images of each other. Also coming soon to Southeast will be a new Student Aquatic Center. Students lobbied Student Government, which recommended that the Board of Regents approve planning for a new Student Aquatic Center. Plans are in progress and the new facility will include a lap pool and several recreational water amenities. Construction is set to begin this spring with completion expected by April 2007. The $8.2 million facility will be built on the northwest corner of the Student Recreation Center located along New Madrid Street. Paric Corp. has been selected to provide construction management services for the project. Work continues on the much-anticipated River Campus, which is rising from the former St. Vincent’s College and Seminary on 16.6 acres on the banks of the Mississippi River. In October, the property was listed on the National Register of Historic Places, one of just four properties in Missouri granted this status.
The River Campus is located at the foot of the new Bill Emerson Memorial Bridge, at what is to become Southeast’s School of Visual and Performing Arts. A performance hall, which is part of new construction on the project, is currently rising on the property, and its masonry walls are completed. Foundation walls are completed for a flex theatre, and the footings and walls have begun going up on a dance studio. The construction schedule then calls for work to begin on a new Southeast Missouri Regional Museum. Other new construction calls for an Affiliated Missouri Welcome Center to be built on the property along with classrooms, rehearsal rooms, dance, theatre and art studios and related facilities.
Last summer, a swimming pool, shed, tennis courts and gym were demolished on the property. Site work also was completed, and new sewers were installed on the property. In addition, a River Campus Terrace Park has been substantially completed to complement the River Campus facility. The park includes an asphalt walking trail on the lower east side of the facility along Aquamsi Street, along with benches and a pergola.
In addition to the trail and new construction efforts, renovations continue on the L-shaped building on the property dating from 1843. The structure’s finishes have been gutted and the walls have received seismic reinforcement. Completion of the River Campus project is expected by fall 2007.
Total enrollment for the fall 2005 semester was 10,292ᾰthe largest in Southeast history. Total enrollment for the spring 2006 semester was 9,743. Enrollment in distance learning courses also continues to see tremendous growth. This semester, Southeast is offering 171 Web courses with 3,485 students enrolled. The number of Web courses being offered has climbed from 147 in last fall and from 129 in spring 2005. MAP Achievement Scholarship
Incoming students can now take advantage of the new Missouri Assessment Program (MAP) Achievement Scholarship, which recognizes the academic accomplishments of Missouri students who perform exceptionally on the MAP examination. The scholarship is being awarded for the first time to this year’s high school graduating class – the class of 2006.
A momentous event last year was the introduction of the new campus mascot, “Rowdy the Redhawk.” The Redhawk mascot was officially introduced to the campus community in January 2005 at a basketball game at the Show Me Center. After much student and public input, “Rowdy” is now a welcome addition at many campus events.
The 2006-2007 academic year will be one of transition for Southeast athletics. Tony Samuel was hired in December to be the Redhawks new head football coach, after Tim Billings resigned as head coach following the 2005 campaign when the team finished the season at 2-9. Samuel formerly was assistant coach at Purdue University and former head coach at New Mexico State University.
Earlier this week, University Athletic Director Don Kaverman announced that the contract of head Men’s Basketball Coach Gary Garner will not be extended. Garner is in the final year of a five-year contract that expires June 30. The announcement came just four days after the Redhawks finished their season with a record of 7-20 (4-16 in the Ohio Valley Conference (OVC)) and in 10th place in the OVC. Kaverman says he is assembling a search committee immediately in the hopes of hiring a new basketball coach as soon as possible.
Meanwhile, the men’s cross country team was honored last year as an All-Academic Team with Distinction by the U.S. Cross Country Coaches Association. Southeast sophomore Miles Smith won the OVC indoor and outdoor 400-meter championships and was the first track and field All-American from Southeast since 1994. His time at the national NCAA Track and Field Championships earned him fifth place and ranked him 14th in the world. He also was selected as a member of the U.S. Track & Field team for the World Championships in Helsinki, Finland, where he won a gold medal as a member of U.S.A. 4 x 400-meter relay team. Southeast had 17 athletes achieve a total of 21 Ohio Valley Conference Medals of Honor last year. Derek Winans, a member of the 2004-2005 Southeast men’s basketball team, was named to the ESPN The Magazine first team Academic All-America basketball team.
Southeast’s men’s cross country team was honored as an All-Academic Team with Distinction by the U.S. Cross Country Coaches Association. The Southeast women’s indoor track team won the 2005 OVC Indoor Track and Field Championship, and the Southeast men’s indoor track team won second at last year’s OVC Indoor Track and Field Championship.
Both the men’s and women’s outdoor track teams won their respective 2005 Ohio Valley Conference Track and Field Championships. Coach Joey Haines was named both the OVC Women’s and Men’s Outdoor Track Coach of the Year and also was selected as the 2005 OVC Women’s Indoor Track Coach of the Year.
The Redhawks women’s basketball team added a new chapter to not only this season but the program’s record books as they defeated arch-rival Tennessee Tech, 71-50, last weekend in the championship game of the 2006 O’Reilly OVC Women’s Basketball Tournament at the Gaylord Entertainment Center in Nashville, Tennessee. The win sends the Redhawks to their first NCAA Division I Tournament appearance in their rich history as they earned the automatic berth by virtue of the win. The program is celebrating its first back-to-back 20 win seasons since the program had six-straight 20-plus win seasons from 1985 to 1991.
Southeast continued its ongoing technological efforts during this academic year by implementing the SCT Banner software system to replace and improve the University’s current administrative system. Web portals were established for students, faculty, staff and alumni to give them personalized access to campus news, e-mail, grades and personal accounts.
The University was honored with a variety of awards and recognitions this year. Southeast’s renowned Donald L. Harrison College of Business was listed in Princeton Review as one of the “143 Best Business Schools,” placing Southeast in the top five percent nationwide.
The 2004-2005 academic year was one distinguished by outreach, service and national recognition. Without the support of the region, the University’s many academic, cultural and economic efforts and triumphs would not be possible. Thanks to those served by the University, Southeast now is the fastest growing public university in the state of Missouri.