The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

June 20, 2013

Your View: Make MSSU best it can be

By Scott Cragin
Special to The Globe

JOPLIN, Mo. — Editor’s note: The following is an open letter to the Missouri Southern State University Board of Governors.

I really care about Missouri Southern. My family has deep roots in the institution. I have taught at Southern for 24 years and my father 22 years before me. I served on the faculty senate under Julio Leon’s administration as well as the entire tenure of the previous administration (including three years on the executive committee of the senate).

I want to thank you from the depths of my heart for your recent vote to remove Bruce Speck from office. I believe I speak for many faculty members when I say that we are eager to work with you to improve communication across campus and to help MSSU. We have a chance at a new beginning, and we are ready to help make that happen in the context of a strong shared governance structure.

It is important that the search for a new president be conducted in an open and professional manner. An independent executive search agency should be retained to help in this task. Missouri Southern needs a true visionary who can develop a consensus among university constituents and lead us to a brighter future in the rapidly changing environment of higher education.

The actions taken by the Board of Governors during the next few months will determine the future of MSSU. The selection of the president of MSSU is your most important task, and we hope that you consider a wide range of constituents for inclusion in the search process. That process must be one in which the entire university community has confidence.

Missouri Southern has amazing potential, but there will be much work required to rebuild trust and mutual respect among employees, administrators and the Board of Governors — not to mention work to deal effectively with the changing landscape of higher education. I hope I speak for all faculty when I say that we are eager to participate in that process and work to make Southern the best that it can be. The future looks bright.

Scott Cragin