The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

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January 17, 2014

MSSU board lays out charge for presidential search panel

Following approval Friday of the formal charge by the Board of Governors, the committee that will guide the search for the next Missouri Southern State University president now knows what it is tasked to accomplish.

Among the committee’s responsibilities will be:

• To adopt a timetable that allows for the appointment of a president by Nov. 1, or as soon as possible.

• To conduct a “comprehensive search to attract highly qualified candidates.” According to the charge, it can use a professional search firm to help identify candidates and do background checks on finalists.

• To give the board information on its top three to five candidates, including how it ranks the finalists and reasons for those rankings. Interviews with the candidates will take place after this step.

The board, which has the final authority in the hiring of a president, will provide a job description and compensation package criteria for the position to the committee before it begins the search. It will also approve, in advance, the selection of a professional search firm and other expenditures, according to the charge.

The search committee will hold its first meeting at 3 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 4, in room 356 of Billingsly Student Center. Co-chairwoman Sherry Buchanan said discussions during that meeting will include how committee members want to proceed with the search and what approach they should use.

Former board Chairman Richard Walter will continue to serve as the committee co-chairman alongside Buchanan. Jim Fleischaker will also serve on the committee, with Buchanan, as a representative of the board. The remainder of the 12-person committee represents students, faculty, staff, administration, alumni and community members.

Walter’s expired term on the board was filled earlier this month by the appointment of Tracy Flanigan, a Carthage attorney. Lynn Ewing, who currently serves as the board’s vice chairman, will be the acting chairman until an election for the position is held at the board’s Feb. 21 meeting.

In other business Friday, the board set the graduate tuition rate for the 2014-15 academic year at $250 per credit hour for students living in the Lion Pride in-state tuition area and $375 per credit hour for out-of-state students.

In a presentation to the board’s budget/audit committee Friday morning, Al Cade, dean of the School of Education, said the rate is competitive with institutions that recruit in Southwest Missouri, including Missouri State University in Springfield and Pittsburg (Kan.) State University.

“At $250, we are in the ballgame,” Cade said. “We believe we can sell that; we believe we can market that.”

The rate will apply to students who enroll in the university’s new graduate programs in accountancy and education, which are set to begin in the fall. Cade and John Groesbeck, dean of the School of Business, said they both hope to have an initial cohort of 15 students enroll in each program.

The board is expected to discuss and set the undergraduate tuition rate, which is currently $173.20 per credit hour, for the 2014-15 year at its February meeting.

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