The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

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August 22, 2013

Crowder College board accepts James Tatum’s resignation

NEOSHO, Mo. — The Crowder College Board of Trustees on Thursday approved the resignation of “merely the heart, soul and body of Crowder College,” as board President Andrew Wood described board member James Tatum.

Tatum, 88, will resign when Crowder’s McDonald County campus is dedicated in January. He has been on the board all 50 years of its existence and served as its president for 45 years. He also was instrumental in establishing the college.

Interim Crowder President Kent Farnsworth, also a former Crowder president, said there was no way to describe what Tatum has meant to the success and development of the college.

He said the board would seek applicants to fill Tatum’s position until the next election.

“What if we say ‘no’?” asked board member Al Chapman, about the resignation.

“It’s time, it’s time,” Tatum said. “We need new blood.”

After a public hearing, the board set the college district’s tax rate at 42.97 cents per $100 of assessed valuation. That will raise $3.4 million, or about 7 percent of the college’s total budget. The rate is unchanged from the current rate.

The owner of a house in the college territory appraised at $100,000 would pay annual property taxes of $81.64 to the school under the levy. The owner of a vehicle worth $15,000 would pay personal property taxes of $21.27.

Patricia Burns, director of the Crowder Technical Education Center, reported on technical education programs the college offers at area high schools. Diamond High School and Neosho Christian School have been added to the schools this year, she said.

The programs are automotive technology, collision repair, computer technology, construction technology and criminal justice. As of last week, 326 students had enrolled in the Crowder programs at high schools.

Burns said many high school students take the courses as dual-credit high school and college courses, and many of the programs offer certifications.

Edward Stephens, associate vice president of career and technical education, said Crowder has a good record of placing graduates in jobs.

James Davidson of the college staff reported on remodeling work at Crowder that involves residence halls, the art room and the cafeteria. There also was work to upgrade heating and air-conditioning systems, campus irrigation and signs.

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