1.0 Purpose, Organization and Governance

  1. Purpose, Organization and Governance

    1. University System Mission

      Missouri State University System is a public, comprehensive university system with a mission in public affairs, whose purpose is to develop educated persons. It is committed to achieving five major goals: 1) democratizing society, 2) incubating new ideas, 3) imagining Missouri's future, 4) making Missouri's future and 5) modeling ethical and effective behavior as a public institution.

      1. Missouri State University-West Plains Mission

        1. Vision Statement

          Missouri State University-West Plains will be a national model among two-year, learning-centered institutions, combining open admission opportunity with academic excellence, student service innovation, community partnership and global awareness in an environment strengthened by dynamic growth and entrepreneurial spirit.

      2. Mission Statement

        Missouri State University-West Plains empowers students to achieve personal success and to enrich their local and global communities.  As a two-year public institution, we provide accessible, and quality  educational opportunities.

    2. History

      Missouri State University is a metropolitan university whose principle purpose is to develop educated persons. The Missouri State University system includes a selective admissions campus at Springfield, a two-year open admissions campus at West Plains and a research campus at Mountain Grove.

      Missouri State University-West Plains specializes in providing quality education to students of all ages in the south central Ozarks region of Missouri and north central region of Arkansas. For 50 years, the college has grown and expanded to offer a liberal arts transfer curriculum at the freshman and sophomore levels, selected occupational and technical education programs and a variety of continuing education courses.

      Missouri State University-West Plains was founded in 1963 as the West Plains residence center. In 1977, the Missouri State University Board of Regents and, subsequently, the Missouri legislature, designated the name West Plains campus of Missouri State University to replace residence center. In 1981, the legislature enacted a permanent status bill for the campus. The Missouri General Assembly passed the following statute: "The board of regents of Missouri State University is authorized to continue the program of higher education at West Plains, Missouri, which was begun in 1963 and which shall be known as the West Plains campus of Missouri State University." (174.500, Laws of Missouri.)

      In June 1991, the Legislature passed House Bill 51 and expanded that mission to read: The coordinating board for higher education in cooperation with the board of regents shall develop a mission implementation plan for the campus at West Plains, Howell County, which is known as the West Plains campus of Missouri State University and which shall be a teaching institution, offering one-year certificates, two-year associate degrees and credit and noncredit courses to both traditional and non-traditional students to meet the on-going and emerging employer and educational needs of the citizens of the area served. (174.500, Laws of Missouri.)

      See Appendix C section 1 for a chronological list of historical events.

    3. Missouri State University Purpose

      1. Setting

        Missouri State University-West Plains is located in West Plains Missouri, primarily serving students in the Missouri counties of Douglas, Howell, Oregon, Ozark, Shannon, Texas and Wright.

      2. General Mission

        As a public institution of higher education, Missouri State University-West Plains declares its mission to be a teaching and learning institution providing quality post-secondary educational opportunities to the communities we serve. Consistent with our history, traditions and continuing growth, the mission is achieved through the development of quality and excellence in teaching, professional activity (scholarship, research and creativity) and a variety of forms of service.

        In defining the roles for teaching, professional activity and service, the campus emphasizes the interrelationship and compatibility of its degree programs to the mission of the institution. Each program draws from and builds upon the strengths of the others. Professional activities are vital to the assurance of excellence in teaching. Teaching and professional activity (scholarship, research and creativity) represent the foundation upon which service to the campus' constituencies is developed.

      3. Goals

        1. Purposeful Education… Educate students for a lifetime of learning, citizenship, career development and personal enrichment.
        2. Enabling Environment… Provide for the diverse academic and life-development needs of students through an educational environment conducive to learning, teaching and working.
        3. Community Leadership… Facilitate educational, technological, cultural and economic development through activities that complement the learning environment on campus and in the communities Missouri State University-West Plains serves.
        4. Collaboration… As an integral entity of the Missouri State University System, develop programs and services in partnership within the System and with other educational institutions that increase and enhance student educational opportunities.
        5. Performance… Ensure the highest quality of instruction and institutional effectiveness through assessment, evaluation and planning.
        6. Stewardship… Practice good stewardship of human, programmatic and physical resources for the common good of campus and community.
        7. Faculty and Staff… Recruit and retain the highest quality faculty and staff by providing competitive salaries and professional development opportunities and by enhancing the personal work-life experience for all employees.
        8. Funding… Increase funding from state, federal and private sources to ensure that Missouri State University-West Plains can continue to provide the highest possible quality instruction and services.
      4. Teaching

        While the campus recognizes the individual importance and collective synergies of teaching, professional activity and service, its first obligation is to the teaching of students. To provide quality learning experiences, Missouri State University-West Plains subscribes to the following educational objectives:

        • To provide educational opportunities which enable students to develop a capacity for scholarly inquiry and critical reasoning, the facility to synthesize knowledge from various disciplines and the ability to undertake self-directed learning.
        • To ensure that all educational programs are undergirded by a quality general education core and a foundation of communications and computational skills.
        • To instill in each student an appreciation and understanding of scholarship and creativity in the arts, humanities, social sciences and natural sciences.
        • To provide students with the opportunity to acquire knowledge in a variety of fields to further their academic education and/or their career opportunities.
        • To provide students with the opportunity to understand and apply the mutual benefits of tying mind and body.
        • To promote a learning environment that encourages students to grow and recognize their full potentials and to engage in a life-long learning process of self-actualization.
        • To instill in students a sense of civic responsibility and engagement in activity for the public good.
      5. Professional Activity (Scholarship, Research and Creative Activities)

        Scholarship, Research and Creative Activity means the systematic investigation in some field of knowledge undertaken to discover or establish facts or principles and the scholarly effort to interpret, integrate or synthesize research findings or the preparation and execution of creative projects. Scholarship, research and creative activities each hold equal value in advancing the mission of Missouri State University-West Plains. A blend of scholarship, discovery and of integration and application to teaching, is essential to the mission. Scholarship in areas of teaching effectiveness is essential to a quality learning experience for the students. The role of research at Missouri State University-West Plains includes those activities designed to produce one or more outcomes including the discovery, organization and application of knowledge. The scope of research activities encompasses individual faculty research and departmental research programs. Creative works in areas such as music, drama, art and literature are essential for sustaining the cultural role of Missouri State University-West Plains. Creative activities also include the enhancement of teaching effectiveness.

        Financial support for scholarship, research and creative activities comes from institutional funds as well as gifts, grants and contracts from individuals and agencies outside the campus.

      6. Service

        Service means the contribution of a faculty member to the effective functioning of the campus as an institution, to the effective functioning of professional and learned societies and the contribution of professional expertise by a faculty member to the civic community. Service activities of Missouri State University-West Plains include both services to the campus and to the public.

        Public service represents the joint products of the teaching and scholarship, research and creative activity programs of the institution. The role of service at Missouri State University is to make available the campus' physical resources and human expertise for the purpose of meeting needs or solving problems of various constituencies both within and, more significantly, beyond the campus. The most important service resources of the campus are the diverse and specialized talents of the faculty. The scope of service includes community education, cultural and entertainment events, recreational activities, clinical and diagnostic services, conferences and institutes, public broadcasting services, professional development clinics and seminars, summer workshops and camps and faculty/staff consultation services. These service activities with both public and private partners emphasize a collaborative spirit for the common good.

        University service includes not only participation in the shared governance committees established on the West Plains campus, but also participation in or support for, ad hoc committee work, student clubs, the Garnett Library and fund raising activities of the development office.

      7. Collegiality

        The community of scholars that is Missouri State University-West Plains carries out the campus' general mission and its public affairs focus guided by these values and beliefs:

        • Practicing personal and academic integrity
        • Being a full participant in the educational process and respecting the right of all to contribute to the
        • "Marketplace of Ideas."
        • Respecting the integrity of peers and associates by treating all persons with civility, while recognizing that understanding an idea is not the same as supporting it.
        • Being a steward of the shared resources of the community of scholars.

        Collegiality among colleagues is a vital asset to the campus community, particularly as it impacts reappointment, tenure, promotion and evaluation of performance. However, the campus community also values collegiality less as a separate quality and more as an integrated or distributed aspect of an individual's interactions, as expressed in On Collegiality as a Criterion for Faculty Evaluation. (http://www.aaup.or/AAUP/pubsres/policydocs/collegiality.htm)

      8. Support Programs

        The support programs at Missouri State University-West Plains facilitate and enhance the activities of faculty and students. Programs providing support service are delineated into three areas: academic support, student services and institutional support. Each area has a distinctive role within the campus.

        The role of academic support units is to provide direct service to the campus' programs of teaching, scholarship, research, creativity activity and public service. The scope of this responsibility includes (1) acquiring, preserving and displaying published materials, art objects and scientific materials; (2) providing services to assist teaching and scholarship, research and creative activity; (3) administering academic support programs; and (4) developing opportunities for the personal and professional growth of faculty.

        The role of student service units is to develop the emotional and physical well-being of students as well as to contribute to the intellectual, cultural and social development outside the context of the institution's formal instructional program. The scope of this responsibility includes activities which provide (1) personal services to students, (2) opportunities for student growth and development and (3) services and conveniences needed by students as members of a resident and commuting student body.

        The role of institutional support units is to provide for the campus' organizational effectiveness and continuity. The scope of this responsibility includes (1) planning and executive leadership, (2) administrative and logistical services and (3) institutional advancement activities.

    4. Accreditation, Approvals and Memberships

      Missouri State University-West Plains offers associate degrees, transfer programs and training for immediate employment. Missouri State University-West Plains is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, a member of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, 230 S. LaSalle Street Suite 7-5000 Chicago, Illinois 60604-1411 Phone: 800.621.7440 / 312.263.0456

      See Appendix C section 2 for a list of Accrediting Organizations and Professional Memberships

    5. Governance

      University Governance

      Missouri State University is under the general control and management of a Board of Governors selected from throughout the state which is charged with the responsibility and authority to adopt administrative policies and procedures relevant to the management of the University. The nine voting members of the Board, comprised of one member from each of the eight congressional districts in Missouri and one at large member, are appointed by the Governor, with the advice and consent of the Missouri Senate, to serve six-year terms. A student member of the Board is appointed by the Governor for a two-year term.

      To formulate policy, to facilitate decision making and to promote a spirit of collegiality, the University is committed to participatory governance and to an open system of communication throughout the University...

      1. Administrative Organization

        1. President of the University System

          The president is the chief executive officer of the University system. The president is responsible to the Board of Governors for the administration of all policies adopted by the Board and for the execution of all acts of the Board.

        2. Chancellor of Missouri State University-West Plains

          The chancellor of Missouri State University-West Plains is the chief administrative officer for the West Plains campus and advises the president on all matters pertaining to Missouri State University-West Plains. The chancellor is responsible for the overall administration of Missouri State University-West Plains, including the academic programs, faculty and staff personnel matters, financial affairs, student life, athletics, physical plant and liaison to the various publics of Missouri State University-West Plains. The major advisory body working with the chancellor is the Administrative Council composed of the vice chancellor of academic affairs, the vice chancellor of student services, the director of business services, the director of computer services, the director of development and alumni relations, the director of University/community programs and the director of University communications.

        3. Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs

          The vice chancellor of academic affairs is the chief academic officer of Missouri State University-West Plains, providing primary administrative leadership, direction and evaluation for all academic activities and faculty affairs of the campus. The vice chancellor of academic affairs oversees the academic divisions and departments, Garnett Library, other centers and offices, including Advisement and Academic Coaching Center for Empowering Student Success, instructional support, distance learning, the branch campus in Mountain Grove, curricular matters, student academic concerns and the qualifying of faculty for the branch campus in Dalian China.

        4. Associate Dean

          The Associate Dean provides assistance to the Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs in the administration of the campus' academic divisions.  Duties may include, but is not limited to, department head and faculty recruitment, development, and evaluation; program development; program review; student advisement; divisional budgeting and budget control; and indirect supervision of the teaching, research, and service activities of the division.  Additional duties specific to each division and/or the position, in service to Academic Affairs, Missouri State University-West Plains, and/or the University System may be required.  These duties may include, but not be limited to, assessment coordination, accreditation oversight, coordination of the dual credit program, and workforce development programming. 

        5. Vice Chancellor of Student Services

          The vice chancellor of student services is the chief student-personnel officer of the campus and provides executive leadership for the general management of the division of student services, which includes admissions, career services, financial aid, food services, men's and women's athletics, registration and records, and student life and development.

        6. Director of Business Services

          The director of business services is the chief administrative and financial officer of the campus and advises the chancellor on all matters pertaining to the management and operation of general administrative and business service functions and the management and operation of the accounting, accounts receivable, accounts payable, budget control, bursar, credit management, collections, fiscal planning, financial statement preparation and investing functions. The director is fiscally responsible for budgeting and executing the campus' capital appropriations. The director serves as the senior executive officer responsible for providing leadership and management of the following administrative and financial service functions: human resources, physical plant administration, procurement services, university safety and transportation services.

        7. Director of Information Technology Services

          The director of information technology services is the senior administrative officer for the office of information technology services at Missouri State University-West Plains and is responsible for the coordination and use of computing and network resources and for providing support to satisfy the academic and administrative computing needs of the campus. The director serves as the liaison to the Missouri State University associate vice-president for information technology.

        8. Director of Development and Alumni Relations

          The director of development and alumni relations is responsible for the development, implementation and supervision of fundraising and alumni programs for Missouri State University-West Plains and serves as a liaison with the Missouri State University Foundation.

        9. Director of University/Community Programs

          The director of University/community programs at Missouri State University-West Plains is directly responsible for the management and daily operation of the University/community programs, including the small business development center, the aquatics/wellness program, the Higher Education Resource Center and the theater and events program delivered through the West Plains Civic Center.

        10. Director of University Communications

          The director of University communications is the chief public relations officer for Missouri State University-West Plains. The director is responsible for developing and implementing public relations programs in support of the campus' mission, providing public relations counsel to the chancellor and other campus officials and supporting the campus' marketing efforts. The director is responsible for the coordination of activities that expand and enhance the image of the campus. Those activities include the following areas: community relations, governmental relations, internal communications and publications.

      2. Faculty Senate

        The Missouri State University-West Plains Faculty Senate acts as the faculty governing body responsible for program planning and curriculum development for Missouri State University-West Plains. As stated in the Faculty Senate Constitution, (see Appendix for complete constitution) the purpose of the Senate is "...to handle curricular items, to provide a forum for the discussion of Faculty concerns and to communicate these concerns to the university community," (Art. II, Constitution of the Faculty Senate, section.1).

        Each person currently teaching a course for Missouri State University-West Plains is welcome to attend the meetings of the Faculty Senate, unless the voting members decide to have a closed session. Ranked faculty and lecturers have voting privileges. In addition, the per-course faculty may elect one voting representative. One representative of the Student Government Association shall serve as an ex-officio member. A chairperson, chairperson-elect and secretary serve as the officers of the Faculty Senate. Several standing committees have been established by the Faculty Senate. (See By-Laws of the Faculty Senate.)

        1. Department Chair

          The Department Chair provides support to the Associate Dean in the administration of the academic division through the completion of duties within his/her respective department.  These duties include, but may not be limited to, faculty recruitment, development, and evaluation; curriculum development and assessment; student advisement; departmental budgeting and budget control; class schedule planning, and general supervision of the teaching, research, and service and related scholarly activities of the department.   

          The Department Chair is supervised by the department's respective Associate Dean and works in support of the Associate Dean in supervision of the faculty and staff of the department.  The Department Chair will receive an annual evaluation from his/her respective Associate Dean.  This evaluation will be conducted following each academic year and submitted to the Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs by June 30 of that year. 

          The Department Chair is to be appointed by fellow members of the department.  When a clear decision for selecting a Chair cannot be reached, the Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs, in consultation with the department's respective Associate Dean, will make the appointment.  The Department Chair will serve for a two-year appointment but may extend his/her service if selected by the department and if approved by the Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs

          A Department Head is in a unique administrative position in that he or she is selected by and is responsible to both a departmental faculty and other University administrators-- Associate Dean, Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs, and Chancellor.  Accordingly, as per Section 12.2 of the Faculty Handbook, no academic administrator holds tenure as an administrator.  Rather, all academic administrators will be evaluated on an annual basis, and may be recalled (a) at the election of a higher administrator; or (b) as a result of a faculty petition as per Section 12.2 of the Faculty Handbook.  Additionally, as per Section 12.3, any tenured faculty member who assumes an administrative position has the right of retreat (i.e., to return to the department of one's academic discipline, whether or not a position is open).           
      3. Staff Senate

        The purpose of the Staff Senate is to represent the staff employees as a fact-finding, deliberative and consultative body that makes studies, reports and recommendations on behalf of its constituency. Representatives serve to foster the growth and welfare of the staff.

      4. Student Government Association

        The Constitution of the Student Government Association is available in the office of the Student Government Association.

      5. Missouri State University-West Plains Committee Structure

        Several committees are appointed by the members of the Administrative Council, the purpose of which is to assist in the on-going administrative work of the institution. Such committees perform a wide variety of tasks; for example, viewing the campus budget and recommending policy changes. Faculty members routinely serve on such committees.

        Faculty members also serve on committees which are appointed by and serve in an advisory capacity to the members of the Administrative Council.

        Faculty members also serve on a number of other standing committees, functions of which involve matters of vital interest to the faculty. Unless otherwise specified in the action establishing a particular committee, faculty members serving on these committees are appointed by the chancellor or the vice chancellor of academic affairs based on faculty interests, expertise and recommendations by the Faculty Senate Executive Committee (or some other duly constituted Senate body designated by the Faculty Senate). These committees report to the appointing academic administrator and also have a duty to keep the Faculty Senate fully informed of their proceedings and the results of those proceedings.