Southeast Missouri State University
For more information, contact:
Ann K. Hayes (573) 651-2552
ahayes@semo.edu

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

PROGRESS REPORT 2001
SOUTHEAST MISSOURI STATE UNIVERSITY

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., Feb. 22, 2002 – The year 2001 at Southeast Missouri State University will be remembered as one of significant change and growth, both in enrollment and facilities as well as in quality of programs that together have made the University a vibrant learning institution poised for even greater accomplishments in the years ahead.

Strategic Plan

Driving the University's momentum is a new strategic plan, approved by the Board of Regents last year that ushers in a new era of educational service by the University. The plan reaffirms the University's commitment to excellence and distinction in all programs and services as its overall goal. It also outlines a vision for the University, four specific priorities and 14 goals to accomplish the plan's priorities.

NCA Reaccreditation

The year began with the celebrated news that Southeast received 10-year unconditional reaccreditation by the North Central Association (NCA) of Colleges and Schools. The visitation team was highly complimentary of Southeast's University Studies program, regional service, partnerships with off-campus constituencies and the University's strategic planning initiatives.

"This is the best possible result we could receive for an NCA re-accreditation visit," said Dr. Kenneth W. Dobbins, president of Southeast Missouri State University.

Record Enrollment

Ten-year unconditional re-accreditation is an enormous boost to the institution as the University continues to make strides in enrollment growth. Southeast set an all-time enrollment record in fall 2001 with combined undergraduate and graduate student headcount of 9,352. The record fall enrollment prompted University officials last summer, for the first time, to defer enrollment for the fall semester. This move was in keeping with the University's efforts to maintain a quality experience for students.

That move appears to have paid off for Southeast. This year's survey of entering freshmen indicates Southeast is increasingly a "first choice" institution, and that the choice is made on the basis of quality factors such as academic excellence, small class size, and the availability of internships and other experiential learning opportunities.

"This is a very exciting time for the University and this community," Dobbins said. "So many individuals have worked so very hard to create an environment so that students can be successful. The University continues to make great strides towards its strategic plan enrollment goal. Recruitment efforts in the St. Louis metro area have yielded an enormous increase in enrollments from the northern part of Southeast's service region while, at the same time, we have increased the number of students from Southeast Missouri. The University's area higher education centers in Kennett, Malden, Sikeston and Perryville also have contributed to Southeast's growth as post-secondary educational opportunities are extended to many placebound students who could not travel to Cape Girardeau.

"Our enrollment numbers bode well for the ultimate realization of our Strategic Plan enrollment goals," he said, adding that "stability in the freshman class numbers and modest growth in enrollment will be increasingly important in the coming years as the state considers revising its higher education funding formula to include an enrollment factor."

Construction

New Residence Hall

Enrollment has grown continuously over the last five years and the residence halls are at maximum capacity, causing the University to construct a new 300-bed residence hall on the east side of Henderson Street, south of the University Center. The new residence hall is the first to be built on campus since the 1960s and the only residence hall being constructed at a public university in Missouri. With the addition of the new hall, the formation of a residential unit consisting of Dearmont, Myers, Cheney and the new facility will be completed.

The new hall features suite-style rooms, a TV/game room, complete Internet access and kitchenettes. Returning students will have the option of living in the facility. The residence hall is being constructed on a fast track and is expected to be completed and open in time for the start of the fall 2002 semester. Total cost of the project is $13.2 million, which is being financed through the issuance of bonds.

A complimentary project is the expansion of a new food service area in the University Center. The new dining space is being constructed on the current patio on the south side of the University Center. This new dining space will include seating for more than 230 people, a new entrance for the University Center, and the addition of a new food service concept.

Parking Solutions

  • New Parking Garages

The construction of two parking garages and a multi-modal transfer facility, planned off of New Madrid Street in what is known as the "pig lot," in addition to the recent opening of the campus transit way, is expected to alleviate many campus parking issues, University officials say.

With the planned addition of a new residence hall and with growing enrollment, the University's Board of Regents last fall approved the design and construction of two new parking garages on campus, one to be located at the Towers residence hall complex, off of Sprigg Street, and the other on Henderson across from the new residence hall. The revenue generated from increases in parking decal rates, to be implemented in fiscal 2003, will be used to pay for bonds issued to finance the construction of the garages. The projects, estimated at $6.5 million, are necessary as a result of a growing demand for parking.

  • Multi-Modal Transfer Facility

In May, the University's Board of Regents accepted a study, which proposes the development of a campus multi-modal transfer facility, commonly known as a "park and ride lot," with a public transportation bus transfer facility. University travelers would park their vehicle at the facility and then use the campus shuttle system or walk to reach their destination. It would include a combination of structure and surface parking with the integration of the transfer facility. The proposed design includes 600 surface parking spaces, 1,200 structure parking spaces and a transit transfer area.

To begin the project, the Federal Transit Administration has earmarked approximately $650,000 in federal funds for the design and initial site work for the multi-modal facility. The University will be responsible for a 20 percent match of $162,500 to be included in the fiscal year 2002 major capital and maintenance and repair project budgets. The federal funds will be administered through the Missouri Department of Transportation.

  • Transit way

A study was conducted in 1998 to define parking needs and to examine options for improving the efficiency of the campus transit services. The study identified construction of a transit way through the center of campus that could be connected to a proposed new parking facility.

Construction of a section of the transit way began in 2001 and is now in use. A section which runs from behind the current Crime Lab to Cheney Drive has been completed along with a section that runs from Cheney Drive to an area behind Academic Hall. Gates to the interior of the campus also have been installed at Cheney Drive and Henderson to reduce vehicular traffic on campus and to enhance the safety and integrity of the transit way.

The transit way is providing more efficient access through the interior of the campus and has moved traffic to the edge of campus. The University is continuing to look at future development of the transit system.

Show Me Center

With the consideration of the multi-modal transfer facility, the north campus is expected to see continued growth. Construction currently is under way on an addition to the Show Me Center, that will provide the facility with additional storage space and new office space for the men's and women's basketball programs. The two-story addition on the northeast side of the Show Me Center will provide the facility with an additional 5,000 square feet of storage space. In addition, offices for the staffs of the men's and women's basketball programs will be relocated into a new 2,500-square-foot space.

New Alumni Center

The north campus will see even more growth in the near future with the addition of a new Aleen Wehking Alumni Center. Groundbreaking ceremonies for the new facility were held Feb. 16. The $1.2 million two-story glass and stucco alumni building will be located southeast of Wildwood and will be designed to blend in with the architectural style of Wildwood, the official home of University presidents. Wildwood currently is used for entertaining and receptions for guests.

The privately funded building will house the University Advancement Division, which consists of Alumni Services and the Southeast Missouri University Foundation. A contractor for the project has not yet been named. The building is expected to be completed late this year.

The building will be located just to the east of the row of trees that border the Wildwood driveway on the east side. Those trees will be retained and will provide shade for the new facility.

The Wehking Alumni Center currently is located off of Sprigg Street, in front of the Show Me Center. The University Advancement Division long has needed a facility designed for meetings and receptions and for entertaining guests. The current facility is not designed to handle those types of functions. A determination has not yet been made regarding use of the current alumni center, once the new facility opens.

Seabaugh Polytechnic Building

A major addition to the north campus came last fall with the dedication and opening of the $8.8 million Otto and Della Seabaugh Polytechnic Building, adjacent to the science quadrangle. Outfitted with the latest high-tech equipment, the new three-story building houses the School of Polytechnic Studies and brings prominence to the polytechnic disciplines.

The building is named for the Seabaughs of Cape Girardeau, who, in 1998, made provisions for a gift of more than $1 million to help fund construction of the new facility. The new building also received a boost from U.S. Sen. Christopher "Kit" Bond and U.S. Rep. Jo Ann Emerson, who were instrumental in securing $2 million in federal funding for the new Polytechnic Building.

The Seabaugh Building contains four networked computer labs, five classrooms complete with the latest instructional technology packages, and one interactive television classroom, funded through a $200,000 Southwestern Bell Foundation grant, to accommodate expanding outreach programs which include a 2+2 program in St. Louis. Dedicated technology labs include automated manufacturing systems, multimedia, computer aided drafting and design, industrial power, industrial controls, computer networking, manufacturing, materials testing, and fluid power. Rockwell Automation sponsored the industrial control labs with gifts of equipment valued at $150,000, and Siemens Building Technologies, Landis Division, donated $125,000 in controls equipment for the Polytechnic Building.

A Manufacturing Technology Resource Center, established with assistance from Ameren, is housed in the building, where students and area manufacturers will be introduced to new manufacturing and energy-efficient technologies. Another space in the building was developed to be leased to area industry for training, testing or research activities.

River Campus

While Southeast industrial technology and engineering students are enjoying the high-tech capabilities in their new facility, students in the School of Visual and Performing Arts continue to eagerly await the development of the River Campus.

The Missouri Supreme Court recently reversed decisions of both the Missouri Court of Appeals Eastern District in St. Louis and Madison County Associate Circuit Court Judge Robert Stillwell that invalidated city ordinances key to financing the River Campus project and moving it forward. The court upheld a voter-approved tax to provide the city's $8.9 million share of the $36 million River Campus project.

The Missouri Supreme Court ruling paves the way for the project to begin moving forward and for the University to begin preliminary work in the near future. Although another lawsuit concerning the project has not yet been decided and most state capital improvement spending is on hold while the state contends with budgetary issues, University officials say they are eager to begin preliminary work. Currently, the project can use $4.6 million in state money, which is part of the $16.5 million that the state has appropriated for the project if it is matched with city and University Foundation dollars.

The River Campus is on a 16-acre site of the former St. Vincent's College and Seminary, located on Morgan Oak Street at the foot of the Mississippi River Bridge. Renovations and major additions to the facility are planned at an estimated cost of $36 million. The River Campus will house the University's School of Visual and Performing Arts, which includes programs in music, art, theatre and dance. The River Campus will feature a 1,000-seat theater, a recital hall, faculty offices and classrooms, and a Regional Museum.

In June, the University was awarded a $2.6 million federal grant to be used for architectural and consulting services in planning for the development of a Regional Museum at the River Campus. U.S. Sen. Christopher "Kit" Bond and U.S. Rep. Jo Ann Emerson were integral in making the funding a reality.

Last spring, University officials accepted a grant from the Missouri Department of Transportation in the amount of $260,000, which was earmarked for the River Campus Terrace project. The grant funding will allow for preliminary site work and continuation of the city's popular hiking/biking trail on the property.

"We are delighted to be part of the city's long-range plan to develop the hiking/biking trail for Cape Girardeau," said Donald L. Dickerson, president of the Southeast Board of Regents. "This is only one of many facets of the project that will draw people to the River Campus."

The River Campus received an added boost last fall when Southeast announced the largest cash gift in the history of the University – a seven-figure donation from Donald Bedell of Sikeston, Mo., for a new performance hall at the River Campus.

"Thanks to this gift, the state and federal grants and the favorable Missouri Supreme Court ruling, we are more certain than ever that the River Campus is going to become a reality, with all the advantages it will bring to the city, the region and the University," Dickerson said.

NASA Educator Resource Center

The River Campus was not the only initiative benefiting from federal dollars last year. In August, Sen. Christopher "Kit" Bond announced that $500,000 in federal funding was being awarded to Southeast's NASA Educator Resource Center for continued outreach efforts for science and education in Missouri.

Later in the fall, Bond arranged to bring the excitement of NASA to the University. Southeast was among the few institutions in the nation to "land" Starship 2040, a replica of an actual space ship. People from throughout the region were exposed, much like the astronauts, to the excitement of space and intergalactic travel. In December, as a nation watched, the Space Shuttle Endeavor carried one of our own graduates, Linda Godwin, back into space for her fourth trip.

September 11, 2001

Southeast also experienced and remembered the national tragedies of Sept. 11. In keeping with President Bush's message to "promote stability," Southeast received national attention as one of the few Division I schools to go on with its intercollegiate football game the Saturday following the tragic events at the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and in Pennsylvania. The game was dedicated to the victims and their families with local service men and women, police and fire department personnel honored at the game.

During a time of national pride and dedication, the faculty, staff and students at Southeast Missouri State University continued in 2001 to use their time and talents to broaden the reach of higher education to people from Southeast Missouri and from around the world.

Emergency Preparedness Initiatives

Along with an entire nation on alert, Southeast employees made great strides in emergency preparedness for the campus. A new early warning siren system was implemented on the campus, building evacuations were practiced; and many employees completed the Community Emergency Response Team Training program in an effort to become more prepared for a major disaster.

Other Developments in 2001

Southeast Missouri State made a number of great strides in 2001 in terms of programs and services. Following are a few of the highlights.

--The generosity of two additional donors, Larry and Donna Marler of Ste. Genevieve, Mo., made possible the University's first endowed chair in Historic Preservation.

--Kent Library joined the state's common library platform, MOBIUS—the Missouri Bibliographic Information User System—using start-up money approved by the Missouri General Assembly. The system increases student access from 450,000 volumes to more than 14 million volumes including sophisticated research information.

--With F.C.C. approval, campus radio station KRCU-FM increased its broadcast area substantially with future planned expansion in Park Hills and Poplar Bluff, Mo. A $140,000 federal grant will help pay for this expansion.

--The year 2001 continued to emphasize technology. The number of internet-connected computers on campus now stands at 2,500; e-mail accounts have increased to 7,500; and all buildings on campus are now connected to the fiber optic backbone and Internet. In contrast, only six buildings were connected in 1995.

--With outreach centers in Malden, Sikeston, Kennett and Perryville, and partnerships with Mineral Area and Three Rivers Community Colleges, enrollments in higher education have dramatically increased. More Southeast Missourians are enrolled in higher education than at any other time in history. In November, U.S. Sen. Christopher "Kit" Bond announced that he had secured $300,000 in federal funding to help convert a library in the St. Mary's of the Barrens Seminary in Perryville into a new facility called the Center for Industry and Education. It is a cooperative effort between Southeast and Mineral Area College and is expected to be open next fall.

--For the first time, Southeast sponsored a coordinated symphony series. The Commerce Bank Concert Series is allowing audiences to enjoy the music of Tchaikovsky, Vivaldi and Bach as well as a host of talented University performers and musicians, including the Southeast Missouri Symphony Orchestra.

Athletics

In 2001 student athletes experienced success both on and off the field. Once again, Southeast led the Ohio Valley Conference (OVC) in the number of prestigious Medal of Honor winners with a total of 12.

The women's soccer team, in only its third year, won the OVC Championship and a record 13 shut outs. It also was the year when Southeast alumni athletes achieved success in the major leagues. Ace pitcher, Todd Pennington, signed with the Cleveland Indians. Former football athlete Kelvin "Earthquake" Anderson was one of the premier running backs in the Canadian Football League and Kerry Robinson played regularly as an outfielder with the St. Louis Cardinals.

Sheryl Crow

The year culminated in December when Grammy Award-winning singer Sheryl Crow entertained fans in her second appearance on campus. The considerable proceeds from the sold-out concert, for which Sheryl Crow donated her time and talents, are pledged to scholarships for both the School of Visual and Performing Arts and the Kennett Area Higher Education Center. Crow served as the commencement speaker and was presented with an honorary doctoral degree for distinguished achievement. Also receiving degrees were the first three graduates in the University's new Bachelor of Science Degree in Environmental Science.

A Look Ahead

The year 2001 was another remarkable year at Southeast Missouri State University. Many challenges, however, are ahead in 2002 as the University is faced with a major reduction in its net base state appropriation for fiscal 2003, which will reduce the University's state appropriation to fiscal 1999 levels. These cuts are in addition to the one-time seven percent withholding for the current 2002 fiscal year.

A national recession and state revenue shortfalls, coupled with federally mandated expenditures in other state agencies and programs are the major causes for the drastic appropriations reduction recommended by the governor. Finding solutions to tough budgetary issues and searching for ways to reduce expenditures and increase revenues while maintaining the quality of programs and services the University provides to the region will be a major topic of discussion in the months ahead.

"This will be a most difficult time in the history of our University," said Dr. Kenneth W. Dobbins, president of Southeast Missouri State University. "We will need to work together to find solutions and compromises that will minimize the effect on our mission of serving students and our region."

 

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