Week of January 17, 2000


six month archive


The 2000 Presidential Election will be the topic of a series of Common Hour programs to be held this spring on the campus of Southeast Missouri State University.

The Presidential Election Forum Series, sponsored by the Department of Political Science, will feature four Common Hour programs:

  • The Iowa Caucuses, Jan. 26
  • The New Hampshire Primary, Feb. 2
  • Missouri and Mega-Tuesday, March 1
  • Super Tuesday, March 22

The series of Common Hour programs will be held in Glenn Auditorium from noon to 1:15 p.m.

During the first program Jan. 26, Dr. Michael Levy, assistant professor of political science, will analyze the results of the Iowa Caucuses. Dr. Brian Smentkowski, assistant professor of political science, will discuss media and momentum, and Dr. Russell Renka, professor of political science, will address "The Pre-Primary."

"The year 2000 is a pivotal election year," Renka said. "The 2000 election will have a great deal to say about what kind of new century we have in this country."

Renka says primaries allow the American people to decide on who the nominees will be from each of the parties. By Mega-Tuesday on March 7, he says "a tremendous number of delegates will be chosen around the country, and, by then, we should have a pretty good idea of who the nominees will be."

This will set the stage for the final Common Hour program in the series on March 22, he said. At that time, Renka says he and his colleagues will discuss, "what happens now and who are these people we selected?"

He says the four forums will allow for dialogue and interaction and that each of the panelists will invite challenges to their arguments.

"There is a real contest in each of the two parties" this year, Renka said. "Unlike in 1996, we know we are going to get a new president who will change the direction of policy."

Renka adds that the 2000 elections also will be interesting because of the "general turnoff toward politics by the current student population." He says many of today's young people lack trust and belief in institutions.

"If they are distrustful of central institutions, it's hard not to see why they distrust Washington," he said, adding that "people don't look for salvation from politicians anymore. They don't see it as life and death," in the way they did during World War II and the Depression, he said.

He says some people do not feel inclined to participate in presidential elections because of the general notion that "big money is ruling politics.

"There is a considerable degree of truth to it," he said. "People feel overwhelmed by corporate power and feel a certain futility to participating."

Renka says participation rates and voter turnout will be analyzed during each of the forums on campus.

"We hope that Glenn Auditorium will be full," Renka said. "I think it's going to be a pretty interesting election year."

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The Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at Southeast Missouri State University has a new small business counselor on board.

Larry Cooper, who most recently had served as district manager of the Poplar Bluff, Mo., Daily American Republic's Circulation Department, has been named senior business consultant with the SBDC.

Cooper will be responsible, through the SBDC, for providing confidential counseling to small business firms and individuals considering business ventures. He will coordinate and conduct research into technical and general small business issues, and develop and offer educational programs geared to the needs and interests of small businesses. In addition, Cooper will coordinate access to local, state, national and international public and private business and technical resources.

"Larry brings a tremendous amount of training and experience to the table," said Buz Sutherland, director of the SBDC at Southeast Missouri State University.

Cooper is a Certified Economic Development Finance Professional through the National Development Council, a designation that requires extensive training and testing, Sutherland said. Cooper also has owned and operated his own small business and has family business experience, he said.

"He is a native of Southeast Missouri and understands and empathizes with the challenges and opportunities facing the Southeast small business community," Sutherland said. "We are very pleased to have Larry Cooper join the Southeast SBDC. He will enhance the quantity and, most importantly, the quality of service to the small business community of Southeast Missouri."

SBDC counselors assist clients in starting businesses and with business planning, inventory control, marketing and merchandising, obtaining financing, preparing loan requests, management skills, advertising and promotion, personnel matters, accounting procedures, financial management, regulatory compliance, government procurement, international trade, new product development, manufacturing, technology and other business related areas. No fees are associated with these services.

The SBDC at Southeast provides comprehensive business management and technical assistance to the small business community in 14 counties in Southeast Missouri. The center serves as the focal point for linking together resources of the federal, state and local governments with those resources of the University and the private sector. These resources are utilized to counsel and train small businesses in meeting organizational, financial, marketing, technical and other business needs they might encounter.

A native of Malden, Mo., Cooper previously served as a small business counselor with the SBDC at Three Rivers Community College (TRCC) in Poplar Bluff from 1986 to 1995. In addition to his nine years with TRCC, Cooper has spent eight years in management, eight years in sales and two years in accounting.

Cooper holds a bachelor of arts degree in business management and education from Oakland City (Ind.) University, has completed courses for an accounting major equivalent at Southeast Missouri State University, and holds an associate of applied science degree in computer science from Three Rivers Community College.

Those interested in getting more information about counseling services provided by the SBDC are asked to call (573) 986-6084.

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Three Southeast Missouri State University students are serving as legislative interns during the spring term in Jefferson City.

They are Christopher Primm and Mark Mosley, both of Cape Girardeau, and Reyna Spencer of Flint, Mich.

Primm is completing an internship in the office of Sen. William Clay of St. Louis, who serves the fourth senatorial district in Missouri. Mosley is interning with Rep. C. Quincy Troupe of St. Louis, who serves the 62nd District of the House of Representatives. Spencer is interning in the office of Rep. Paula Carter, who serves the 61st District of the House of Representatives.

Dr. Peter Bergerson, chair of the Department of Political Science, says the three will be researching legislation and bills, drafting responses in regard to legislation and constituents, attending committee meetings, giving tours of the Capitol, meeting with people coming into the office and observing the daily routine and work of their respective legislator. All three students will receive academic credit for their semester spent in Jefferson City.

"This will be an election year, so they will see how elections take place as well," Bergerson said.

Primm is a senior majoring in psychology. Spencer is a senior majoring in mass communication. Mosley is a sophomore and is an undeclared major.

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Bill and Mary Sims of Festus, Mo., have endowed the Bill Sims General Endowed Athletic Scholarship through the Southeast Missouri University Foundation.

The Sims' made a $10,000 gift to the Foundation to endow the scholarship, which will be awarded for the first time this spring.

The scholarship will be awarded to a participant in Southeast's athletic program who has a minimum 2.5 grade point average. The award is renewable if all criteria is met. The athletic director and a coach from the Athletic Department will select the recipient.

Bill Sims was born in Festus, Mo., where he graduated from high school, lettering in basketball and track. He attended Memphis State University from 1952 to 1954 on basketball and baseball scholarships. He transferred to Southeast in 1954, participating on the basketball and track teams. He earned a bachelor of science in education degree in 1956.

Sims taught in the Festus R-6 school system from 1956 to 1957 and then served in the U.S. Army from 1957 to 1959. After returning from the service, he taught history at House Springs, Mo., and was the assistant basketball, baseball, track and football coach. He then attended Truman University, receiving a master's degree in education in 1964 while serving as assistant intramural director.

From 1964 to 1967, Sims taught in the Union school system and was the varsity basketball coach and athletic director. In 1967, he returned to Festus High School, where he taught and was the varsity basketball coach. In 1987, he became the athletic director until his retirement in 1993. He was named "Athletic Director of the Year" for the Southeast Missouri District in 1992.

Mary Sims is a Southeast alumna who earned a bachelor of science in education degree in 1952.

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Dr. Randy Shaw named dean of school

The Board of Regents at Southeast Missouri State University recently established the School of Polytechnic Studies, which will comprise the newly named Department of Industrial and Engineering Technology and the Department of Agriculture.

Under this action, the Department of Agriculture’s affiliation with the former College of Science and Technology has shifted to the School of Polytechnic Studies, and the previous “Department of Industrial Technology” has been renamed.

In addition, Dr. Randy Shaw was named dean of the School of Polytechnic Studies. Shaw had been serving as director of the Polytechnic Institute, the forerunner to the School of Polytechnic Studies. He is reporting to Interim Provost Dennis Holt.

Shaw says all University policies which govern processes common to the University’s “colleges’ will apply to the School of Polytechnic Studies unless the School of Polytechnic Studies is specifically excluded from such application. These include, but are not limited to, policies governing appointment of representative faculty committees and faculty tenure, promotion and merit pay.

Development of the School of Polytechnic Studies

As part of the University’s Mission Enhancement Plan, the Polytechnic Institute was formed in November 1996. The purpose of the then “Polytechnic Institute” was to consolidate and focus Southeast’s role in the implementation of the State Plan for Postsecondary Technical Education. Funding for the formation of the Polytechnic Institute was included in the Mission Enhancement budget.

The University’s 1998-2000 Strategic Implementation Plan identified the goal of moving the Polytechnic Institute to a School or College in the University’s 1998-2000 Strategic Implementation Plan. This move was considered necessary to provide the programs contained in the academic unit the same recognition, rights and responsibilities as the other academic units on campus.

Department of Agriculture moves to School of Polytechnic Studies

In conjunction with this move, the Department of Agriculture, last January, requested that administrative supervision and affiliation for its personnel, budget, facilities, equipment and programs be transferred from the then College of Science and Technology to the then Polytechnic Institute. The Department made the request because their activities, goals and values were more closely aligned with those of the Polytechnic Institute, Shaw said. The change in affiliation was approved by the College of Science and Technology and by the Academic Council earlier this fall and later by the Regents.

Department of Industrial and Engineering Technology renamed

In a related matter, the Board of Regents also recently approved a change in the name of the Department of Industrial Technology to the Department of Industrial and Engineering Technology. The former Department of Industrial Technology contained degree programs related to manufacturing, electronics and computer technology, technical graphics, and industrial management and were accredited by the National Association of Industrial Technology.

Shaw said the State Plan for Postsecondary Technical Education requested that new programs be added to support the manufacturing enterprises of Missouri. So, in 1998, the Board and the Coordinating Board for Higher Education approved a new bachelor of science in manufacturing engineering technology. The program began last fall and, already, nearly 30 students have declared a major in manufacturing engineering technology.

The new Department of Industrial and Engineering Technology expects to add other new engineering technology programs in the future and to seek accreditation for these programs, Shaw said.

“The faculty consider this name change important for the purpose of communicating to students, employers, accreditation agencies, and future faculty the importance of both the industrial technology and engineering technology programs,” he said.

Construction of Otto and Della Seabaugh Polytechnic Building under way

The School of Polytechnic Studies currently is housed in the Serena Building. Construction is under way on a new state-of-the-art $8.8 million Otto and Della Seabaugh Polytechnic Building, which is expected to be completed in Spring 2001. The facility will provide space for training for industries and the latest advanced manufacturing technology for students.

The building will contain three 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 will include automated manufacturing systems, multimedia, computer aided drafting and design, industrial power, industrial controls, computer networking, manufacturing, materials testing, and fluid power. Rockwell Automation is sponsoring the industrial controls lab with gifts of equipment valued at $150,000.

A Manufacturing Technology Resource Center, established with assistance from AmerenUE, will be housed in the building in a 1,500-square-foot space, where students and area manufacturers will be introduced to new manufacturing and energy-efficient technologies. Another 1,400-square-foot space in the building will be developed to be leased to area industry for training, testing or research activities.

“Today’s industrial and agricultural environment is vast, dynamic and highly dependent on technology,” Shaw said. “It is impossible to imagine sending graduates out into today’s complex society without the very latest technical and management skills. Industrial and agriculture careers require skilled individuals with post-secondary degrees who can apply and manage technology to solve problems, and who can continue to learn and adjust to changes in technology as related to their positions. The School of Polytechnic Studies, which soon will be housed in the Otto and Della Seabaugh Polytechnic Building, is now poised for this challenge.”

Holt added, “The School of Polytechnic Studies demonstrates Southeast’s continuing commitment to offer high-quality technical and professional programs and to meet critical higher education needs of the region. The School is the result of the hard work of many people, most notably Dr. Randy Shaw, the excellent faculty in industrial technology and agriculture, and the generous contributions of Otto and Della Seabaugh. With the School of Polytechnic Studies now in place and, in the near future, the establishment of a School of Performing Arts, Southeast Missouri State University will be a truly comprehensive regional University.”

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