Week of May 17, 1999




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May 14, 1999 --

Dr. Velmer Burton, associate provost for graduate studies and research at Southeast Missouri State University, has been named associate provost for graduate studies and research and dean of the Graduate School at Southeast Missouri State.

Burton received the new title following a closed session meeting of the University's Board of Regents today.

Burton came to Southeast last July after serving as head of the Department of Criminal Justice at Ferris State University in Big Rapids, Mich.

At Southeast, Burton is responsible for providing guidance and oversight to the administration and development of graduate programs and research at the University. Burton works closely with deans and department chairs to develop graduate programs, promote research and grant activities and administer policies and procedures related to graduate admissions, assistantships, advising and faculty. He chairs the Graduate Council and oversees the activities of the Office of Sponsored Programs. Burton reports to the provost and serves on the Council of Deans.

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May 14, 1999 --

Dr. Dennis Holt, senior associate provost at Southeast Missouri State University, has been named interim provost at the University.

The appointment was announced following a closed session meeting of the Board of Regents today. Holt was selected for the interim appointment after Dr. Charles Kupchella, Southeast provost, resigned effective June 30 to become president of the University of North Dakota.

A Search Committee will be convened to seek a permanent replacement for Kupchella. Nitzschke will select two members of the committee, and each college will select one faculty representative. Representatives from other areas on campus, including the student body, may be added in the fall, if the Faculty Handbook policy on the provost selection process is modified. The committee will elect a chair from its own membership.

The provost is the chief academic officer of the University and has primary responsibility for the overall administration of the academic programs at Southeast.

Southeast President Dale F. Nitzschke said he had recommended the appointment of Dr. Holt based on Holt’s depth of understanding of the academic operations at the University, his leadership in several major campus initiatives as associate provost over the past several years, and his fine reputation as a teacher and scholar.

“Dr. Holt received strong recommendations from our deans, chairs, faculty and executive staff during the informal nominating process used to fill the interim position,” Nitzschke said, “and all of us look forward to working with him in this new capacity.”

Donald L. Dickerson, president of the Southeast Board of Regents, said the Board was pleased with the appointment for many reasons, but especially because Holt has broad experience managing many areas of the University’s Academic Affairs Division. “We are confident Dr. Holt will be able to move the academic agenda forward without missing a beat,” Dickerson said.

Holt echoed the theme of continuity when asked about his view of the role of interim provost. “Following its strategic plan, the faculty, staff, and executive leadership of Southeast, with the full support of the Board, have taken the University to a new and exciting level of regional service,” Holt said. “The Polytechnic Institute and the River Campus are just two examples of the range of the University’s commitment to the region. This commitment will continue because it is a commitment of the whole institution, not any single individual. I am honored for the opportunity to serve the University in this transitional period and look forward to maintaining the momentum of our academic agenda.”

Holt has been employed at Southeast since 1976, in both faculty and administrative positions. He came to Southeast as an assistant professor in the Department of Philosophy and Religion. He later was promoted to associate professor and then professor, the rank he currently holds. In 1980, he became chair of the Department of Philosophy and Religion; and later served as director of the Writing Outcomes Program; and academic associate, assistant provost, associate provost, and senior associate provost in the Office of the Provost.

Holt holds doctoral and bachelor’s degrees, both in philosophy, from the University of Oregon, and a master’s degree in philosophy from Cornell University, where he was a Woodrow Wilson Fellow.

In his current position as senior associate provost, Holt is responsible for personnel processes in Academic Affairs, curriculum and program review, assessment and institutional research and academic technology. He currently oversees academic program review processes, including accreditation and program reviews, and assists in the development of new program proposals and changes and curricular revisions. He chairs the Academic Council, the Sabbatical Leave Committee, the Funding for Results Committee, the Information Technology Steering Committee and the Southeast Missouri Education Consortium Technology Committee. He also is a senior associate of the Teaching Learning Technology Group, a member of Sen. Kit Bond’s Technology Advisory Committee, an active participant in the Missouri Assessment Consortium, and co-chair of the University’s Information Technology Committee.

Holt was responsible for implementing Southeast’s Writing Outcomes Program, combining the Writing Center, writing-across-the-curriculum, and a three-tiered writing assessment program. He also coordinated the design and implementation of a comprehensive University writing assessment requirement.

Holt has participated in a number of academic conferences and has authored several articles published in scholarly journals. He is a member of the American Philosophical Association and the Teaching Learning Technology Group.

Under terms of his appointment, Holt will not be a candidate for the Provost position during the national search.

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May 14, 1999 --

The Southeast Missouri State University Board of Regents today approved a tentative list of capital and maintenance projects for the fiscal year which begins July 1, totaling $7.2 million.

The FY2000 operating budget appropriation (HB3) includes a total of $1.9 million for ongoing maintenance and repair projects. These funds are used for facility improvements and maintenance and repair projects which are not large enough to warrant inclusion in a capital appropriation request.

Local funds totaling $767,000 will be used to supplement the state-provided funds, $300,000 of which is second-year funding for upgrading the University’s telephone switch. Also on the University’s list of capital and maintenance projects is $4.6 million from a state capital appropriation, which is the anticipated FY2000-2001 biennium appropriation for the River Campus.

In other action, the Board approved a capital budget request of $54 million for FY2001-2002. The budget request will be sent to the Coordinating Board for Higher Education. The proposed FY2001-2002 capital budget request projects were evaluated using surveys by the Facilities Management Department, outside architectural and engineering consultants and the Campus Master Plan.

The University’s top priority is obtaining $13.2 million in funding for a facility to house the proposed School of Visual and Performing Arts located at the River Campus. The $13.2 million request was calculated by subtracting the $4.6 million recently approved by the Missouri General Assembly and now awaiting Gov. Mel Carnahan’s signature. The appropriation request will be increased to $17.8 million if Carnahan vetoes the measure. The facility would provide a home for the proposed school, which will house Southeast’s programs in art, music, theatre and dance, and the University Museum.

The second priority for capital funding is renovation of Academic Hall. This renovation would include structural repairs, exterior repairs and weatherproofing, roof replacement, window replacements and interior renovations of all floors. Also included in the FY2001 request are projects to upgrade the Science Complex, Kent Library and Grauel Building.

Several projects for three years beyond the next funding cycle also are included for long-term planning purposes.

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May 14, 1999 --


Pinning ceremony for the first class of students to complete the Physical Therapy Assistant Program at Southeast Missouri State University.


9:30 a.m., May 14


Academic Hall Room 350


Southeast launched the Physical Therapy Assistant (PTA) program in fall 1997 as a two-year associate of arts degree program. The program was launched as a result of needs expressed during several strategic planning forums held throughout Southeast Missouri in fall 1994, in which area residents expressed their desire for a PTA program. PTAs are paraprofessionals in the practice of physical therapy who deliver services under the supervision of a physical therapist. PTAs are responsible for carrying out treatment, designed by a physical therapist, of patients. PTAs also are responsible for communicating any observed changes in a patient’s condition which may require the physical therapist to reassess the patient and modify the treatment program.

Students majoring in the PTA program develop extensive academic and clinical abilities necessary to implement a comprehensive treatment plan developed by a physical therapist. PTAs are employed in hospitals, clinics, rehabilitation institutes, public schools and retirement centers.

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May 14, 1999 --

The Southeast Missouri State University Board of Regents today approved the establishment of a Regional Public Service Institute.

The Institute will incorporate the current “Bootheel Initiative,” which is researching ways and means of supporting a broad array of human services with the University working as a broker, engaging public service-provider agencies throughout Cape Girardeau and the Bootheel. The Bootheel Initiative is supported by funding provided by the Missouri legislature through the Division of Family Services.

The Regional Public Service Institute will coordinate the University’s many public service activities and programs in the region in an effort to better serve the needs of regional families, agencies and organizations. University officials say the Institute will serve as a point of coordination, connecting federal and state dollars, regional economic development, social service needs, faculty scholarship and student learning. The Institute also will work collaboratively with the Southeast Missouri Educational Consortium.

In related action today, Dr. Paul Keys, dean of Southeast’s College of Health and Human Services, was named associate provost for public service and learning. The Regional Public Service Institute will be a University-wide unit reporting to the provost, through Keys. Also during the closed session, Dr. Louis Veneziano, Southeast professor of psychology, was appointed as the first director of the Institute. This appointment is effective July 1. Veneziano will serve half-time as director of the Institute, and half-time in his faculty position.

Keys says that the establishment of the Regional Public Service Institute is a response to a priority in Southeast’s strategic plan to better serve the region, as well as a great number of requests for assistance from organizations and communities in Southeast Missouri. The Institute also is an outgrowth of a movement afoot in higher education today in which universities are being judged by legislatures and the public on how effective and engaged they are in assisting with real-world problems.

“The premise of the Institute is that the University wants to reach out in helping to address such issues as economic development, community development and various social welfare issues facing the people of our region so that ultimately the level of educational attainment will be elevated,” Keys said.

He says the Institute also will provide a good source of material for student learning and faculty and student research.

The University currently supports a number of public service activities, including KRCU-FM, Elder Hostel, the Regional Professional Development Service Center, the Small Business Development Center, the Linda M Godwin Center for Science and Mathematics, numerous arts and cultural programs, Meals on Wheels, the Institute for Gerontology, the Institute for Children and Families, and many more.

“We believe there could still be more coordinated public service and research and development programs -- all involving students -- developed in our region by the University in response to regional needs,” Keys said.

He added that ongoing work will be needed to identify needs in the region and match them with University resources.

Nearly all of the activities of the Regional Public Service Institute will be supported by external grants and contracts, with a small amount of direct support from the University.

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May 14, 1999 --

The annual Student Leadership Awards were presented at a reception April 30 at Southeast Missouri State University.

More than 25 individuals and groups in seven categories were presented with awards at the reception. This is the third year the awards have been presented.

“The committee recognized the breadth and diversity of the kinds of leadership that were represented through this award process,” Irby said.

The President’s Award for Leadership Excellence was presented to Jason Lane. This award recognizes one outstanding student leader with at least 50 credit hours and extensive leadership service on- and off-campus.

The Regents’ Award recognizes registered student organizations that have an active membership and have contributed to the enhancement of the University’s mission. This year, the Regents’ Award was presented to Delta Delta Delta, Alpha Delta Phi, Student Activities Council and the Non-Traditional Students’ Organization.

Recipients of the Provost’s Award were Sheba Bednar, Shu-Ju Chuang of Cape Girardeau, Cathy Guffey of Pacific, Mo., Christopher Probst of Cape Girardeau, Donna Rausch of Perryville, Mo., Sondra Rhodes of Pearlington, Miss., and Jason Tucker of Perryville, Mo. This award recognizes outstanding leaders who have demonstrated leadership in their academic discipline, club, organization or honor society. The recipients of this award are nominated by a College and selected by the Dean’s Council.

The Executive Vice President’s Award went to Edwin Blanton of Ironton, Mo., Matthew Asher of St. Clair, Mo., Kathie Kearbey of Poplar Bluff, Mo., Swathi Raghavan of India, Nathan Murray of Jackson, Mo., and Amy Yaeger of Mt. Vernon, Ill. This award recognizes students with at least 30 credit hours and extensive leadership service to the campus community.

The First Year Student Award recognizes the outstanding first year students for their leadership accomplishments. This year’s recipients included Paul Dobbins of Cape Girardeau, Shelly Dierkes and Sarah Berkbigler of Perryville, Mo.

The Outstanding Organization Member award went to Rachel Roberts of Cape Girardeau, Edwin Blanton of Ironton, Mo., Lisa Niederkorn of Jackson, Mo., Cathy Guffey of Pacific, Mo., and Stephanie Slaten of Cape Girardeau. This award recognizes members of campus organizations for their positive contributions to their organization.

The Outstanding Emerging Leader Award was presented to Amanda Black of Mills Shoals, Ill. This award, selected by the Peer Facilitators, recognizes a participant of the Emerging Leaders program for his or her outstanding contributions to the program.

The award recipients were nominated by faculty, staff and students from across campus. The recipients are selected by a committee and then presented by distinguished members of the Southeast community. The awards reception was sponsored by the University Center and Southeast Missouri State University.

“It was really a campus-wide process,” Irby said. “Nominations came from all over campus, from faculty, students, professional and administrative staff to nominate students who had demonstrated leadership in a variety of ways.”

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