Week of December 20, 1999




Mike Auten, three-time BassMaster Classic qualifier, will present a Bass Fishing Clinic Feb. 5 in Dempster Hall's Glenn Auditorium at Southeast Missouri State University.

If you want to improve your catch, spending a day in the classroom with Auten is better than a day on the water.

Auten will present a four-session daylong seminar that will make any angler (novice to expert) more successful. Auten's instructional bass fishing seminar will cover "Crankbait Action: The Lipless Crankbait & Jerkbaits," "Fishing the Spinnerbait: The Versatile Bass Lure," "Plastic Worms and Carolina Rigs," "Structure Fishing Basics" and "GPS: Using Technology to Your Advantage."

A B.A.S.S. Times article said "Skeeter fishing pro Mike Auten is pioneering a new way to teach the concepts behind bass fishing. . . . You don't want to be the guy who gives his seminar after Mike Auten."

Bass fishing's leading expert in the use of video animation, graphics and computer-aided technology, Auten will blend live demonstrations of tactics and techniques with virtual interactive video.

"Auten has been the focus of numerous stories in BassMaster Magazine and is regularly seen on the popular 'BassMasters' television show," said Joyce Becker, director of continuing education at Southeast. "He has also presented bass fishing seminars throughout the country."

Auten represents the "new generation" of professional bass fishermen. In just a few years of fishing the Bassmaster Tournament Trail, he has achieved "top five" and has qualified multiple times for the BassMasters Classic, the world championship of bass fishing.

His professional sponsors are Skeeter Boats, Yamaha Outboards, Strike King Lures, Lowrance Electronics, Motorguide Trolling Motors/Zebco Rods and Reels, Stren Fishing Lines and Polar Wrap. Auten lives on Kentucky Lake with his wife, Becky. He enjoys fishing, hunting and golfing.

The seminar runs from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The cost is $29 for the entire day. Drawings for fishing equipment and tackle will be held at each of the four sessions.

To register or for more information, contact the Office of Continuing Education at (573) 986-6879. Gift certificates are available. Space is limited.

Spend a day learning from a Bass Master Pro who earns his living bass fishing.

top of page


Tim Billings, defensive coordinator at Marshall University -- the winningest college football program in the country in the 1990s -- has been named the new head football coach at Southeast Missouri State University.

The announcement was made today at a news conference on campus following a closed session meeting of the University's Board of Regents. Billings was on campus for the news conference and introduced as Southeast's new coach.

Billings has received a five-year contract and will join Southeast shortly after Marshall's involvement in the Motor City Bowl Dec. 27.

Billings was selected from four finalists, all of whom visited the campus for interviews this week and last. The other finalists were Richard Wilson, passing game coordinator at Oklahoma State University; Phillip Meyer, quarterback coach at Iowa State University; and John Shannon, offensive coordinator at Jackson State University.

"We are very fortunate to have a University and an athletic program that attracts such a high quality pool of candidates," said Dr. Kenneth W. Dobbins, president of Southeast Missouri State University. "We believe Tim Billings will be the one who can turn this program around and who will put Southeast in contention for the national championship in the near future."

Each finalist participated in daylong interviews, meeting with the Search Committee, Dobbins, the Athletic Department staff, Athletic Director Don Kaverman, the Southeast Boosters, the public and the media.

The position of head football coach at Southeast was advertised on the NCAA web site and in print in the NCAA News.

The Search Committee recommended Billings as the top candidate following the finalists' campus interviews. The Search Committee previously narrowed down a pool of more than 50 applicants to the four finalists. Members of the Search Committee were Jim Limbaugh and Jim Rust, representing the Boosters; Dr. Georganne Syler, faculty athletic representative; Isaac Powell, student athlete representative; Anthony Beane, assistant men's basketball coach; and Kaverman.

"Tim Billings comes to us from an outstanding football program that simply doesn't know how to lose," Kaverman said. "His record, as part of that program over the last five years, has been 69-6. Moveover, Marshall University has graduated 80 percent of its football players and is second in the nation in its minority graduation rate. Tim Billings knows how to win both on the field and in the classroom. This represents a tremendous step forward for our program."

Kaverman said that Billings, along with the Southeast football players, the Athletic Department, the Southeast Boosters, and community will need to work as a team to improve the Southeast football program.

"We are committed to doing that," he said. "We are extremely excited about the prospects for Indian football."

Kaverman thanked Dobbins, the Board of Regents, the Search Committee and the Boosters for facilitating the search process.

"We had a tremendously talented and broad candidate pool," he said. "Tim emerged as the consensus pick by everyone who had an opportunity to meet with him while he was on campus."

Billings replaces John Mumford, who recently resigned as head coach. Mumford submitted his resignation Nov. 22 effective at the conclusion of his contract on Jan. 31, 2000.

Billings has served as defensive coordinator, assistant coach responsible for linebackers and defensive linemen and special teams coordinator at Marshall University since 1991. During Billings' tenure there, Marshall has participated in numerous post-season bowl games, been included in the top 25 final season rankings and been named Mid American Conference champions. During his years there, Marshall also earned the most victories by a NCAA 1-A program moving up and participated in the NCAA-1AA championship game five times.

Prior to his tenure at Marshall, Billings was the assistant offensive coordinator, assistant coach and assistant recruiting coordinator at the University of Missouri-Columbia. Billings also has served as a graduate assistant responsible for running backs at the University of Oklahoma and a graduate assistant responsible for defensive backs at the University of Missouri-Columbia. He also has coached high school football and tennis.

Billings is a widower. His late wife, Terri Eifert, was from Cape Girardeau. He is the father of two children, Taylor and Trent.

top of page


Two Southeast Missouri State University employees were the first at the institution to apply for enrollment today in the Missouri Saving for Tuition (MO$T) program outlined on campus today by Missouri State Treasurer Bob Holden.

Dr. Fred Janzow, dean of the School of University Studies, and Sandra Eichhorn, operations supervisor in the Human Resources Office at Southeast, applied to participate during a news conference today at Southeast. Janzow applied on behalf of his grandchild and Eichhorn applied on behalf of her two children, both with the intent to begin participating in this college savings program effective at Southeast March 1.

Janzow and Eichhorn, joined by parents and their young preschoolers, gathered around tot-sized tables today in the University's Child Enrichment Center to confer with Holden about the new MO$T program.

Dr. Ken Dobbins, president of Southeast Missouri State University, told parents at the news conference that their children will need to continue their education beyond high school to be competitive in the next century.

"The education your children get at home, here in this center and through high school will MO$T always be extremely valuable, but it won't be enough to really succeed in the next century," Dobbins said. "That's why it's critical that we help prepare our children financially as well as academically for the advanced education they will surely need to be successful in their future."

Holden formally launched the MO$T program Nov. 1 in St. Louis. The program, developed by the State Treasurer's Office, provides a smart, effective way for parents to save for their children's futures.

With MO$T, participants are able to save for future higher education costs and save on taxes too.

Here's how it works: You open a MO$T account under the program on behalf of a designated beneficiary. The amount you contribute each year can be deducted from your Missouri state taxable income (up to a maximum of $8,000 per taxpayer per year). The investment earnings on the money you contribute to the account will be able to build on both a federal and state tax-favored basis. Then, when your beneficiary is ready to go to school, the account can be used to pay for qualified education expenses at eligible schools in Missouri or anywhere in the country. The earnings will be exempt from Missouri state income taxes, and federal income taxes are deferred until withdrawn, and then taxed at the student beneficiary's rate, which is likely to be lower than the tax rate of the account owner.

The MO$T program is overseen by a six-member state Higher Education Savings Program Board. Funds placed in the program are managed by TIAA-CREF Tuition Financing Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of TIAA, which is part of the largest pension system in the world.

Beginning in mid-January and effective March 1, Southeast employees may complete an application form in the University's Human Resources office to apply for enrollment in the program. University employees will be allowed to make regular contributions, as little as $15 per account per pay period, to the plan through payroll deduction. The contributions will be withdrawn from the paychecks of University employees on a post-tax basis, said Debbi Cecil Robinson, assistant director of human resources. The University, in turn, will transfer the funds electronically to TIAA-CREF, she said. Informational meetings are scheduled for Feb. 1-2 on campus for University employees interested in participating in the MO$T program.

All Missourians are eligible for the program. Those wishing to participate may do so through either electronic funds transfer through participating employers or an automatic contribution plan (as little as $25 month through a personal checking account). Those interested in the program may request an enrollment kit or more information by calling (888) 414-MOST.

top of page


The Board of Regents at Southeast Missouri State University will meet in closed session Dec. 23 on the Southeast campus.

The meeting, to discuss personnel issues and to be conducted via a conference call, is scheduled for 12:30 p.m. in the President's Office in Room 205 of Academic Hall.

Immediately following the meeting, a news conference is scheduled for 1 p.m., to announce a new head football coach at Southeast. The news conference also will be held in the President's Office.

top of page


Jim Settle, interim director of residence life at Southeast Missouri State University, recently was named director of residence life at the University.

A Search Committee unanimously selected Settle following a regional search process, that included posting of the position on the Internet. He completed a full day of interviews on campus with University staff, faculty, administrators and students.

Members of the Search Committee were Dr. Dale Haskell, director of the Freshman Year Experience; Judy St. John, director of the Center for Health and Counseling; Brett Richardson, Residence Life hall director; Michele Irby, assistant director of the University Center; Drew Griffin, Residence Life senior community assistant; and Kelly Platt, University Center building manager.

"I am excited about the opportunities and ready for the challenges as the director of Residence Life at Southeast," Settle said. "The Office of Residence Life will continue to provide the best possible programs, facilities, and services for the students at Southeast, with an emphasis on keeping an academic focus in the residence halls."

Settle had been serving as interim director of residence life since February, when Carol Coventry resigned as residence life director.

"I am very pleased that the good work begun under Jim's leadership as interim director will now be continued as director of residence life," said Loren Rullman, director of Student Auxiliary Services. "Jim's strong administrative skills, combined with his deep commitment, will serve residential students very well."

As interim director of residence life, Settle has had fiscal, operational and management responsibility for Southeast's residence hall system housing approximately 2,200 students. He has managed a $19.6 million budget and more than 250,000 square feet of residential facilities. He has managed a wide variety of facilities, including small group housing for Greek chapters, traditional residence halls, suite-style residence halls, leased residential housing and off-campus apartments. In addition, he has coordinated a complete summer housing and conference program, providing housing and dining for about 4,000 guests.

He also has participated with other campus administrators in housing and dining renovations projects totaling $12 million. He has been responsible for all aspects of the selection, supervision and evaluation of nine full-time professional staff, including central office and hall director personnel, two full-time support staff, three graduate assistants, 60 paraprofessional community advisors and more than 100 other student employees. Settle has been active on a number of University committees, including orientation, student fees and scholarships, crisis intervention and emergency preparedness.

Settle came to Southeast in August 1998 as associate director of residence life. Prior to that, he served as coordinator of residential programs at Tufts University, area director of the Gorham Campus at the University of Southern Maine, and Greek residence hall director and publications and volunteer activities coordinator, both at Bowling Green State University. In addition, Settle has served as special assistant to the vice president for student affairs and staff assistant to the director of new student programs, both at Pittsburg State University.

Settle holds a bachelor of science degree in chemistry and biology from Pittsburg State University and a master of arts degree in college student personnel from Bowling Green State University.

Settle is a graduate of the Cape Girardeau Chamber of Commerce Leadership Cape Girardeau Class of 1999. He has served as a volunteer and captain of volunteers with the AIDS Action Committee of Massachusetts and as a volunteer with the Medical College of Ohio HIV Testing and Counseling Site. He received the 1993 Distinguished Service Award from Bowling Green State University.

top of page