Board of Governors approves projects

The Truman State University Board of Governors met Saturday, April 13 to discuss multiple projects and listen to university leader reports.

University President Sue Thomas reported to the Board she thinks the Greenwood center project is moving along. She said she spoke with both Missouri Gov. Mike Parson and Missouri Sen. Cindy O’Laughlin about the project, and O’Laughlin supports funding for Greenwood.

Thomas also spoke about the University’s enrollment management firm, SEM Works, submitting its final report. She said she would release it in a few days, and she talked about the six groups of strategies it suggested to improve various areas regarding enrollment. These include strategic enrollment intelligence, scholarship optimization, student retention, enrollment portfolio diversification, website enhancement and institutional positioning.

Debra Kerby, School of Business dean, said two Truman students won the Elijah Watt Sells Award for the Certified Public Accountant exam. Only 110 students received the award out of nearly 86,000 tests. To earn the distinction, students must obtain a cumulative average score above 95.5 across all four sections of the CPA exam.

Faculty Senate President Scott Alberts reported to the Board on the progress of The Dialogues. He said they are looking to change the freshman symposium because last semester’s pilot test did not go as well as faculty had hoped. Alberts also said faculty want students to have both a capstone and a high impact experience, such as studying abroad, with the new curriculum. He said most students already get both, but they want to encourage all students to pursue both.

The Board of Governors approved several action items, including contracts for the chiller replacement project, and construction projects for Violette Hall and the Student Union Building. The board also approved an equipment purchase for the Del and Norma Robison Planetarium.

Robison Planetarium Director Jared Young said the equipment purchase will include upgrades for the projector, software and computer in the planetarium.

Young said it was a long process to secure the equipment upgrades. The process began with research about what equipment was available and then involved forming a committee, submitting a bid proposal and gathering bids from various companies. The committee then decided on the best bid and made a recommendation to the Board of Governors.

The equipment update provides the planetarium with new capabilities. Young said the new projector has a resolution double that of the current projector. He said the software upgrade allows staff to produce their own content more efficiently and allows travel to more places during shows, such as exoplanets within our galaxy as well as destinations beyond our galaxy. To run the improved software a new computer is being purchased.

Young said there has been communication with campus departments about the opportunity for students to do projects and assignments revolving around the planetarium.

“This opens up the planetarium to be an educational tool on campus as well,” Young said. “It’s diversifying the capability, and further promoting that liberal arts direction that we want the planetarium to be going in all the time.”

Young said he hopes the upgrades can be implemented in the early summer.