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University of Central Missouri
Administration 302
Warrensburg, MO 64093
Phone: 660-543-4640
Fax: 660-543-4943


Pertle Springs Roadway Improvements, New Academic Opportunities Part of Board of Governors’ November Agenda

Contact: Jeff Murphy
WARRENSBURG, MO (Nov. 21, 2016) – Action by the University of Central Missouri Board of Governors Friday, Nov. 18 enables the university to move forward with a road improvement project at Pertle Springs, as well as the replacement of a new air conditioning unit at Audrey J. Walton Stadium, and the purchase of furniture, fixtures, and other items for the new Missouri Innovation Campus in Lee’s Summit.

 During the meeting, the board also considered three new academic opportunities, which included approval of a new Certificate in Professional Selling program and a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration in Events Marking and Management degree to be offered in the College of Business and Professional Studies. A new minor in Middle East Studies within the College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences also was approved.

With input from Toni Kreke, associate vice president for Finance and Administration, and Beth Rutt, director of Student Activities and the Student Recreation and Wellness Center, the board considered three options for improvements that involve Pertle Drive, the main roadway leading into the Pertle Springs recreational area. The board approved a recommendation to make Pertle Drive a one-way road, with visitors entering from the existing east entrance and exiting at the existing west entrance. Bids must be let for work to be performed under the approved option. It includes road resurfacing of Pertle Drive, Par Drive, and the Traditions/Golf Course and Racehorse Lake parking lots, and the addition of a painted Bike Line on Pertle Drive.  

The cost estimates presented to the board include $336,429 for road improvements; $384,884 for wetland improvements, which will likely cost less than the estimate; as well as $123,734 in administrative costs that cover general conditions, permits, taxes, insurance, contingency and construction administration. The project will be funded by Student Recreation and Wellness Center Student Fee surplus, 75/25 matching grant funds from the Missouri Department of Conservation , and university reserves.

The project is the next phase of planned improvements at Pertle Springs.  The option approved by the board was supported by the 10-member UCM Pertle Springs Enhancement Committee and the Missouri Department of  Conservation.  Road improvements are part of a multiple phase project, with design services provided by the engineering firm, Burns and McDonnell.

Following a presentation by Laurel Hogue, vice provost for Extended Studies, the board authorized the university to purchase furniture, fixtures, equipment, and technology items for The Missouri Innovation Campus (MIC) at a cost not to exceed $3,857,430. This represents the university’s share of space in this joint project with the Lee’s Summit R-7 School District. UCM and the school district entered into a long-term agreement for construction and operation of The MIC, which was made possible by a no-tax-increase bond proposal that was approved by Lee’s Summit voters in 2015. Under this initiative, the school district is building the 137,000-square-foot facility, and UCM will lease space to provide educational opportunities for students who are part of the MIC and others individuals who are seeking a higher education in the metropolitan area. Building construction is currently underway, and the facility is scheduled to open by fall 2017.  UCM is paying about 60 percent of the total cost of the building through the lease agreement.

A $227,185 contract was awarded to Reasbeck Construction, Inc., to replace the aging air conditioning system in Walton Stadium. The new unit is expected to be installed by spring 2017, and replaces a system that has been in operation since the stadium was constructed in 1996.

Chris Opatrny, chair of the Department of Management, spoke to the board about the need for a new BSBA in Events Marketing and Management degree to be offered jointly by the Department of Management and the Department of Marketing and Public Relations. She noted that majors in these departments are increasingly finding employment opportunities in event planning and event services areas. This program requires only one new course, which can be staffed with existing faculty.

 The new Events Marketing and Management degree will enable UCM graduates to show employers that they have education in the events area. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that event, meeting and convention planners could see a 10 percent increases in employment through 2024, which is higher than the national average for other occupations.

A new Professional Selling Certificate was approved following a presentation by Roger Best, dean of the Harmon College of Business and Professional Studies. This program will be housed in the Department of Marketing and Public Relations, andt is an opportunity for students to develop sales skills that position them to not only obtain a business-to-business sales position, but to more quickly advance and succeed in sales. It is estimated that two out of every three college graduates - not just business graduates - will take a sales position after earning their college degrees.

The new BSBA degree program and the certificate program in the Harmon College are contingent upon approval by the Missouri Coordinating Board for Higher Education (CBHE).

After a presentation by Gregory Streich, chair of the Department of Government, International Studies, and Languages, the board approved a new minor in Middle East Studies program to be housed in the department.  UCM will become the only university in the Kansas City metropolitan area to offer this minor. Students have shown an interest in this program, which also is consistent with the institution’s goal to provide students with a “worldly perspective.” This new program, along with study abroad opportunities and the Nance College of Middle Eastern artifacts are helping UCM to continue to solidify its position as a comprehensive, regional university that helps students understand the complexity of the Middle East.

 No additional funding will be needed to initiate the program. It will be strengthened through an Undergraduate International Studies and Foreign Languages grant that was obtained from the U.S. Department of Education to develop Middle Eastern Studies at UCM. This grant is for three years at $140,000 per year, and will help create Middle East Studies resources that include development of Arabic language courses, in addition to supporting undergraduate research and study abroad opportunities, according the Streich. UCM plans to make this program available in spring 2017. Minor programs do not require CBHE approval.