Skip to Main Navigation | Skip to Content

University Relations

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


Academic Degrees, Facilities Matters Considered During Board’s June Session

Contact: Jeff Murphy
WARRENSBURG, MO (June 20, 2017) – Actions related to two new academic degrees and a certificate program,  as well as ancillary insurance for UCM employees, and improvement-maintenance projects at the Elliott Student Union, Hendricks Hall and Audrey J. Walton Stadium were approved by the University of Central Missouri Board of Governors June  15. Board decisions were made during a meeting at UCM – Lee’s Summit, which also included a tour of The Missouri Innovation Campus, a joint building project between the university and Lee’s Summit School District scheduled for completion late this summer.

Following a presentation by Toni Kreke, associate vice president for finance - chief financial officer, the board adopted a resolution declaring the university’s intent to reimburse itself for all or a portion of capital expenditures made to the Elliott Student Union as part of the facility’s Phase I Master Plan improvements. This measure helps position the university to fund capital improvements via a combination of proceeds from debt financing through revenue bonds and Union Auxiliary reserves. The resolution enables UCM to finance portions of the construction costs that are incurred prior to any debt being issued. Construction would likely begin in spring 2018, and the university would not issue any bonds for permanent financing until the early part of that year. Although final costs would not be determined until the bid process, the resolution is in the amount of $7.5 million and covers construction of a new south entrance to the Union; construction and equipping of an approximate 4,600-square- feet retractable seating auditorium; and miscellaneous capital expenditures for the Union.

Board members approved the replacement of the Hendricks Hall roof at a total cost of $249,810. Tim Castilaw, associate vice president of Facilities Planning and Operations, said the university has received an insurance settlement related to hail damage in 2014, which will cover $193,870 of the replacement value of the existing roof system. The university will supplement the project using Physical Plant fund reserves to upgrade the single-ply roof systems at Hendricks to a built-up roof system. This is consistent with other roof systems on campus, and will improve longevity and durability. Such an improvement adds $55,939 to the total cost of the project. UCM has worked with roofing consultant, Tremco, and insurance adjusters, to determine needed repairs.

After a presentation by Jerry Hughes, athletic director, the board approved a five-year loan that was pre-authorized by the UCM Foundation to fund turf replacement at Audrey J. Walton Stadium’s Vernon Kennedy Field.  The loan is provided at an interest rate of 5 percent per annum and is not to exceed $450,000. The board approved the measure with a caveat that sponsorships and donor contributions be used to reduce the initial loan amount and to pay all future related debt obligation. The field replacement project will be conducted by Mid-America Golf and Landscape, Inc., Lee’s Summit, under The Cooperative Purchasing Network, in which UCM is a member, and work will be completed in time for the fall 2017 football season. Hughes stressed the field also is used for recreational purposes by students and for campus community activities such as marching band competitions. He noted that the artificial turf system was installed in 2005 with a normal life expectancy of 8-10 years.

With the current life safety system testing and inspection contract set to expire June 30, 2017, the board approved the extension of this contract through April 2018. UCM uses the National Joint Powers Alliance (NJPA) Cooperative Purchasing Contract that was competitively bid and awarded to SimplexGrinnell. The base FY 2018 contract will be $280,269. Representatives of UCM’s Procurement office and Facilities Planning and Operations will review and consider the most economic method to ensure that university life safety systems are being tested, inspected and maintained in accordance with the applicable governing codes, the university’s insurance carrier requirements, best practices and lowest cost possible. During the period of extension, NJPA will have time to rebid and award a new contract.

Board members approved the renewal of the elevator inspection and maintenance contract through the Educational and Institutional Cooperative Services (E&I) purchasing contract. The base service contract is not to exceed $67,500, and will be awarded after June 2017.

A master service agreement for job order contracting with Reasbeck Construction, Inc., Warrensburg, was approved with services provided under the competitively awarded contract through the National Joint Powers Alliance.  Additionally, the board approved entering a master service agreement for job order contracting with Nouveau Construction and Technology Services, Carrollton, Texas, with services provided under the competitively awarded E&I contract. The terms of the respective agreements are one year, July 1, 2017 to July 31, 2018.  Job order contracting is used by the university to aid in expediting minor construction, repairs, rehabilitation, or alternative facilities. It puts on-call contractors in place to perform a substantial number of projects with a single, competitive bid contract. Funding sources will be identified on an individual project basis. Any project with a total cost of $200,000 or more will be submitted to the board for approval.

In other business, the board approved a five-year agreement to renew UCM’s software licensing, support, maintenance, and hosted services for the Blackboard learning management system. The cost will be $335,046 each year for the next five years for a total of $1,675,231.

 Following a presentation by Ranea Taylor, associate vice president for Human Resources, the board approved ancillary insurance plan rates and options for the 2018 calendar year. This covers vision insurance with VSP, dental insurance with Delta Dental, and long-term disability and voluntary life insurance with the Standard Insurance Company. The estimated annual cost increase for dental coverage for the university is $6,500, and the increase for vision coverage for UCM is $6,680. An estimated annual cost savings of $19,512 is expected for basic life/AD&D and long-term disability.  Funding will come from the university’s general operating and auxiliary’s budgets.

Presentations related to new academic programs resulted in board approval for a new Master’s in Athletic Training (AT) degree; an accelerated Master of Science in Actuarial Science and Statistics degree, and an undergraduate Certificate in Plant Identification.

 The Master’s in AT degree will be housed in the Department of Nutrition and Kinesiology within the College of Health, Science and Technology (CAST). Brian Hughes, department chair, noted that in 2015 the National Athletic Trainers Association Foundation; the Board Certification, Inc.; and the Commission on the Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE ) announced that by 2022, in order to be eligible for professional certification, an individual must earn a master’s degree in AT from a program accredited by CAATE. UCM’s Bachelor of Science in AT program has been accredited since 2006, and the university will seek accreditation of its master’s program. This new master’s degree also must be approved by the Missouri Coordinating Board for Higher Education (CBHE), which will consider it in September 2017. Job prospects for athletic trainers looks good, according to Hughes. Missouri employers posted 225 jobs for athletic trainers in 2015, a 26 percent increase from 178 in 2015, and the United States Department of Labor and Bureau of Statistics projects employment for AT professionals to grow 21 percent during the decade leading up to the year 2024.

The Master of Science in Actuarial Science and Statistics degree will be housed within CAST’s School of Computer Science and Mathematics. Lianwen Wang, professor in the school, said growth in these areas is expected to continue as businesses and government agencies emphasize the use of “Big Data” for analysis and to help solve real-world problems in business, engineering, healthcare and other fields. The accelerated program will allow students to earn both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree within five years. This will place students in the workplace in a more timely manner than a traditional master’s degree pathway, which would take approximately one more year. This program also must gain CBHE approval.

Joseph Ely, associate professor in the Department of Biology and Agriculture, said the new undergraduate Certificate in Plant Identification was developed at the request of employers of UCM graduates and the Biology Advisory Board, which is comprised of individuals from the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, Missouri Department of Conservation, and industry and alumni members. The certificate gives a student with a Bachelor of Science in Biology degree a competitive edge for natural resources jobs by giving them additional skills and knowledge in plant identification procedures and natural history. This program will be housed in CAST’s Department of Biology and Agriculture, and will be implemented pending approval by the CBHE.

Board officers also were named for Fiscal Year 2018. Dr. Gus Wetzel II, Clinton, will continue to serve as president; John Collier, Weston, vice president; and Mary Dandurand, Warrensburg, secretary. Monica Huffman, executive assistance to the president, will serve as secretary to the board, and Toni Kreke, associate vice president for finance – chief financial officer, will serve as board treasurer.