By Jeff Murphy, November 3, 2022
The University of Central Missouri Board of Governors listened to presentation on on-boarding new freshmen when it held committee meetings on Oct. 27 in the Elliott Student Union, prior to its plenary session.
WARRENSBURG, MO – In its plenary session Oct. 27, the University of Central Missouri
Board of Governors approved two new options to the Bachelor of Science in Design and
Drafting Technology program, the demolition and cleanup of select vacant structures
on university property, a contract for timber harvesting at the Prussing Farm, a proposal
that positively impacts the cost of education for military dependents, and policy
changes that apply to UCM emeriti faculty and staff.
Consistent with the university’s efforts to serve individuals in the military and their families, the board approved a recommendation to expand the university’s in-state tuition rates to dependents of service members and veterans. This expansion is effective for the fall 2023 semester. It aligns with best practices and also is in compliance with Veterans Affairs (VA) requirements related to students who are using transfer of entitlement under Post-9/11 GI Bill® and the Survivors and Dependents Educational Assistance Program.
This measure benefits dependents of individuals who currently serve in the military, (active duty, guard, and reserve) regardless of the state where the military member is serving. It also applies to dependents of veterans who do not have VA educational entitlement, and to dependents who have exhausted their VA educational entitlement. UCM’s Office of Military and Veterans Services will manage the new initiative, which will contribute to the institution’s standing as a 2022-2023 Military Friendly® School, currently with a gold ranking.
Noting its appreciation for retired faculty and staff members, the board in October 2002 adopted a policy which comprehensively addresses the designation of emeriti status and UCM retirement benefits governed by the board. Proposed updates, that had been revised in recent months following feedback from UCM retirees and other constituents, were adopted during the board’s most recent meeting. One of these updates pertains to the university identification card. As employees and students move to the option of a traditional card or electronic credentials, the administration is making it possible for retirees to have the same options.
Additionally, upon request to Human Resources at the time of submitting notice of retirement, retirees will now receive a new UCM email account with the domain established by the Office of Technology signifying retiree status (@retiree.ucmo.edu). The change in email accounts is expected to eliminate concerns related to businesses and other individuals continuing to communicate with individual accounts, not knowing a person is retired and no longer working on behalf of the university. This will also allow UCM to focus targeted communication more appropriately. It was noted that individuals who retired prior to this policy update also will transfer to the new email address reflecting their retirement status.
Revisions to the emeriti policy also make it possible for staff members who retire with a minimum of 10 consecutive years of employment in a benefits eligible position at UCM to achieve emeriti status upon their retirement. In the past, the minimum length of service for staff to achieve this designation has been 20 years.
In other business the board adopted proposed changes in the Design and Drafting Technology degree program, which currently has four emphasis areas: Mechanical (Product/Machine) Design, Architectural/Structural, MEP (Mechanical, Electrical and Plumbing) and Industrial Piping Systems, and Civil/GIS. To meet student and employer needs, the board authorized the College of Health, Science and Technology to provide two options for this degree from these four emphasis areas. These 120-hour options are now the B.S. in Design and Drafting Technology – Civil and Architectural Design Technology and the B.S. in Design and Drafting Technology – Mechanical Design Technology (Product/Machine).
The board approved the issuance of a contract to Infinity Group, LLC in the amount of $699,098 for labor and materials needed for the construction of new offices, counseling rooms, and new restroom and finishes upgrades in the Lovinger Building Gymnasium. This space will become the Dr. Michael Hough Education and Counseling Center, benefiting from a gift through the UCM Alumni Foundation.
A contract with Reasbeck Construction, Inc., Warrensburg, in the amount of $741,615 was approved to remove the existing gravel parking lot and construct a paved asphalt lot with concrete curb and gutter at the South Recreation Complex. This will be funded by the Capital Construction budget.
The board approved a contract with Aquila Industries, LLC, Raymore, Missouri, in the amount of $418,375 for renovations at the James C. Kirkpatrick Library. Expected to increase building utilization and space, this project includes selective demolition of storefront systems, clerestory glazing, walls, wood column wraps, overhead wood headers, carpet, miscellaneous built-in shelves, and high-density library shelving (with integrated recessed track). New construction consists of patching the floor as needed, the creation of new study rooms, recessed booths, new casework for a breakroom and wellness room, information desk, information hubs, and installation of acoustical unit panels and room finishes. It also includes ductwork, temperature controls and lighting improvements.
The university was authorized by the board to seek bids for the excavation, demolition and disposal of a total of 18 structures at UCM-owned properties located at 705 S. Mitchell St.; 117 E. Hunt St.; 318 NW 200 Road; and 1104 S. Holden St., in Warrensburg. The project will consist of clearing identified properties, removing and disposal of debris in accordance with Missouri state guidelines, backfilling excavation sites with clean material and quality topsoil, and grading where needed to ensure proper drainage. It will be funded by the Facilities Operations and Planning maintenance and repair budget.
Board members approved a request to contract with Stuart Collins, Knob Noster, for professional logging/timber harvesting services for approximately 160 acres at Prussing Farm. This consists of trees that have reached the end of their maturity and if left standing will be subject to dying, rot and falling over. Harvesting the timber will reduce the risk of damage to neighboring properties, fence lines, and pasture, and provide room for smaller trees to grow in place of those that are harvested. Additionally, there is a small financial benefit as UCM will receive 70 percent of the proceeds from the sale of Black Walnut logs.