In the late 1960s, Missouri Southern conferred its first baccalaureate degrees as a four-year college, and in 2003 Governor Holden signed a bill that elevated Missouri Southern to University status. We now offer graduate degrees in addition to our full slate of undergraduate degree programs. We hold tight to our belief that a broad and thorough liberal arts education is essential for the complete development of each student, and we will remain true to that foundation going forward.
However, it is not in our nature to stand still. Now, to keep progressing, we must reach for an even higher bar. We must fully assume the obligations of teaching, service and research that are the hallmarks of truly being a “university.”
With our great history in mind, a primary goal is to continue to meet the learning needs of our community. These begin with dual credit classes for high-school students and extend through associate, baccalaureate and graduate degrees to facilitate personal and professional career development for each life we touch. Beyond that, we must provide lifelong learning experiences for the collective benefit of alumni, businesses and members of our community in general.
In terms of service, we must diffuse our focus into the broader region. To progress, our faculty must be involved as peer reviewers, journal editors, conference participants and leaders in local, regional and national organizations.
Finally, there is scholarship. The time has come to assume the obligation of becoming a university that is engaged in research and learning through discovery. This will demand intellectual contributions on the part of our faculty members that will be discussed, replicated and built upon by other scholars and students nationally and even globally.
In the coming years, Missouri Southern can and must become an institution more fully connected to scholarship in every sense of the word. We must take our place in the global dialogue in all areas of educational engagement and take the lead where opportunities arise. Our faculty members are some of the best in the profession, and I know we are up to the challenge. The future of Missouri Southern State University is bright and filled with promise!
Dr. Alan Marble, ‘79
Missouri Southern State University