Drivers’ eyes may have been diverted to our recent “Momentum” campaign billboards celebrating our many recent forms of progress.

The graphic representing a triangular formation composed of our faculty and students was most certainly visually captivating. But no matter how many times I passed by one of them, I always paused to reflect on the stories behind those proud faces. In the world of public relations, the message must evolve, and the “Momentum” billboards have been replaced with others sharing insights about our growing aspirations, accomplishments and accolades. To me, however, the notion of momentum lingers, and has evolved into what I conceptualize as MOSOmentum.

MOSOmentum (my definition: the spirit that envelops our campus and ignites our passion for learning and sharing of our collective wisdom each time we realize an opportunity to help a student succeed).

This concept of MOSOmentum reflects not just what we have accomplished – and there have been many significant points of progress. In the last few weeks alone we have seen our trumpet ensemble invited to compete in the National Trumpet Competition; we have received state approval to increase the number of nursing students we can enroll by 50 percent; we have been solicited to be a partner university for Disney World; we have introduced one of the nation’s only, if not the only, universal transfer student degree completion option; and, we have offered invitations to our very first class of the Yours to Lose Advanced Medical School Acceptance Program, which simultaneously admits students to MSSU and to Kansas City University medical school.

All of these achievements are notably significant and unique for Missouri Southern – as they would be for any university anywhere. But on campus, behind closed doors, the engaged discussions that lead to these accomplishments almost always focus not on what or how, but instead on why.

Why we should do things is a critical question for all of us – for the faculty and the staff, for the administrators and the students. Why do we want to do this or that? Why should we invest here or there? Because without a good answer to the why question, none of it really matters.

Recent and consistent enrollment records here at Missouri Southern have not been accidental. We have targeted intentional and controlled growth as one objective to pursue. But we have not done so simply out of a vacant desire to grow. We have attempted to grow to serve the needs of our community, our region and our state. That is why.

We grow strategically, providing learning opportunities to students that will enhance their career readiness, allow them to add value to the workplace, and to fulfill their professional dreams. That is why we want to get bigger – not just to be bigger, but to provide more opportunity and enhance the vitality of the state.

Our commitment to you is that we will continue to work hard to serve our community and state, and to always know why we do what we do. And the why will always be because it benefits our students and our stakeholders – now and in the future.

Dr. Paula Carson
Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs