A contract for asbestos abatement in the Humphreys Building, the renewal of the athletic apparel sponsorship, and several academic program decisions, including the expansion of the THRIVE program, were among items approved by the University of Central Missouri Board of Governors when it met in its plenary session Dec. 8 on campus.

Following a presentation by Bill Hawley, vice president for finance and operations, the board approved a contract in the amount of $845,438 to cover items such as labor, materials, equipment, supplies, insurance and permit fees to complete asbestos abatement at the Humphreys Building. This work by Spray Services, Inc., Washington, Missouri, will be conducted in preparation for the building’s renovation.

With the university’s existing athletic apparel and equipment contract set to expire in July 2024, UCM sought proposals from 107 companies to provide apparel and equipment plus sponsorship for the athletic department for the 2024 sports seasons.

The board approved a five-year contract with an option for one, two-year contract renewal with Varsity Brand Holdings/BSN, which will provide Nike products. Hawley presented a list of proposed new course fees that were approved by the board, to be effective for August 2024. They are needed to help cover the rising cost of certain items that are not included in academic departments’ operating budgets, but are necessary for students to complete a particular course. Fees approved by the board range from $5 to $460 per class, and cover needs in certain courses in areas related to Agriculture, Aviation, Biology, Communication Disorders, and Physics.

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Fees will help pay for materials and services such as consumable lab supplies and kits, subscriptions to electronic records systems, transportation to construction sites, hourly instructional rates and more, depending on which course is taken. Regular academic fees will be set during the spring 2024 semester. The board also approved revisions to course fees for 31 courses that are in the areas of Agriculture, Aviation, Biology, Communication Disorders, and Construction Management. Depending on the course, these increases range anywhere from $5 per semester to $230 per semester to align with the increased cost of making these educational opportunities possible.

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The board also approved the expansion of the THRIVE program to include third- and fourth-year options. A post-secondary program for students with intellectual and developmental disabilities, THRIVE students currently live on campus and can earn a two-year Certificate of Success while participating in courses and activities offered at UCM. The program helps students to learn how to fully integrate into residential, social and community life. Board information about the program noted that the additional two years will provide THRIVE students with increased time to gain life and career skills. It will also include an increase in internship hours and person-centered planning with assistance from local agencies to help with realistic job expectations for each student, while also increasing students’ independence.

Additionally, THRIVE third- and fourth-year students may choose to complete coursework in a particular degree program. Board action includes a yearly fee charge of $5,550 to all students enrolled in the first and second years of the THRIVE program, and $2,775 per year for the third- and fourth-year students. The reduced cost for the final two years of the program relates to the decrease in time THRIVE staff will need to devote to students during that time frame. In discussion related to other academic programs, the board approved the new Gender and Sexuality Studies (GSS) undergraduate major, effective for fall 2024, and pending approval by the Missouri Department of Higher Education Workforce Development/ Coordinating Board for Higher Education (MDHEWD/CBHE). This program is structured to be offered with face-to-face classes and 100 percent online, and is only the third complete online GSS major in the Missouri/Kansas region. The university already offers the Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies minor, however, in a separate action, the board authorized updating the program title to Gender and Sexuality Studies.

The new Biochemistry (Pre-Medicine, Pre-Dental, Pre-Veterinary, and Pre-Pharmacy) degree option was approved. This academic program is for students who are interested in seeking pre-professional preparation in Health Sciences. It will be housed under the Bachelor of Science in Chemistry program. Before it becomes effective this fall, however, the program must be approved by the MDHEWD/CBHE. Another new academic program being submitted to MDHEWD/CBHE for its approval is the 12-credit-hour Mental Health Certificate, which was approved by the board. A collaboration between two UCM colleges and four academic departments, this program will provide key skills and knowledge to current students as well as members of the public who are employed in human services fields to help meet emerging societal needs. The board also recognized several individuals who have attained emeriti status. A number of these individuals retired in previous years and attained emeriti status following changes in university policy which updated their eligibility. The names, titles and dates of service of these new emeriti are:

• Dorothy Anderson (Aug. 31, 1981 – April 30, 2004), Academic Employment Specialist • Janet Schawo (May 30, 1978 – Dec. 31, 2006), Administrative Assistant • Janie Seymour (July 7, 2003 – Sept. 30, 2014), Administrative Assistant • Linda Persing (July 6, 1999 – Dec. 31, 2015), Office Professional III • David Craig (April 2, 2007 – Dec. 31, 2017), Applications Manager • Dalene Abner (Nov. 13, 2000 – May 31, 2018), Executive Editor • Michael Greife (Nov. 10, 2003 – May 31, 2018), News Bureau Manager • Charles Creel (June 20, 2005 – May 31, 2018), Technical Project Manager • Victoria Hughes (Oct. 25, 2004 – June 30, 2022), Director of Charter Schools • Nancy Anderson (Sept. 5, 2000 – Dec. 31, 2023), Financial Aid Counselor • Someswar Kesh (Aug. 19, 1991 – Dec. 31, 2023), Professor • Janice Putnam (Aug. 24, 1998 – Dec. 31, 2023), Professor • Jay Raveill (Aug. 18, 1997 – Dec. 31, 2023), Professor

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