Smart receives high marks for first year as permanent president
By “exceeding high expectations,” Clifton M. “Clif” Smart III has received a strong evaluation from the Board of Governors for his first year as the permanent president of Missouri State University. Smart became the 11th president of Missouri State on Oct. 16, 2012. His contract runs through June 30, 2018.
“Based on our work with him when he was general counsel and based on his year as interim president, we were confident he could do the job,” said Board Chair Orvin Kimbrough, from St. Louis. “As a result, we set high expectations for him going into this year. Even so, Clif, along with the team he has assembled, exceeded those expectations.
“The Board was strong and unanimous in its evaluation: We are very pleased with Clif’s first year as our president and we look forward to many more.”
Smart presented his self-assessment to the Board in executive session at its June meeting. The Board then completed an electronic survey that evaluated Smart in nine major categories: strategic leadership; educational leadership; organizational management; financial management; fundraising; external relations; internal relations; Board and governance relations; and personal characteristics and values. The Board completed its evaluation in executive session yesterday (Aug. 1) as part of its annual summer retreat.
“I very much appreciate the Board’s positive evaluation,” said Smart, “but I know that the only way we can achieve our goals is with a tremendous group of administrators, faculty and staff working with our outstanding students. I want to thank them for the good work they did in 2012-13. As a team, we had many accomplishments last year and we look forward to building on that good work in the coming year.”
In recognition of Smart’s work as president, in the closed session of its annual retreat Thursday (Aug. 1) the Board unanimously approved a $25,000 salary increase for Smart. That will move Smart’s salary from its current $275,000 to $300,000. Today, Smart wrote a check for the entire amount of the raise to the Missouri State Foundation and designating it for the Dr. Alice Fleetwood Bartee Endowed Scholarship. The late Dr. Alice Bartee was a long-time political science professor at Missouri State.
Again this year, Smart also plans to donate the $40,000 housing allowance to the Foundation. Of the total, $30,000 will be the second installment to endow the Gail and Clif Smart Professorship in Agriculture, which was begun in October 2012. The remaining $10,000 will be used to help fund the Jim D. Morris Basketball Complex in JQH Arena, which will provide locker rooms, office and related facilities for the Bears and Lady Bears basketball teams.
Smart joined Missouri State as General Counsel on Dec. 1, 2007, after a successful 20-year legal career. He was named interim president June 27, 2011, when Dr. James E. Cofer, Sr., the 10th president, announced his plans to return to the faculty. (For complete background on President Smart, visit: http://www.missouristate.edu/president/smart.htm)
Selected Accomplishments for 2011-13 Under Smart’s Leadership
Enrollment – in fall 2012, the Springfield campus set an all-time record with an enrollment of 21,059, with a system-wide total of 23,071.
New Programs – new programs have been added, including:
- Doctor of Nursing Practice
- Occupational Therapy
On-Line Courses – the number of online courses has increased dramatically and the number of remote sites has increased.
Partnerships/collaborations – these have increased and been enhanced with two-year institutions, including:
- Missouri State-West Plains
- Ozarks Technical Community College
- Crowder College
- St. Charles Community College
- Other four-year institutions (including the Doctor of Pharmacy degree program with the University of Missouri-Kansas City, which will begin in the fall of 2014).
Fundraising – completed the Our Promise campaign, raising $167 million, $42 million more than the original goal of $125 million. The $20 million raised by the Foundation in 2011-12 was a record.
Facilities – a number of projects have been completed, are in process or are planned:
- Foster Family Recreation Center
- Monroe Apartments
- New campus entrance
- Kings Street Plaza
- McQueary Family Health Sciences Hall addition
- Glass Hall student study room
- Plaster Center for Free Enterprise and Business Development
- Renovation of Garst and Blair-Shannon dining centers
- JQH Arena locker room complex
- Gohn Hall and the Recreation Center/FEMA Shelter on the West Plains campus
Diversity – hired the first permanent vice president for diversity and organized the division of diversity and inclusion. The university realized a record enrollment of under-represented students in fall 2012.
Faculty and staff – by July 1, 2013, will have provided three salary increases for employees, including the first in three years. Established a shared leave policy and increased regular communication with faculty and staff.
The Missouri Open Meetings, Open Records Law, also known as the Sunshine Law, requires that personnel decisions made in executive session be reported within 72 hours.