By performing above the Board’s already high expectations, Clifton M. “Clif” Smart III has received a strong evaluation from the Board of Governors for his work as president of Missouri State University. As a result, Smart was rewarded with a four-year extension to his contract, so that his term will continue through June 30, 2022.
“The Board feels that Clif has done an outstanding job as president of Missouri State,” said Beverly Miller, Board of Governor’s chair. “The contract extension underscores our confidence in his ability to move the university in the right direction. So many good things are happening in the Missouri State system, and we feel strongly about supporting his leadership of the university well into the future.”
Smart presented his self-assessment to the Board in an 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 (July 31) as part of its annual summer retreat.
“I am excited by the many good things that happened at Missouri State over the past year and look forward to building on that success this year and beyond,” Smart said. “I greatly appreciate the Board’s confidence in me and their enthusiastic support for the direction that the university is heading. I also want to thank the faculty, staff, students, alumni and donors who contributed so much to a tremendous year.”
About the contract extension
Along with the contract extension, Smart will receive a 1.5 percent salary increase. The Board was prepared to offer a more significant increase, but deferred to Smart’s request that, in light of budgetary concerns, he receive the same 1.5 percent increase provided to faculty and staff.
Again this year, Smart plans to donate the $40,000 housing allowance to the Foundation. Of the total, $30,000 will be the third installment to endow the Gail and Clif Smart Professorship in Agriculture, which began in October 2012. The remaining $10,000 will go to The eFactory in honor of former MSU president Dr. Michael Nietzel.
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, and became the 11th president of Missouri State on Oct. 16, 2012. Read President Smart’s complete biography.
Selected accomplishments for 2013-14 under Smart’s leadership
- In fall 2013, the Springfield campus set an all-time record with an enrollment of 21,798, with a system-wide total of 23,838. This record was set despite a decline in the number of high school graduates in Missouri and declining enrollment at other colleges and universities.
- The university added new programs, including a Master of Science in Applied Behavioral Analysis, Master of Fine Arts in Visual Studies (terminal degree), Master of Applied Second Language Acquisition, Master of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies, Master of Occupational Therapy and the collaborative Doctor of Pharmacy with UMKC.
- The university generated almost $1,000,000 of new unbudgeted revenue through enrollment growth which partially funded new faculty lines, a cost-of-living raise for all full-time faculty and staff, and the Full Professor Incentive Program.
- The university met all five of its performance measures established by the Missouri Coordinating Board of Higher Education, resulting in an operating appropriation increase from the General Assembly to MSU of approximately $4.2 million before restrictions and withholdings. The university also successfully advocated for $21 million in capital funding through Senate Bill 723, a revenue bonding bill. Pending bond issuance and appropriations, the university will use these funds to renovate Ellis Hall and Hill Hall.
- After over a decade of discussion and planning, the university began construction of $26 million in athletic and recreation projects (sand volleyball complex, soccer and track field, field hockey and lacrosse complex, and the east side student seating area in Plaster Stadium). The student body approved the Bear Experience and Recreation (B.E.A.R.) student fee to fund 80 percent of the cost.
- The university also began renovating Kentwood Hall and Pummill Hall, and took the final pre-construction steps to renovate Glass Hall and construct a new welcome center and a new building to house occupational therapy and other health programs.
- University faculty and staff received almost $22 million from a total of 289 grants, setting a new record.
- The Foundation raised over $18 million in private support, making FY14 its second biggest year in history.
- The university inducted its inaugural class into the Missouri Public Affairs Hall of Fame.
- The university actively improved its teacher preparation program; NCATE/CAEP re-accredited the program after noting deficiencies two years ago.
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.