We need to move forward with Western
Missouri Western is vitally important and provides so much to our community. From the significant economic impact to the region, student-centered and applied-learning opportunities, open-access affordable education, fantastic athletics, countless volunteer hours and so much more. There are many successful alumni within our community who reflect Western’s impact. We need Missouri Western and now Missouri Western needs us.
Following the difficult decisions to make the many program cuts there has been much pain. With that has come much conversation, mostly looking backward, which is understandable.
But with limited time and resources, there comes a point where we need to focus on moving forward so that the conversation is productive and positive. There are still many students, faculty and staff who need and want community support. My hope is that we can come together as a united community and give Western the support it needs and deserves.
Unfortunately, there are some who choose to stay mired in record requests and endless debate of a history that cannot be changed.
I choose to move forward, focus on the future, and support Western’s new growth initiatives.
MWSU needs broad community support
I served on the MWSU President search committee that ultimately recommended to the Board of Governors to hire Matt Wilson. Matt was coming to St. Joseph to fill big shoes left by Dr. Robert Vartibedian. Bob and Laurel are stunning people and their engagement in the St. Joseph community will not soon be forgotten.
It is my belief that Matt Wilson was hired due to his dedication to the student population. His references referred to him as the “Energizer bunny.” Matt identified changes in the education model that required new investments for student enrollment.
Norika and he came to St Joseph joyfully and with commitment to be great models for the university and the community. Matt was quickly made aware of changes in the financial model of the university. This forced difficult decisions. Then the pandemic reared its ugly head. State funding was cut. I’m sure Matt didn’t sign up for these challenges!
It is my hope that the decisions by President Wilson and the Board of Governors are allowed to bear fruit. New enrollment is sorely needed. An enthusiastic student population will yield new enrollment. Broad support by the community is essential for Missouri Western’s survival.