Week of June 28 and July 5, 1999




Groundbreaking ceremonies were held today on the campus of Southeast Missouri State University for the Otto and Della Seabaugh Polytechnic Building.

Missouri Gov. Mel Carnahan presented remarks, and Dr. Kala M. Stroup, commissioner of the Coordinating Board for Higher Education (CBHE), and B. Ray Henry, chairman of the Coordinating Board for Higher Education, (CBHE) presented greetings. The ceremony was held on the University’s North Campus in an area adjacent to the Science Complex.

Dr. Dale F. Nitzschke, 16th president of Southeast Missouri State University, and Dr. Kenneth W. Dobbins, 17th president of Southeast, provided introductions and a welcome. Stephen Bauer, an industrial technology major, spoke on behalf of the student body, and Dr. Randy Shaw, director of the Polytechnic Institute, representing the faculty, made remarks. Donald L. Dickerson, president of the Southeast Missouri State University Board of Regents, introduced Carnahan, who recognized the Seabaughs, for whom the building is named. A reception followed the ceremony.

“Southeast Missouri State University has been selected by the CBHE as one of only three baccalaureate institutions in Missouri to implement an essential statewide plan for coordinated technical education programs, as well as specialized training and support for Missouri’s and our region’s high performance companies,” Nitzschke said. “We would like to extend our heartfelt thanks to Otto and Della Seabaugh for their commitment to supporting our enhanced mission and paving the way for Southeast to expand dramatically its industrial and engineering technology outreach programs and facilities.”

The $7.9 million facility will house the recently formed Polytechnic Institute, which includes the University’s Department of Industrial Technology, accredited by the National Association of Industrial Technology. The department currently is housed in the aging Serena Building, where it has been located since 1906. The new facility will provide space for training for industries and the latest advanced manufacturing technology for students. The building is expected to be completed in spring 2001.

The building is named for the Seabaughs of Cape Girardeau, who, last year, made provisions for a gift of more than $1 million to help fund construction of the new facility. Otto Seabaugh is a 1936 industrial education graduate of Southeast Missouri State University. His wife, Della, graduated from Southeast in 1941 with a bachelor of science in education--elementary education degree, with an English major.

In January, Carnahan released $5.6 million in state money for the new building. Remaining funds for the building will come from individuals, area industry and the University.

The architectural firm of William B. Ittner, Inc., of St. Louis designed the 60,000-square-foot building, which will be the “anchor” for the northeast part of the campus. The facility will be adjacent to the campus science quadrangle and will have command of the surrounding area with a prominent view of the Mississippi River and easy access and regress from the campus. The architectural design creates a unique appearance that exemplifies the high-tech curriculum to be offered in the building. It will be a three-story structure with labs and classrooms on the first and second floors and administrative offices on the third floor. Faculty offices will be located in one area to promote interaction among faculty.

The building will contain three networked computers labs, five classrooms complete with the latest instructional technology packages, and one interactive television classroom, funded through a $200,000 Southwestern Bell Foundation grant, to accommodate expanding outreach programs which include a 2+2 program in St. Louis. Dedicated technology labs will include automated manufacturing systems, multimedia, computer aided drafting and design, industrial power, industrial controls, computer networking, manufacturing, materials testing, and fluid power. Rockwell Automation is sponsoring the industrial controls lab with gifts of equipment valued at $150,000. The building has been designed for easy expansion.

The Manufacturing Technology Resource Center, established with assistance from AmerenUE, will be housed in the building in a 1,500-square-foot space, where students and area manufacturers will be introduced to new manufacturing and energy-efficient technologies. Another 1,500-square-foot space in the building will be developed to be leased to area industry for training, testing or research activities.

Southeast made a new Polytechnic Building a priority after the Missouri State Plan for Postsecondary Technical Education was drafted in 1996. It identified Southeast as one of only three baccalaureate institutions having an essential role in the implementation of the statewide plan. Southeast’s Department of Industrial Technology programs were recognized in the plan for their reputation of producing quality graduates, having model 2+2 articulation with area community colleges, possessing exemplary advanced manufacturing technology labs, and national accreditation. Identification in the plan led to significant new state funding for high-tech equipment for existing programs and for the development of new programs to assist Missouri’s manufacturing enterprise. The programs at Southeast have been recognized as a “Center of Excellence in Advanced Manufacturing Technology” by the Missouri Coordinating Board of Higher Education.

“Our goal is to advance critically important technical education training and remote telecommunications access, as well as to enhance partnerships, both educational and industrial, to support economic development initiatives,” said Wayne Davenport, vice president for University Advancement and executive director of the Southeast Missouri University Foundation. “Thanks to Otto and Della Seabaugh, Gov. Carnahan and the state legislature, Southwestern Bell, Ameren UE and the entire Southeast Missouri community, we will be able to expand significantly the availability of technical education to both our educational partners and business and industry in our region.”

The design of the Otto and Della Seabaugh Polytechnic Building to be constructed at Southeast Missouri State University has received an award from American School and University, a nationally published magazine. The Citation appeared in the November 1998 issue, which spotlighted winners of the publication’s annual Architectural Portfolio. The Polytechnic Building design received the award in the “Work in Progress” category. Only three Citations were given in that category. Of the more than 176 projects profiled in the magazine, just 21 were awarded citations for exhibiting the most outstanding designs.

The citation underscores the building’s maximized used of technology.

“Having a facility designed and recognized for the kinds of high-tech education that will take place in this building is extremely positive for the Polytechnic Institute,” Shaw said. “The technological enhancements provided by Southwestern Bell will allow us to expand our educational linkages with our Consortium partners, creating a more seamless system of higher education and support resources for the industries and businesses of our area, state and region.”

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The College of Health and Human Services at Southeast Missouri State University has received $10,000 from an anonymous donor to be used to launch the Southeast Missouri National Scenic Byways Initiative.

This program will establish three National Scenic Byways in Southeast Missouri -- Crowley’s Ridge, El Camino Real and Trail of Tears, said Dr. Paul Keys, dean of the College of Health and Human Services.

Crowley’s Ridge is a unique natural land form which runs from near Cape Girardeau to Helena, Ark. There is only one other geological formation like this one in the world located in Siberia, Keys said. Historically, Crowley’s Ridge was the major route through the Mississippi River delta country for prehistoric peoples, early explorers, later settlers and Civil War armies.

The proposed El Camino Real National Scenic Byway would run from New Madrid to St. Louis along the north-south route of Highway 61 and Interstate 55. This byway traces the old Kings Highway, the route used by the Spanish when they settled the region.

The proposed Trail of Tears Byway would follow the primary route, from Cape Girardeau westward into the Ozarks, a route that Native American tribes, including the Cherokee, used in their forced relocation from North Carolina to Oklahoma, Keys said.

Scenic byways are roads that highlight the special natural, historic and cultural features of an area. They provide an enjoyable and relaxing experience for travelers, while providing local communities with tourist revenue.

Southeast Missouri State University President Dale F. Nitzschke and Keys have led efforts to establish National Scenic Byways. Last December, the byway idea was presented at a meeting of public and private individuals, including state representatives and senators, interested in tourism development. The response was overwhelming to proceed with the project and secure funding. A request subsequently was made to Gov. Mel Carnahan to include in his next fiscal year budget sufficient funds to conduct the research and planning necessary to develop application documents for National Scenic Byway designation. The governor has indicated favorable support in securing the funds, Keys said.

The interest in National Scenic Byway development lies in the potential economic impact to the region and the ability to showcase to the nation the area’s significant tourism attractions. Studies have shown that each mile of a National Scenic Byway results, on average, in some $36,000 of new tourist dollars spent with establishments along or near the route. New jobs also are created, Key said. Given that about 500 miles of byways are proposed in the region, establishment of all three byways would result in more than $16 million of direct economic impact that would benefit all communities in Southeast Missouri.

Other states also have seen the benefits of Byways designation. Last year, Arkansas established its portion of Crowley’s Ridge as a designated National Scenic Byway. Because of this designation, Arkansas applied for, and has received more than $2.5 million in federal and state monies to support tourism along the byway, including development of a Hemingway House. The “Meeting of the Great Rivers Byway” was established near Alton, Ill., last year. During this first year of designation, businesses there have seen an increase of about 10 to 15 percent in tourism traffic, new infrastructure improvements, increased employment opportunities, and a renewed sense of community pride.

Qualifying for National Scenic Byway Designation requires the submission of a comprehensive and detailed Corridor Management Plan. This Plan details how the byways will be managed, along with identification of attractions and public input into the decision-making process. In addition, a vast amount of tourism-related data must be collected to support proposals made in the Management Plan. State of Missouri Scenic Byway designation must be obtained first. Local advisory committees will be needed to assist with byway planning and development, Keys said, adding this project will be among the first byways to be so designated in the State of Missouri. The deadline for submission for federal designation is August of the year 2000.

The $10,000 gift allow planning for the project to start immediately, Keys said. The timing is important since state support would not be available for several months. By this time, much of the primary tourist season would already be completed. These monies will allow necessary planning to occur now and prepare for immediate collection of tourism data when state funds become available.

Survey teams composed of faculty experts, and graduate and undergraduate students from Southeast Missouri State’s Tourism Studies Program, with assistance from Greg Williams of the Southeast Missouri Regional Commerce and Growth Association will conduct interviews and collect questionnaires from tourists in rest stops, exit ramps, and at other places in Southeast Missouri as the project begins, Keys said. A large database of Southeast Missouri statistics will be created by the research that will may be used by local individuals, organizations and businesses interested in increasing tourism to the area. Dr. Michael Yuan, associate professor in Southeast’s Department of Health and Leisure, College of Health and Human Services’ Tourism Studies Program, will head the research and data collection.

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A group of teachers enrolled in a summer course at Southeast Missouri State University learned how to make the cables necessary to network computers during a special class presentation this week from a St. Louis data communications specialist.

Jed Barker of the St. Louis company, Panduit, which makes wiring and communications products, spoke to the teachers June 22. The teachers are enrolled in the six-week course, “Computers, Peripherals and Networking Fundamentals” in the University’s Department of Industrial Technology.

Dr. Raj Desai teaches the course, which covers computers, peripherals and networking.

Also while on campus, Barker made a gift in kind to the University of wiring and educational assemblies for the Department of Industrial Technology’s computer networking lab.

“This will help us train students on how to network computers in a lab we are setting up,” Desai said.

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The Southeast Missouri State University Board of Regents today approved a $71.1 million operating budget for the University for fiscal 2000, the year which begins July 1.

The new budget includes funding for current operations along with new allocations for a University Studies Advising Center; an operations increase for Academic Affairs; library enhancements for books; an archivist; a risk manager; enrollment management enhancements for New Student Programs and Admissions; Student Government-requested recycling bins; University Advancement operations enhancements; and compensation packages for faculty, staff and student workers.

The budget was developed by the University Budget Review Committee during the spring 1999 semester. The Budget Review Committee is comprised of 27 individuals who represent all major interest groups on campus. The fiscal 2000 operating budget was built upon fiscal 2000 state funding for Southeast, a $3 per credit hour increase in undergraduate incidental fees and the associated graduate incidental fee increase approved by the Board in March, divisional budget programmatic requests, faculty and staff compensation committee reports, and the fall 1999 enrollment projection, said Dr. Ken Dobbins, who will become president of the University on July 1.

The budget includes estimated income of $46.5 million in state appropriations, less three percent withholding for the Governor’s executive reserve. Income from state appropriations accounts for 65.4 percent of the University’s total operating budget.

In addition, the University’s fiscal 2000 budget includes estimated income of $22.5 million in student fees and $2 million from other income sources. Income from student fees accounts for 31.7 percent, and income from other sources for 2.8 percent of the University’s total operating budget, Dobbins said.

The operating budget includes merit-based salary increases for all faculty and employee groups, he said. Under the approved budget, salary increases for faculty, administrative-professional staff and members of bargaining units will be drawn from a two percent pool, and increases for clerical-technical-service employees will be drawn from a four percent pool. No automatic increases will be given, Dobbins said, adding that all raises are based on performance appraisals.

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