Northwest Missouri State University’s Board of Regents during its regular meeting October 28 approved a contract with an online vendor to provide support and services to increase online enrollments.

The Regents also approved revisions to two policies related to anti-discrimination and free expression and a charter to establish a new staff council.

The Regents authorized the university to enter into a seven-year contract with Academic Partnerships to develop and deliver a suite of online programs to students. Through the partnership, Northwest will receive assistance with instructional design, marketing, recruiting and retaining students, and offering a portfolio of credentialed faculty to help teach courses as the volume of students increase.

Northwest Provost Dr. Timothy Mottet told the Regents the partnership will help Northwest compete at a national level to recruit and retain students for its online graduate programs especially within the business and education departments.

In other business, the Regents adopted two policies, related to Northwest’s non-discrimination and anti-harassment policy and procedures and the university’s campus free expression and visitor demonstration policies. Both polices already were in place at Northwest, but the Regent’s adoption of them ensures more consistent approaches in alignment with changing state and federal guidelines.

Mottet presented five new curriculum revisions involving the mathematics, biology and business areas of studies. He also announced Catherine Ball as a teacher appointment at the Horace Mann/Leet Center. Regents approved both presentation.

The Regents approved a new charter merging the university’s administrative/professional and support staff councils to form one staff council representing all employees classified as staff members.

Vice President of Finance Stacy Carrick updated the Regents on the Hudson Residential Hall restroom project, involving 20 restrooms, and a similar project in Perrin Residential Hall. The Hudson project was completed this summer while the Perrin will be done next summer. The total cost is estimated to be $2.746 million. Regents approved the change order with The Wilson Group in the amount of $1.370 million.

To begin the meeting, Regents Chair Dr. Pat Harr presented Northwest President Dr. John Jasinski with an institutional award Northwest received earlier this month from Minority Access Inc. in recognition of its commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion and increasing the pool of scholars from underrepresented populations.

“It’s about the team as we think about our journey across the decades in terms of diversity, equity and inclusion, especially with regard to our work over the last 18 months as we’ve ramped up our strategy and gathered feedback,” Jasinski said. “It’s easy for the president to accept an award from the Board chair, but what goes into achieving this award and then sustaining it is very critical.”

Additionally, Jasinski recognized University Police Chief Clarence Green, who was honored as a Minority Access National Role Model, and University Police Officer Anthony Williams, who recently was named among the recipients of the International Association of Chiefs of Police’s (IACP) first 40 Under 40 Award.

University attorney Hayley Hanson reported to the Regents bylaw changes which speaks to allowing the president of the university to employ and adjust salaries of the leadership team, authorizes the board secretary to change the Regent’s meeting dates without Regents approval and delegate the authority to the president, provost and vice president of finance for the multi-year grants for more than $500,000.