During its regular meeting January 27,  Northwest Missouri State University’s Board of Regents approved eight curriculum proposals and authorized the university to apply for a Missouri Department of Natural Resources grant that could partly fund the relocation of an outdoor classroom.

The Regents passed the resolution authorizing the university to apply for a grant administered by the Missouri DNR that, if successful, will pay for 50 percent of $250,000, the total cost of a new outdoor classroom for the Horace Mann Laboratory School.

Provost Dr. Timothy Mottet said School of Education Dean Dr. Tim Wall and Horace Mann Principal Sandy Seipel have asked the Nature Explore company to design a new outdoor classroom to replace the current equipment, which will be replaced with tennis courts as a result of the Northwest Multipurpose Complex construction on the west side of campus.

Northwest received the grant in 2014 to partially pay for another outdoor classroom for its Phyllis and Richard Leet Center for Children and Families.

The outdoor classroom will allow for play and exploration and feature a track, stage, climbing structure and areas for reading, gathering, art creation, music and group play. The proposed park also would support multi-generational interaction and spaces for reflection and nature-viewing.

Among the curriculum proposals, the school of education will add a special topics course to provide students with educational experiences and faculty the flexibility to develop these experiences.

Additionally, two courses are being added to the emergency and disaster management program, titled Planning, Mitigation and Preparedness and Professional Development in Emergency and Disaster.

In other business, the Regents approved 30 faculty appointments, faculty senate constitution revisions and passed a resolution stating the university’s intent to reimburse itself for capital expenditures related to the Northwest Multipurpose Complex by using the proceeds of tax exempt bonds.

During the president’s report, Dr. John Jasinski spoke of reductions in funding to personnel, travel and hospitality due to the recent cut in state appropriations.

Then the Regents held a closed session for the topics of litigation, personnel and real estate dealings.