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Month: September, 2015

A Chat with Jeff Murphy part II

This week I had the opportunity to talk to Mr. Jeff Murphy again. During this weeks decision making for me I decided to go back and touch base with Murphy because I think he is a very reliable source that I can always count to get valid and important information. This time around I wanted to ask him some questions that I thought of after our first meeting and also get a new packet of new legislation approved by the Board this past month.

When asked about how he prepares for Board Meetings and his role in them Murphy mentioned that he works with the presidents office and Mrs. Monica Huffman to go over “Board Material” so Murphy proof reads it and it informs him of whats going on and what are some of the items in agenda a couple weeks before the monthly meeting of the board members. Also Murphy collaborates with Huffman to post the agendas in certain places over campus and shares them with the media. Besides helping out, he also notifies and organizes news for the media for important issues that are coming up. So he formulates in is mind what to do if the Board accepts or does something about the issue so in case that happens he is organized and has everything prepared for a news release. Murphy said that the media is a vital part of everything they do so he tries to be the “best possible resource they can have” and someone that they can count on for accurate information. Murphy tries to develop a good relationship with the media so they can work with Board Members when an issue needs to be addressed. “Its a constant process that I enjoy” said Murphy.  Developing a relationship sounds way easier than how difficult it is because of how much the media does and the amount of information they require daily. Communication with the Board members vary from time to time and depend on whats the necessity at that time.


A Chat with Monica Huffman

This week I finally had the opportunity to meet and talk with Monica Huffman. Mrs. Huffman spent four years in the army reserve system and retired in 2007. Then went on to work with the Reserve Officer Training Corps here on campus. Huffman monitored the ROTC students academic progress throughout the year. After that she started working as an executive assistant to the president of our school Chuck Ambrose and also as an assistant board secretary.

Huffman has a very busy daily schedule as she takes part in a dual role. During her role as assistant board secretary she works with senior administrators to develop the agenda for the board meetings, she also coordinates the “logistics” of the meeting and organize their meeting packets not just that she organizes and makes sure all the documents are in order before every months meetings between the members of the UCM Board of Governors and serves as the Universities custodian of records. Huffman serves as a medium of communication for Dr. Ambrose. She described this as one of her most important roles because a lot of people, organizations or companies need or want to get in contact with Ambrose but since he is a “very busy man” she can help him and communicate with him in an easier face to face way to set up appointments,meetings etc. Also from the other side when Ambrose needs something she helps reach out to other people. When asked  about the daily challenges she faces she mentioned how busy she is constantly and used the phrase “there is not enough hours in a day to fulfill all of my duties” to describe her long days at the job. On the other side when asked about some of the proudest or happy moments while fulfilling her role Huffman mentioned that she has worked with three presidents since she started working here at the University of Central Missouri and she enjoys the challenges and ideas each new president brings. Huffman acknowledge all the things Dr. Ambrose has done for the positive growth of this school and how much she enjoys working with and for him. Being part of the Universities success makes her extremely proud and keeps her motivated and makes it easy to come in to work everyday.

Overall I think UCM is fortunate to have people like Mrs. Huffman working here on campus because they are positive people that give it all for this school. Also I was extremely impressed with the fact that she has worked here for 16 years and with three different presidents. This because of how busy her days are and how much she does for this school. It was my honor to get to interview such an interesting person like Monica Huffman and that keeps me excited to be part of the UCM student body.

UCM the Place to be!

This week I got the opportunity to get in contact and sit down with provost-chief learning officer Deborah Curtis. Dr. Curtis is a very smart lady  that I greatly enjoyed talking too. Her position is entitled provost chief officer, it is a very unique title, this because most places have the same position but with the name of Provost vice president of academic affairs. President Ambrose modified that name to what it is now because he “consoladated” areas that on other campus’s would be separated, together into one big area. This because he rather have one big group of people that work with all the public and student affairs and meet daily. So most areas that in other schools would have their own areas and own provosts, such as student affairs all fall within the same provost here at the University of Central Missouri. The goal is “to eliminate the obvious silos” and the ones that are left or still in place will keep getying better. By putting all these provost and areas under one big one it forces more interaction within these areas to fix problems ahd keep student programs going in the right direction.

Dr. Curtis described as a team environment due to the amount of communication involved daily in her role. Also mentioned that one of the most important things mentioned at the beginning or at some key point in every meeting is asking ” How does this impact the students”, this because students “are and will always be the number one priority for us”. When asked about a daily challenge faced or challenges that she faces often Dr. Curtis said that she would say that there are challenges daily but that major challenges show up at the end of every year because of new hirings, retirement or the adding of positions. This is so important and big key of their succes as a group because communication and getting to know this new person quick is a priority because of all the communication involved in this job. Curtis mentioned also the proudest moments for her in the past couple of years which included her being extremely proud of the growth of International Students population here on campus. Also connected to that the amount of native students that have gone to study abroad and most importantly during times were it’s been tough to grow in enrollment number the University of Central Missouri has continued the growth of enrollment yearly and “will continue to grow”.

Drawing a conclusion the University of Central Missouri is doing great things to help our student body and that makes me proud to be a student here at UCM knowing that the higher people on campus are concerned about students and are working hard to make things better daily.

UCM New Legislations

This week I was fortunate enough to be handed out some very important paperwork of some new legislation’s that were accepted by the UCM board of governors last month.  So during this blog post I will be letting you guys know what these legislation’s are and the objective of each, thanks to the help of Dr. Jeff Murphy.

The first legislation had as a subject the Graduate Certificate in Cyber security. The objective of this legislation is to obtain a graduate certificate that shows that students are certified in cyber security. It was proposed as an opportunity for our students here at UCM to be provided with the right training and education in cyber security due to the big issues of hackers around the states. The second legislation had as its subject a Graduate Certificate in Simulation Education. This subject got brought up because of the need of increase in areas of training, educating and preparing healthcare professionals. So because of this legislation being passed students in the health and science/nursing programs will receive a certificate for completing the simulation of education. The third legislation passed a month ago was the approval of a new master science in the nutrition program. This program will be housed in the department of Nutrition and Kinesiology within the college of health. This legislation was a direct result of  the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics that by 2024 will require registered dietitians to hold at least a Master’s degree. This program will also prepare our students to apply nutrition knowledge and skills when analyzing human performance at a high level. The fourth legislation passed has a Commercial Card service as its main subject. The objective of this legislation is to approve award of contract to Bank of America so that they can provide commercial card services for the initial three year period of Oct. 1st 2015 through Sept. 30th 2018 and three two year renewal options through Sept. 2024. This Commercial Card program is aimed to reduce administrative costs of processing small dollar purchases and provide a more convenient and efficient procurement method. The fifth and last legislation is the Oracle support and Maintenance Contract which was a multi year agreement. To be exact  it was a five year agreement for support and maintenance on existing Oracle products on campus.

Next week I will be trying to meet with Mrs. Monica Huffman to let you guys about her role and challenged she faces like I promised last week.