Board introduces incubator plans

Institutional

Western’s Board of Governors inducted new member, Leslie Graves, in their meeting last Thursday and discussed several other issues, which included possible reissuing of bonds,
downtown revitalization and the $2.5 million grant from he EDA for the Business/Science Incubator.

BraginRon Olinger, vice president for financial planning and administration, and Jeff Baker presented the incubator plans and design to the board. Western has formed a steering committee, which includes several administrators and faculty to move the incubator from paper to a physical structure.

The two presented the preliminary design on two large foam boards. So far, Western has the grant and just needs the go ahead to bid on the project.

In comparison to University of Missouri, Western got a larger grant for their incubator. MU only received $2 million for theirs.

The incubator would sit on West Campus and would be parallel to the road that goes from Mitchell Avenue to West Campus. The building itself would be roughly 25,000 square feet and construction is estimated to take nine to 10 months.

Chair Janet Leachman and the rest of the board were pleased with the presentation and were eager to see the incubator come to life.

applied learningKelly Henry made a presentation for Applied Learning. She spoke about how over 80 percent of Western graduates complete a significant amount of applied learning experiences. She went on to describe what applied learning experiences are: internships/ practicum, study away, service learning and faculty/ student research.

Applied Learning is a large part of Western’s Strategic Plan. Henry and crew were gearing up for a second year of the Applied Learning Conference, which took place on Friday and

Saturday. Missouri Western wants to be a national leader in applied learning and how the institution helps prepare students for the real world with real world experiences while still in school.

The board also discussed the downtown revitalization and how it would be a strong tie with Applied Learning. They also spoke about how Western having a presence downtown will help with graduate students.

One issue Western didn’t have reason to celebrate was that students seem to be taking fewer credit hours, which means they are paying less fees. Less fees means a decline in the
budget, about one percentage point, Olinger said. However, it was agreed that in a bad market, students tend to take less credit hours and in a good market they take more.

Lastly, the board was thrilled that the Women’s basketball team won the MIAA conference. The board will meet again on March 22, 2007.

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