While students are enjoying their summer vacation Missouri Western will be saying goodbye to Carol Roever, interim dean for the Steven L. Craig School of Business; however, not until she serves as this spring’s commencement speaker.
According to Robert Vartabedian, Missouri Western’s president, the cabinet decided it would be a good idea to open the commencement speaking role to students and to faculty members, rotating with May being a faculty member and December commencement a student speaker.
“For this May’s commencement the committee came up with three very good names and given all that she had done, Carol Roever will be this May’s commencement speaker,” Vartabedian said.
According to Cynthia Heider, associate provost and associate vice president for academic affairs, administration tries to find speakers who have a significant link to Missouri Western and the students.
“What you’re going to see is an exceptional commencement address by Carol Roever who has significant academic history with Missouri Western,” Heider said. “She will be talking to students about the pride they should feel about their accomplishments, the opportunities in front of them and the pride all of us at Missouri Western feel.”
Roever, who will retire June 30, began her career at Missouri Western in 1986. She had planned to retire for several years, but instead she vowed to stay on board as the interim dean of the Craig School of Business to see through the accreditation process.
“She is really an extraordinary woman,” Vartabedian said. “We’ve been able to talk her out of retiring several times and she has said to us repeatedly she wouldn’t feel right retiring until she saw this AACSB accreditation through and that’s exactly what she did.”
According to Vartabedian, Roever had wonderful faculty members assisting her who had very good credentials to make it a reality but it really was Roever who provided the leadership.
“She is a wonderful, dedicated, organized role model in higher education,” Vartabedian said. “We are very sorry to see her leave but she certainly has deserved it and she did what she said she was going to do.”
Heider agrees that it was Roever’s leadership that allowed Western to receive AACSB accreditation.
“Her role of the last three years to make sure we were on track set the tone of the report and the interactions with the teams that came to Western, Carol is a masterful at doing all that,” Heider said. “I think you are seeing the results of that; initial accreditation on the first try.”
“Carol is so gracious,” Jeanne Daffron, provost and vice president for academic affairs said. “She would say the team did it [accreditation] and that is accurate; however, the team worked through Carol’s leadership.”
According to Daffron, throughout Roever’s career she has been awarded very prestigious awards. Roever is the recipient of the Jesse Lee Myers Excellence in Teaching Award in 1993 and 1999, Distinguished Professor Award in 2005, Meada Gibbs Outstanding Teaching Award from the Association of Business Communications in 2007 and she was selected for the 2008 YWCA Women of Excellence Award for Women in the Workplace.
Roever is not only a role model for Western but also for the St. Joseph community. She is actively involved with the YWCA and Heartland Health where she serves on the board that demands many hours a week of her personal time.
“Many people don’t know how much she does for the community. She is an absolutely wonderful board member on very important boards,” Vartabedian said. “Outside of academia I don’t think that most people know that she has a double life. She does a lot for the university but she also does a lot for the community.”
Vartabedian believes that Roever’s involvement and respect within the community helped with the AACSB accreditation process. According to Vartabedian, the accreditation team made note of the high level of involvement from the community, which is directly related to Roever’s leadership and level of respect.
“When she came in [my office] to tell me the school had received accreditation she couldn’t even speak, it had been such a long journey for her,” Vartabedian said. “She couldn’t get the words out; I knew it must be good. With the school’s accreditation it lifts the entire University.”
According to Heider, although Roever is retiring from Missouri Western, she is not retiring from her volunteer work in the community.
“She will still be a wonderful community resource,” Heider said.