Drury & Cox College to launch dual degree nursing program in Fall 2016

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., April 26, 2016 — College students seeking a career in nursing will have a new degree option in the fall, thanks to a partnership between Drury University and Cox College of Nursing & Health Science.

The two schools have seamlessly blended academic offerings to create a unique dual degree program that allows traditional undergraduates to earn a Bachelor of Arts in Biology from Drury’s highly respected science faculty, and a Bachelor of Science in nursing from Cox College – all in the span of a four-year college career.

Drury will host a Nursing Day event for prospective students from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., Friday April 29 at Trustee Science Center on the Drury campus. The day will include speakers, tours of facilities on both campuses, and lunch. Registration is required and can be done online at Drury.edu/admission/nursing-day/.

Students receiving this dual degree will have the benefit of excellent professional education coupled with a liberal arts foundation. The BA in Biology provides a strong foundation in the natural sciences and improved analytical and critical thinking skills. Completion of a liberal arts degree will provide nursing students with strong writing and speaking skills as well as an enhanced understanding and appreciation of diverse individuals and cultures. The BSN degree provides a broad foundation in technical nursing skills. This blend of natural sciences and liberal arts makes the program an excellent option for students who may want to pursue advanced practice degrees or move into administrative and leadership roles in the future.

Other benefits of the program include:

  • Students have access to a traditional college experience, including campus activities, athletics, Greek life and more
  • Advising and mentorship from both Drury and Cox College faculty
  • Access to Drury financial aid and scholarships throughout college career
  • Opportunities for hands-on work with under-served populations in the area through the Drury Health Service Corps
  • Seamless integration – all scheduling and business transactions are handled by Drury

“We’re very pleased to be able to partner with Cox College to combine the strengths of our two institutions for this program,” says Beth Harville, Dean of Drury’s College of Natural & Mathematical Sciences. “It’s a natural fit, and it fills a need by going beyond technical skills and ensuring that graduates understand the human and cultural side of healthcare.”

Officials at healthcare organizations in the Ozarks and across the country have pointed out the incredible need for more highly qualified nurses as the field continues to grow. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics says more than 1 million new nurses will be needed nationwide by 2022.

“As the need for medical professionals continues to rise, this dual-degree collaboration presents both a great opportunity and a valuable resource,” says Steve Edwards, CoxHealth’s president and CEO, who is also an alumnus and trustee at Drury University. “We want to make sure the people of this community are cared for. This venture does that by ensuring that there are high-quality medical professionals locally, and by providing a new way for our friends and neighbors to develop professionally.”

The program begins in fall 2016. For more information go to Drury.edu/pre-health/nursing-program, or contact Dr. Mark Wood, director of pre-health sciences, at mwood@drury.edu.

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Media contact: Dr. Beth Harville, Dean of the College of Natural & Mathematical Sciences: (417) 873-4085 or bharville@drury.edu.

Drury University’s “Take Back the Night” event to be held April 26

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., April 25, 2016 — Drury University will cap off Sexual Assault Awareness Month with “Take Back the Night” at 7:30 p.m., Tuesday, April 26. The event begins at the circle drive at the end of Drury Lane, outside Findlay Student Center. Drury students and community members will march to demonstrate Drury’s commitment to preventing sexual assault and to protest all forms of sexual, relationship, and domestic violence.

Take Back the Night events began as candlelight vigils in the early 1970s. They were women-only events meant to symbolize the experience of a woman’s individual walk through darkness and to demonstrate how women could unite to resist violence and fear. Today, these events typically involve men and women from across campus communities. Drury’s Take Back the Night is sponsored by student-led organizations V-Warriors and Greek Life.

“Take Back the Night is important because it sends a message that students will not be silent about sexual assault on Drury’s campus and on campuses across the nation,” said Rachel Ryan, president of the V-Warriors. “The march gives survivors of sexual assault a voice to stand up and say that this violence will not be tolerated, and it gives people who may not be as aware of the issue on our campus a way to educate themselves.”

To conclude the evening, luminaries will be lit in memory of sexual assault victims and survivors. Dr. Erin Kenny, associate professor and director of Drury’s minor in Women & Gender Studies, will discuss some of the history and controversies surrounding Take Back the Night events worldwide. Greek Life is also sponsoring a concert with performances from Blue False Indigo, Sam Hinson & Raeanna Duncan, and Lauren Goskie.

This event is free, but donations will be collected and raffles will be held to benefit the Victim Center in Springfield.

Drury University uses a number of avenues to raise awareness about the issue of sexual assault among the campus community. They including the Panthers for Prevention group, the Green Dot program, a required online training course called Haven, discussions during freshman orientation, and other initiatives led by both students and faculty/staff.

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Getting to Know Drury’s 18th President: Part 2 – Formative Years

In an effort to better get to know Dr. J. Timothy Cloyd, we are publishing a Q&A series about his selection and the man himself. The first installment featured a conversation with search committee members about the selection and vetting process. Now, we turn to Dr. Cloyd to ask him about his childhood and his early career in academics. Future conversations with the incoming president are forthcoming in this series.

Where did you grow up?

dr-cloydCloyd: I grew up in a lot of places. My parents were United Methodist missionaries and teachers in the Belgian Congo (now the Democratic Republic of Congo), in a region called the Katanga. My family was evacuated from the Congo during the Katanga war for secession. We then moved to the Navajo Indian Reservation where my parents ran a boarding school called the United Methodist Mission School and an outpost on the reservation in the De-Na-Zin or in English Bisti. The school was between the towns of Farmington and Shiprock in New Mexico. There were 600 Navajo students who lived on-campus. They came mostly from the remote parts of the Navajo Reservation. I remember we used to get our clothes out of mission barrels and once a week we would haul water and supplies out into the De-Na-Zin.

The cultural shift from sub-Saharan Africa to the Navajo culture and landscape was dramatic. The older boys used to carry me around on their shoulders. I remember all of those guys. I learned a great deal about cultural differences and Navajo culture and language, the way of the Dine they called it, from those older students. I remember once I was pointing at something with my finger and one of my beloved “older brothers” (I called him “Big Daddy”) said to me, “Tim we don’t point with our finger, point with your chin.” From then on I pointed with my chin. I learned hundreds of other things from them about being quiet and listening – about how the human spirit is connected to the spiritual world – about Skinwalkers – about stopping and reading the cultural and human terrain – about nature and about honor and courage from the way that they lived their lives. Many of those boys who carried me on their shoulders volunteered for military service during Vietnam – they weren’t drafted – it was just part of their culture to volunteer just like the Navajo Code Talkers during World War II. A lot of them, too many of them, never came home.

When I was about 14 or so we moved back to my family’s ancestral home in middle Tennessee. I went to high school there and arrived just in time for the busing in the 1970s. It was so strange coming from the reservation and that school, where I was from a majority culture, but living as a minority, into an environment exploding with racial tension and an undercurrent of racism. So I grew up in a lot of places and learned from real experiences the reality and value of diversity in our country and the world.

What experiences in your early life would you point to as having the most profound influence on you? Any heroes?

That is hard to narrow down. First, was my memory of my father telling me the news that one of the Navajo boys I looked up to and loved was killed in Vietnam. It was hard. What was even more difficult for me was following the Navajo tradition of not ever speaking of the dead. So when an Arthur, a Begay, or a Manygoats (I am using last names) died I could no longer talk about them with other Navajos. That is just how it was.

Second, was seeing how my parents embraced Navajo culture and traditions. Both my parents and my sister are United Methodist ministers, but when my father took over the Mission School he started encouraging the Navajos to integrate their own practices and traditional religion into Christian services. Before then, the Navajos weren’t even allowed to speak Navajo at the school much less to live out their own faith tradition. I remember funerals that blended faith traditions – so there would be a casket, but it would be filled with all sorts of things that the person would need in the next life. My father would also take me to Navajo healing services where we would sit in a Hogan (a traditional Navajo home) for long periods of time in silence where medicine men would do sand paintings and sing to heal a person. One of my parent’s closest friends was a Creek medicine man named Harry Long. Every time we moved to a new house Harry would come and burn sweet grass, wave over it with an eagle feather, and sing in every room to cleanse the house. My younger sister was struck with a debilitating illness when she was around 13 and I remember my father calling Harry Long and some Navajo medicine men to come and sing over her. This shaped my perspective of my Christian faith as open and accepting – connecting with others through their own faith.

Third, was the fact that I grew up in a home that was open to everyone. My parents taught us hospitality and generosity. They were always bringing people home who needed a place to stay. Many mornings I would get up to have breakfast and there would be two or three people at the table who I had never met or seen before. Once, some Creek friends of Harry’s were travelling across the country and they stopped to camp out in our back yard – they stayed for six weeks. As far as heroes are concerned there are of course my parents, Harry Long, a Navajo elder named Fred Yazzie, a minister from the Congo from the Kasai tribe named Leon Mwambai, and many of my teachers and United Methodist minister mentors.

At what point did you realize that you wanted to pursue the career path you selected?

Well, first of all, I do not often use the language of “career” in referring to my vocation. I prefer to use the old notion of a calling. My father has a Ph.D. in cross-cultural – what we would call today multi-cultural – education. I witnessed him raising funds for the mission school. So that influenced me.

But when I was in high school I played football, soccer, baseball and wrestled. You could not do that today because a single sport is now a year-round activity. I thought I was going to go to college to play football on a scholarship. Then when I was a junior I suffered a terrible knee injury followed by an infection. I was not a very good student at the time and had placed such energy and hope into my football aspirations that I thought life was over.

This injury turned out to be a blessing that changed my life. I had to miss a semester of high school and was assigned a homeschool teacher. She was hard on me, but inspired me to begin reading the classics and philosophy. I was immediately transformed and decided to pursue a vocation as an academic – reading, studying, writing about, and teaching what I loved. As far as “presidenting” is concerned, well you don’t major in that, but I knew that God had blessed me with a passion for the transformational impact of education, talents to work with others in developing a shared vision, executing that vision by getting others excited about it and to buy into the dream through actions, and a gift for communication. When the opportunity arose for me to become president of Hendrix College, I was drafted. I enjoy the work of leadership, but still love my academic discipline.

Were you more competitive or more collaborative growing up? What about now?

I have always been intensely competitive and I still have that zest in me. It is what makes me push myself to achieve excellence and it is what drives me to achieve the best for any organization for which I work. Wisdom and change, however, come to us with age and with learning. So over the years, particularly in the context of leadership, I have learned that collaboration is the most effective method to achieve buy-in and to achieve sustainable change and momentum. This is particularly true in the context of higher education where our values and practice of shared governance means that all key stakeholders are at the table – all voices are heard.  It means that we all work together and support each other and our shared vision and objectives. Too many times I have witnessed situations where individual board members are doing one thing with pet projects, individual deans and faculty members are doing another thing, and the administration is doing something else. This produces chaos where what is needed is coherent collaboration.

The value of collaboration lies in the fact that no one person has all of the answers, ideas, or skills to accomplish significant goals, to develop a vision, or to realize a transformational vision. There was a time in our society when we believed that all the priorities, direction, even the specific objectives for an organization came out of the office of the CEO or the president. This view alleviated everyone else in the organization from taking ownership and making things happen all the way up and down the institution. If things did not work out it was the president’s fault, but with collaboration if things are not working the community bears responsibility, too. In a collaborative process with community input, the leader is responsible for setting the tone and the direction and holding people accountable for their roles and commitments. It is more like what Eisenhower did when developing the plan for the European operations in WW II. He just continuously said: “Direction Berlin!”

What experiences had the greatest impact on you as an undergraduate? How does that inform the way you have tried to lead undergraduate institutions?

I remember sitting in my first philosophy class and reading Socrates. In his dialogues a question is raised (and I am paraphrasing): “Is what is good, good because the gods say it is good, or do the gods point to what is good because it is good?” This challenged my view of the source of the good and of God. I went on to read many other thinkers who shocked and challenged my views, such as Hume, Wollstonecraft, Nietzsche, W.E.B. Dubois, Foucault, Cornell West, and others. I struggled with the questions raised and was forced to examine my assumptions. So the experience that had the greatest impact on me was to be challenged to think critically and analytically. “To learn how to learn” – that is part of the essence of the liberal arts. So I think that quality education is liberal arts and science – interdisciplinary and cross-disciplinary. It is an education that teaches students how to solve puzzles, to make connections between disciplines, to see difference, and to realize that perhaps more than one interpretation of the truth may be possible. I was challenged to ask questions about the historical context in which something was discovered or argued, to try and understand the meaning and significance of topics in courses from the humanities, sciences, and social sciences. In an ideal community it is also a place where people, no matter their background or ideas, can be called into accountability for the arguments they make or positions they take without fear.

This informed my leadership of undergraduate institutions because I believe my role is one of service that provides the context and the resources for faculty and the community to challenge students in this way and to make connections both inside and outside of the classroom. This is also why I have concerns about liberal arts colleges or liberal arts universities that try sometimes to mimic large research universities. Those institutions are fragmented. Knowledge is in siloes. Our complex and changing world requires interconnectivity. It also requires an environment that challenges students’ basic assumptions and avoids becoming an echo chamber.

Why did you choose to study political science as you earned advanced degrees?

I assign a book in my Introduction to Politics courses. It is called “Attacking Faulty Reasoning.” The book takes students through each fallacy in reasoning and sharpens the mind. I read that book as an undergraduate and it helped me a great deal. My undergraduate degree as a double major in philosophy and political science prepared me well for graduate school. Within political science, I focused on international relations and political theory. I also studied management and business at the Isenberg School of Management at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst. I chose political science because it allowed me to study normative questions such as what gives legitimacy to the way in which we organize ourselves into communities. It also trained me in qualitative and quantitative methodologies to test assumptions. So I guess it was the intersection of something like the humanities and the social sciences that drew me to the field.

How did your experiences traveling and studying abroad shape you then – and now?

A famous author once said that he intended his writing to “de-familiarize the familiar.” I have travelled, worked, and studied abroad quite a bit and in a variety of roles. I think I have lived a total, off and on, for four years in Eastern and Western Europe. I have also worked in volunteer projects and been on study tours to Central and South America and the Middle East. For example, I have worked on Habitat for Humanity and UMCOR projects. No matter where I have been, it has changed me in that it has refreshed my mind and put my little corner of the world and my big issues into perspective. I have had these experiences abroad in different seasons of my life and have found they have affected my thinking in different ways at different times. My wife lived in New Zealand for 10 years. I lived for a few years in Belgium. While there I studied and worked and learned not only French, but became fluent in Flemish/Dutch. I became totally immersed in the culture. In fact, so much so that most people did not realize I was from the United States. Usually, expats hang out with each other while abroad, but it is the immersion that I think is key to really getting outside of yourself and your particularistic identity. I have been to various parts of Africa many times. We started several exchange and study abroad programs while I was at Hendrix. The one of which I am most proud was the Rwandan Presidential Scholars program. We were able to bring 185 Rwandan students here to study math and science at liberal arts colleges and we sent scores of students there to study and to do internships. These experiences have shaped me and made me a strong advocate for these kinds of experiences for all students.

How do you think those early experiences shaped your views on higher education?

Those experiences definitely had an impact on how I view higher education today. I believe that the institutions that will thrive and gain recognition in this competitive environment will be those that have a coherent, compelling, differentiating vision and narrative. This will have to be something that is produced through collaboration with all stakeholders, and through empirical research we will have to know that the key differentiator will be compelling in our markets and with donors. What differentiates us must be universal and defining of the experience that students have at the institution.

How did all of this end up shaping your overall world view?

These experiences taught me that there are many roads to spirituality and ways to have a faith journey. Harry Long used to say to me that a teepee is held up by many poles, but all of them point toward heaven. My own Christian faith defines who I am. The life of Christian prayer, discipleship, and embracing the gifts of the Holy Spirit is what Wendy and I try to live each day. But these defining childhood experiences taught me that there are perhaps other paths to living out an authentic and meaningful faith journey. What we as Christians, and citizens of this country or of any campus community, should remember and embrace is that we must have the humility to know that we do not have all the answers.

We are all fallible and fallen. When we claim to have or know the whole truth out of our particularistic identity, or claim that because of our particular identity we hold a virtue that others do not, this leads quickly to the silencing of voices different than our own. If we do this we learn nothing and dialogue stops. This is happening on many campuses and the result has been a disintegration of civility, a rejection of the free exchange of ideas and a labeling of one another. I believe John Stuart Mill was right in defending openness as the expression and discussion of all ideas, ideals, and opinions if they are not part of hate speech or incite physical violence toward others.

Read Part 3 of the Q&A series: Teaching, Scholarship & Leadership

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Motivational speaker Mark Grantham to discuss disability inclusion April 28

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., April 20, 2016 — The President’s Council on Inclusion hosts motivational speaker Mark Grantham at 11 a.m., Thursday, April 28, in Drury’s Diversity Center at the corner of Bob Barker Boulevard and Washington Avenue. In 2006, at age 24, Grantham was in a debilitating accident and became a quadriplegic. He discovered that his ability to move forward and the life lessons he learned made him uniquely positioned to inspire others.

“I desire to push people beyond what they believe are their limits,” says Grantham.

Grantham_boating

The event is open to the public. Grantham is a graduate of Evangel University, is self-employed, and currently the vice president of the board of directors for the Southwest Center for Independent Living and serves on the Patient Advisory Council for the CoxHealth System.

His speech will encourage students with disabilities to find their voice to advocate, educate about their disability, and look to their future. Grantham will speak to everyone about the importance of inclusiveness and understanding.

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Media Contact: Ed Derr, Director of Counseling & Disability Services: (417) 873-7457 or ederr@drury.edu.

 

Arbor Day Celebration to be held at Drury University on Friday

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., April 20, 2016 — Drury University’s Landscape Advisory Committee consisting of faculty, staff, students and community volunteers invites the community to the 2016 Arbor Day celebration at 11 a.m., Friday, April 22, in the Findlay Student Center Ballroom.

Springfield Mayor Robert Stephens will give a proclamation, Drury students will read poetry including an original poem titled “The Treehouse Tree” created for the event, and an interactive tree map of the Drury University campus will be presented.

The Missouri Department of Conservation will also announce that Drury has earned recognition as a “Tree Campus USA” by the Arbor Day Foundation for the second year in a row. Drury Groundskeeper Joe Fearn will present the Good Steward Award to a member of the Drury community who through their actions and efforts helps fulfill the mission of Drury’s grounds.

Following the ceremony, guests are invited to gather for a short, guided campus tree walk, participate in a plant sale, and select free seedlings provided by the Missouri Department of Conservation. Refreshments will be provided.

Drury’s urban forest accounts for more than $1.2 million in capital assets. There are approximately 1,000 trees and 90 species on campus.

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Student-led newspaper, The Mirror, earns awards for publication

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., April 20, 2016 — Drury’s student-produced newspaper, The Mirror, earned 12 awards at the 2016 Missouri College Media Association (MCMA) Conference on April 9 at Southeast Missouri State University in Cape Girardeau. Current students and recent graduates competed for awards with student staff from college newspapers at Maryville University, Missouri Southern State University, Missouri Western State University, Northwest Missouri State University, Truman State University, and Webster University.

This year’s winners from Drury were as follows:

Lillian Stone, from Springfield, earned 1st in Website Design, 1st in In-Depth News Reporting, and honorable mention in Page One Design.

Cory Bledsoe, from Springfield, earned 1st in Website Design and 3rd in Information Graphic.

Hwani Lee, from Seoul, South Korea, earned 1st in Page One Design.

Alexis Dutt, from Abilene, Kansas, earned 1st in Page One Design.

Holly Summers, from Bentonville, Arkansas, earned an Honorable mention in Page One Design.

Nicholas Childress, from Monett, earned 2nd in video and honorable mentions in Sports Page and Feature Page.

Anne Marie Schudy, from Springfield, earned 1st in Information Graphic and 2nd in Story Illustration.

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Media Contact: Lillian Stone, Editor-in-Chief of The Mirror. Email: lstone003@drury.edu.

Week of public events celebrates the Arts, Humanities, & Social Sciences

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., April 18, 2016 — Drury University’s College of Humanities & Social Sciences will host a week’s worth of events, lectures, student presentations and performances during the inaugural CHSS Week, which begins today.

CHSS Week is a celebration highlighting the ways in which the study of areas such as fine and performing arts, social sciences and the humanities contribute to knowledge of the human experience and prepare students for successful careers and fulfilling lives. Students in these fields cultivate sharp critical thinking skills, the courage to take intellectual risks, open-mindedness, and creativity.

“During the last few years, the faculty and students in these areas have been working hard to tell the story of the arts, the humanities, and the social sciences in a time when some are shortsightedly questioning the value of these critical fields,” says Chris Panza, dean of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences. “All of these departments were brought under a single umbrella as a College last fall, and we began to plan an event around expressing the enduring value of our common work.”

All events are open to the public. A complete listing can be found online. Highlights include:

Monday, April 18, 8:30 a.m. to 3p.m. – International Culture Fair. Over 500 children from surrounding Springfield schools will attend. Findlay Student Center Ballroom.

Tuesday, April 19, 3 – 4:30 p.m. – The Making of “Van Halen Rising.” Dr. Greg Renoff will discuss how he turned his fandom and research into the book. Reed Auditorium, Trustee Science Center.

Wednesday, April 20, 5 p.m. – “Why Tolerate Religion?” Lecture by University of Chicago law professor Brian Leiter, a leading scholar in the areas of law and philosophy. Diversity Center.

Wednesday, April 20, 12 – 8 p.m.  English and Writing Symposium. Alumni and area professionals will hold a panel discussion, Shakespeare and Ethics performance, student readings, followed by reading by Cole Closser. Harwood Reading Room, Olin Library.

Thursday, April 21, 7:30 p.m. – Jazz concert. Clara Thompson Hall.

Friday, April 22, 7:30 p.m. – Drury Theatre Presents: “The Three Sisters,” 7:30 p.m., Wilhoit Theatre. (NOTE: Performances of “The Three Sisters” take place on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday.)

Saturday, 7:30 p.m. – Finale Concert by the Springfield-Drury Civic Orchestra. Evangel University Chapel Auditorium.

For more about the Humanities and Social Sciences at Drury, visit the CHSS page at Drury.edu or read the Human, All Too Human blog.

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Media Contact: Dr. Chris Panza, Dean, College of Humanities & Social Sciences: (417) 873-6873 or cpanza@drury.edu.

Breech Business Week helps prepare students for the professional world

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., April 13, 2016 — The Breech School of Business Administration at Drury University will dedicate next week to showcasing the strength of its student body and its ties with the business community in Springfield and beyond.

Breech Business Week, now in its third year, serves as another way of ensuring Breech students are “job ready” by connecting them with the professional world beyond campus. In addition to networking opportunities and workshops on topics such as negotiating job offers and polishing their online presence, students will interact with a number of business professionals. The guest lecturers include Esther George, president of the Kansas City Federal Reserve, and Matt Morrow, president of the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce.

Drury students will receive valuable insights and feedback from these professional connections, while business leaders learn what makes Drury graduates such highly valued colleagues in the workforce.

“A Drury business education has always been designed to take learning beyond the classroom,” says Dr. Robin Sronce, dean of the Breech School. “Breech Business Week embodies that idea. Seeing the interactions between students, alumni, professionals and guest lecturers has become a highlight of the academic year at Breech.”

Selected events from each day, which are open to the media, include:

Monday, April 18, 10 a.m. – Teleconference discussion with Esther George, President and CEO of Kansas City Federal Reserve

Tuesday, April 19, Noon – Polish your Online Image: Online presence review with the Career Planning and Development Office

Wednesday, April 20, 6 p.m. – Work/Life Balance: A discussion with Mary Jane Norris of Elliott, Robinson & Co.

Thursday, April 21, 12 p.m. – Discussion with Springfield Chamber of Commerce President Matt Morrow and Board Chair Debbie Shantz Hart. 1:30 p.m. – Negotiating Job Offers: Discussion with Karen Shannon, Human Resources & Business Consulting Director at Ollis/Akers/Arney.

Friday, April 24, 12 p.m. – The Breech Award Luncheon honoring the top students in Drury’s business school will be held at the O’Reilly Family Event Center. Note to editors: This is an excellent opportunity to interview seniors who are about to enter the workforce, including those who already have jobs lined up and those who are currently seeking jobs.

A full schedule of the week’s events can be found online. Breech Business Week is presented by the Breech Advisory Board, and made possible by corporate partner CoxHealth and corporate sponsors Commerce Bank and OakStar Bank.

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Media Contact: Dr. Robin Sronce, Dean, Breech School of Business: (417) 873-7438 or rsronce@drury.edu.

Getting to Know Drury’s 18th President: Part 1 – The Selection Process

Part One: The View from the Search Committee

In an effort to better get to know Dr. J. Timothy Cloyd following a confidential search process, we asked several members of the search committee to discuss how and why they chose the school’s next leader. We will hear directly from Dr. Cloyd himself in future installments.

How did Dr. Cloyd come to the search team’s attention?

Lyle Reed, Chair, Board of Trustess: I was speaking with my good friend Dr. Robert Wyatt, President of Coker College and former director of Drury’s Breech School of Business Administration and asked him if he could think of any candidates he would recommend. He highly recommended Dr. Tim Cloyd, who had been president of Hendrix College when Robert was an ACE Fellow (mentoring and training individuals to be higher education senior leaders) assigned to Hendrix.  He indicated Tim had returned to the classroom, but might now be interested in returning to leadership and would check with him.  He then told me Dr. Cloyd was interested and gave me his contact information. We set up a meeting in Conway and he subsequently applied to be a candidate for the presidency.

What was your first impression of Dr. Cloyd?

Reed: I think many of us were looking for a charismatic individual, with a broadcaster’s voice, right out of Central Casting, who would quiet a room as soon as he walked in. That is not Dr. Cloyd. He is soft spoken, and doesn’t desire to take over a room.

Second impression?

Reed: His thoughtful and strategic mind quickly becomes captivating on any subject, especially higher education as it relates to yesterday, today and tomorrow.  His extensive background and experience provides plenty of substance for those discussions.

So, why did you choose him?

Bill Hart, Board of Trustees: Our search committee, with survey input from faculty, staff and alumni, compiled a list of specific criteria our new president must have. Dr. Cloyd easily met all the criteria. Additionally, and to me most importantly, Dr. Cloyd did for Hendrix what we’re hoping to do here at Drury. I believe he will assimilate all the strengths and wonderful attributes of Drury in a new vision of the University, which will be compelling and attractive to today’s students.

What excites you most about him?

Penny Clayton, faculty member: Dr. Cloyd is clearly a visionary leader and impressive intellectual. He has become quickly familiar with Drury’s background and is looking forward to providing fresh solutions to ongoing struggles. He has already developed a strong desire to get to know the Drury community and during interviews, spoke of the importance of exercising emotional intelligence.

Hart: Dr. Cloyd has such an incredible breadth and depth to his background, education and life experiences. I believe he demonstrates a quiet, but successful, analytical approach to problems and issues which will appeal to everyone at Drury: students, faculty, alumni and the Board.

How extensive was the vetting process?

Reed: It was as extensive as possible without hiring a gumshoe to shadow him and interrogate his acquaintances back to childhood. It included multiple face-to-face interviews with committee members, numerous telephone conversations, a volume of emails, Internet searches, and extensive reference and public records checking by our professional search firm. The search firm conducted a comprehensive interview with him. And our search committee received his medical reports and had background conversations with other confidential sources.

What did you learn from vetting that you didn’t know from his CV?

Reed: We learned more about his personal life, especially his family.  He was divorced some seven years ago from the mother of his children – Thomas, 16, and Samuel, 18. He is remarried and his wife, Wendy, has a son from a previous marriage, Logan, who is attending college in New Zealand. She lived in New Zealand for several years after running the family business in Nashville. Wendy and Tim were neighbors and classmates in high school and were reacquainted at a class reunion.

Were there any surprising moments during the process?

Reed: No, but there were some very candid discussions about serious topics, including one in particular about an incident that significantly impacted his family. On Christmas evening 2012, Dr. Cloyd hosted some international students at his home. That event had ended and he, his wife and sons were having family Christmas time together which included exchanging gifts, relaxing together, and he had a drink. Around midnight, an armed fugitive forced his way into their home and overtly threatened Dr. Cloyd’s family with harm if they didn’t do as told. He was in another room and heard the commotion, retrieved his personal handgun for which he is trained and holds a permit, and proceeded to hold the intruder at bay until the police arrived. Fortunately, the police arrived fairly quickly. Numerous police officers entered the residence while the person was still at large in the house. There was a considerable struggle and force was required to restrain the intruder, who was on drugs. He recalled it for us as a very frightening, chaotic scene, and a traumatic situation for his family, who witnessed everything first hand. It was clear to us that he did exactly what he believed he needed to do to protect his family in that difficult situation, and the good news was that none of his family was harmed, nor did he have to harm the intruder. It was a horrifying experience for the Cloyd family that required them to receive subsequent victim counseling. It is hard to be prepared for emergencies where you only have adrenaline-filled seconds to react.

Hart: I was an FBI agent for four years before entering a legal practice. After hearing the facts about the entire incident, I could understand why this event was so impactful. No one can imagine or anticipate how fast something like that happens and how disorienting, confusing and terrifying the situation can be. Law enforcement trains for that type of incident and still, you never know how you will react until it happens. In training, you talk about the incident after it’s over and invariably someone says they wish they had done something a little differently. It is never the same next time, there is always some circumstance that changes. This is certainly the kind of situation no one wants to go through.

What path led Dr. Cloyd to Drury?

Reed: Well, he had resigned as president of Hendrix about three years ago. The committee wanted to know why such a successful president would step down and return to the classroom. Those decision processes are not often a straight line and usually have multiple influences.  He had been thinking about stepping down for a year or so. He had twelve years of major happenings at Hendrix, including weathering two major recessions and had just completed a successful comprehensive capital campaign. Presidencies are demanding of personal time. Tim believes that presidents often have a “shelf life” at a particular institution and new thinking is needed to keep strategies fresh and relevant. And, while it was not a primary driver, the invasion incident was a life-changing experience for him and his family and influenced their personal priorities. I think all of those things combined to cause him to take a timeout. And, his timeout came to an end at the same time we began our search.

What is the one thing you want the Drury community to know about Dr. Cloyd?

Hart: I believe he is a really quick study. We shouldn’t be surprised if he has discovered a lot more about the issues facing Drury and today’s liberal arts education by July 1 than any of us expect. I suspect he will have many ideas about how to move Drury forward sooner than we anticipate and he will be right.

Clayton: He will be active in the Drury and Springfield communities and is dedicated to ensuring Drury’s future as a prestigious liberal arts university. I believe he will thoughtfully assess the current Drury climate, yet move quickly in developing momentum for a successful Drury future.

Reed: He is an empirical decision-maker and action-oriented. Traits that all references shared were: he is a strategic thinker, idea generator, entrepreneur, risk taker, visionary and efficacious leader. Our committee asked Dr. Cloyd: Of those traits, which one he would most embrace?  His answer: he is an “idea person.”  But, I believe they all speak to who Tim Cloyd is. I have personally spent a lot of time with Dr. Cloyd since the search team voted unanimously to recommend him to the full board of trustees as Drury’s 18th president, and I am now even more convinced that Tim Cloyd is the right person to lead Drury into the future we all desire.

Read Part 2 of the Q&A Series: The Formative Years.

Q&A: How the Northwest Project will benefit Springfield & Drury

The Community Foundation of the Ozarks announced Tuesday that a five-year grant for up to $1.3 million to address poverty in northwest Springfield will be awarded to a partnership led by Drury University, Missouri State University, and the Drew Lewis Foundation. The goal of The Northwest Project is to pilot strategies over a five-year period to help families overcome the challenges that have kept them living in poverty and sustain their long-term success in emerging from those circumstances.

Drury faculty and staff are excited by the possibilities for truly meaningful community engagement in the coming years. We asked Dan Prater, executive director of Drury’s Center for Nonproft Leadership, and Ryan Gipson, director of Drury’s Office of Community Outreach and Leadership Development, to tell us more about DU’s role in this major initiative.

 

What is the Northwest Project in a nutshell?

Dan Prater: It’s a large-scale effort to move people out of poverty and into a stronger, more sustainable life. This is in response to decades of seeing groups working on poverty, but with very little change in the poverty rate in our region.

The CFO put out requests for proposals from local organizations that worked collectively to create a systematic process for assisting families. The MSU/Fairbanks/Drury alliance was the winning group. This project differs from previous efforts in that all participating agencies will be required to work in unison with other helping agencies, using consistent forms, and communicating with one another.

The Northwest Project is modeled after a program in Jacksonville, Florida called “1,000 in 1,000.” That project was a collective effort of area nonprofits and civic organizations that moved 1,000 people out of poverty in 1,000 days.

What role will Drury and the Center for Nonprofit Leadership play in the project?

Prater: The Center for Nonprofit Leadership will work side-by-side with Missouri State University’s Center for Community Engagement to provide all evaluation and assessment for the project.

The Drury CNL and MSU CEC team will conduct quantitative and qualitative analysis, providing to funders and participating agencies important information on the families’ progress or lack thereof. This will help explain the factors that caused some individuals/families to succeed, and what caused some to fail. This critical information will help shape future program delivery, giving nonprofit and civic leaders primary evidence regarding their services.

How will the community benefit from Drury’s involvement?

Ryan Gipson: Drury will also be using new community service tracking and marketing software as part of this grant. This will allow us to direct Drury students, faculty, and staff to service opportunities being held by the agencies involved in the grant. But the truly exciting part is that it will also allow us to market those opportunities to the Springfield community as a whole. Anyone in Springfield can log onto the general website, see any service opportunities available, and RSVP to volunteer.

We want to see this tool used across the entire Springfield community so that nonprofit agencies in the area can reach more people who want to volunteer.

What kinds of opportunities will Drury students have to be involved in the project?

Gipson: During the next five years, we will be directing nearly one-third of the service hours that students log through the Community Outreach and Leadership Development Office to nonprofit agencies that are participating in the Northwest Project grant. The grant also allows us to increase our VITA Tax Clinic capacity to help more families.

Anytime agencies have a need for volunteers, we will ensure it is marketed to Drury students. The Community Outreach and Leadership Development office will also plan special large-scale events with focuses in the Northwest area. We will encourage students to use the skills they’ve gained in the classroom to help in specialized areas of need such as architecture students assisting with the Habitat for Humanity projects that are part of the grant, to name just one possible example.

What are your hopes for the impact the project will have on our community? 

Prater: We hope this project will have a clear, lasting impact on people in poverty. By providing people with the tools and resources they need, we hope to see immediate and long-term outcomes. Helping people with immediate needs can help them prepare for the future. The ripple effect will be felt by their entire family, and possibly for generations to come.