Joplin, MO (SNS) – The importance of scholarly research to the life of the campus was the focus of a presentation to the Board of Governors at Missouri Southern State University on Friday, April 15.

“Research is an obligation and a privilege,” said Dr. Paula Carson, provost/vice president for academic affairs. “If an institution such as ours didn’t do that research, there’d be no advancement of knowledge. We’re a university with a capital ‘U,’ and we embrace those responsibilities.”

Those responsibilities include involvement as peer reviewers and journal editors, as well as serving as leaders in local, regional and national organizations. The benefits to Missouri Southern include ensuring that the most relevant and current information is being taught within the disciplines, the expansion of service opportunities and funding options, and creating a unique educational experience for students.

Carson emphasized the synergy between teaching and scholarly research.

“We can honor the traditional learning/instruction heritage, but marry them in such a way that is a win-win for everyone,” she said.

Dr. Brad Creamer, a member of the Biology Department faculty and incoming Faculty Senate president, discussed four different aspects of scholarship and their importance – the scholarship of discovery, the scholarship of integration, the scholarship of application and the scholarship of teaching. He also touched on how faculty members can enhance those areas at Missouri Southern.

“Scholarship can be hard to define, but it’s so integral to all that we do,” he said.

Carson also highlighted student opportunities, including the 2016 Missouri Southern Student Research Fair, which is set for April 28 in Billingsly Student Center’s Connor Ballroom. Thirty students from across all disciplines will showcase their work to their fellow students, faculty and community. Prizes will be awarded by each of the four schools (Arts & Sciences, Business, Education and Health Sciences).

Other campus initiatives include the thesis development project for students in the Honors Program and funding that is available for travel and research materials for student research projects.

In other business, the Board of Governors voted to reaffirm the university’s mission statement and endorsement of NCAA principles of sportsmanship and ethical conduct.