The Board of Governors at Missouri Southern State University has announced the search firm which will assist in the hiring of the next university president.

Meeting in closed session on Thursday, board members officially accepted Dr. Alan Marble’s resignation – effective as of June 30, 2020 – and approved a recommendation from the search committee to select EFL Associates, an executive search and recruitment firm based in Kansas City, Mo.

Alison Hershewe, the board’s vice-chair and chair of the search committee, said board members accepted Marble’s resignation “with regret,” and discussed the selection of EFL to lead the search for qualified candidates for the position.

“This is the group that helped place the dean for the Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences’ Joplin campus and other higher-education leaders throughout the state,” she said. “They know this area well.”

“One of their central commitments is to select candidates who will be personalized to our needs at Missouri Southern, and they believe leadership should be the central trait for our next president. Dr. Marble has been a great model for this, and EFL and the Board of Governors are committed to helping us continue the momentum and upward trajectory he established for this university.”

In other business, the board voted unanimously during regular session to change the name of the university’s four primary academic programs – Arts & Sciences, Business, Health Sciences and Teacher Education – from “School of” to “College of.”

“When we changed the name of Missouri Southern State College to Missouri Southern State University in 2003, we didn’t make the commensurate switch to calling our schools ‘colleges,’” said Dr. Paula Carson, provost/vice president of academic affairs. “It’s something we’ve been working toward. We’ve grown our graduate programs and our focus on research – all those things that are hallmarks of a university.

“Our faculty and academic structures have worked very hard to earn the right to use the title ‘College.’ And it’s also a great opportunity for us to recognize the academic contributions of Dr. Marble as he’s concluding his presidency. We’re very grateful to the board for allowing us to make this change. The symbolism is enormously impactful to all of us on campus.”