Missouri Southern president's job on the line

Friday, September 18, 2009 | 12:21 p.m. CDT

JOPLIN — Missouri Southern State University's governing board planned to meet Friday to decide whether school President Bruce Speck will keep his job.

A faculty group has lodged 23 complaints against Speck describing what it calls failures of leadership, management, shared governance, judgment and public embarrassment. The group has declined to describe the specific complaints in more detail.

The Joplin Globe reported Friday that Roger Chelf, faculty senate president, believes Speck will be fired during the closed meeting of the school's Board of Governors Friday afternoon. He later backed off that assessment.

The committee is also considering whether to recommend that the faculty senate call for a no-confidence vote against Speck.

Speck believes he is operating under a two-year contract extension that the board announced in June. He said he signed a copy of the contract extension and returned it to the board's attorney before the August meeting.

The president said he has "no expectations" about the board's meeting. During last month's meeting, he waited for more than 90 minutes in a hall while the board met in closed session.

"I don't know what the Board of Governors will tell me," he said. "I work for the Board of Governors, and they hire the president. They're my boss, so I'm awaiting to find out what they want to do."

Board chairman Rod Anderson declined to discuss the meeting or Speck's status.

Speck's contract was signed on Feb. 2, 2008, and runs through June 30, 2010, but is subject to a yearly review. His base salary for the first contract is $180,000 per year. He succeeded Julio Leon, who resigned abruptly in 2007 after serving as president for 26 years.


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