By Dr. John Jasinski, President of Northwest Missouri State University

The high performance of Northwest Missouri State University since I became president of the institution in 2009 is the result of your contributions – and those of our partners. My inaugural remarks in 2009 focused on the importance of public-private partnerships, and I had no idea how critical this would become in the 2020s.

When it comes to community, educational and business partnerships, it starts with being good stewards and partners within our own community. As such, we have worked closely with the City of Maryville to transform Fourth Street into an inviting downtown link at the entrance to our award-winning campus, and have provided support in design proposals. grants, such as the $10.4 million request for the Main Street Project.

At Mozingo Lake Recreation Park, Jacquie Lamer’s Advertising Strategies course was instrumental in rebranding the recreation area, including designing the logo we know so well today, and we championed the development of the Watson 9 Youth Golf Course.

Additionally, we are very proud of our work with the city, county and so many other groups to develop a transitional guest tax that helps fund the Carl and Cheryl Hughes Fieldhouse and provides support for tourism and economic development. in our region, creating the largest public-private partnership in the history of the Northwest, as well as one of the largest public-private partnerships ever created in the region.

Additionally, Mosaic Life Care is a strong partner and collaborator with Northwest on academic and after-school programs, behavioral health services, grants and sponsorships, in addition to providing support through two athletic trainers and a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner. Other partnerships in Maryville include Kawasaki Motors on an innovative student employment program and with Maryville R-II School District Northwestern Technical School to build a new Farm Superintendent’s House at the RT Wright Farm.

Having such strong partnerships with our city, county and healthcare organizations has also been a key factor in our ability to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic, and the Hughes Fieldhouse has been a valuable resource as we have organized mass vaccination clinics.

In terms of academic programming and cross-disciplinary partnerships, Knacktive, a full-service, student-run marketing agency that brings together students and faculty from a variety of disciplines, is a shining example that has helped the city of Maryville, in addition to Farmer’s Mutual Insurance of Nodaway County and Tri State Ford Lincoln, among various other businesses and nonprofit organizations. Another similar example is Missouri Hope each fall, during which our Emergency and Disaster Management program partners with dozens of public safety and healthcare agencies to prepare students for challenging disaster simulations and based on occupation.

Advancing the Northwest and our mission is why we focus so much on partnerships and collaborations. This also goes for our North West Foundation and the North West Alumni Association as they foster relationships and engagement on a personal level with alumni and friends and organizational levels with the Sunderland Foundation, the Suzanne and Walter Scott and many others. We have collaborated with, for example, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Hawthorn Foundation and the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation as well as the Missouri Council on Public Higher Education and the American Association of State Colleges and Universities, to name a few. some.

Our commitment to service runs through our faculty, staff, students, and community members who have supported the Northwest through testimonials and legislative visits, team visit accreditations, meetings and attendance of chambers of commerce, city council and county commission meetings, service organizations, numerous community events, media interactions and our social media posts.

In sum, Northwest is focused on internal and external engagement, relationship building and serving partners as we move our institution and our region forward.

Dr. John Jasinski is the 10th president of Northwest Missouri State University.