Missouri State University
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Collection Number: RG16/11
Volume: 10 cubic feet
Dates: 1986-2002

Provenance

The collection was acquired in 2003. It was processed in 2006 by Beth Aldrich.

Copyright

This collection may be protected from unauthorized copying by the Copyright Law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code).

Access

The collection is unrestricted. Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. Permission to publish material from the collection must be obtained from the Department of Special Collections and Archives. Citations should be as follows: Identification of the item, box and folder number, University Relations, [RG 16/11], Department of Special Collections and Archives, Missouri State University.

Biographical/Historical Sketch

Missouri State University was founded in 1905 as Missouri State Normal School, Fourth District, and changed names three more times before the last change occurred in August 2005. These records were obtained during the course of a National Historical Publications and Records Commission grant-funded project to enhance the University Archives.

University Relations is the public relations unit of the university and is also responsible for governmental relations. This office has three professional units: University Communications, Publications, and Photographic Services.

Scope and Content

The records from this collection are from the office of Director Paul Kincaid.

Among this collection are records pertaining to several high profile events: the production of the play “The Normal Heart”; a precedent-setting lawsuit filed by the editor of the student newspaper against the university; and the acquisition of the Public Broadcasting Services television station formally housed at Drury University. The collection also contains records from the university’s first NCAA certification process and the 2000-2006 long-range plan.

Series I: Bauer v. Kincaid, et al.
This series of records deals with the lawsuit that was brought by Traci Bauer, editor of The Southwest Standard student newspaper, against the university over the release of campus crime statistics. The lawsuit bears the names of Paul Kincaid, Director of University Relations, as the first-named of several university officials. The lawsuit was filed January 17, 1990, in the United States District Court for the Western District of Missouri, Southern Division.

Traci Bauer sued the university to release records on non-education activity on campus that the SMSU Security Office kept and maintained, arguing that those records were subject to the provisions of the Missouri Open Meetings and Records Law (the Sunshine Law) and, therefore, should be released to the public upon an appropriate request. The university argued, among other things, that those same records were not governed by the state Sunshine Law but subject to the provisions of the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) which prohibited and prevented the university from releasing those records.

The case received wide coverage and was closely watched by universities across the country. The court ruled in favor of Traci Bauer and The Standard on March 13, 1991 declaring that the SMSU Security Office’s criminal investigation and incident reports are not educational records under FERPA and are subject to the Missouri Sunshine Law. Following the judgment, the US Secretary of Education Lamar Alexander sought to intervene in the case to preserve the right to appeal the decision because SMSU had decided not to appeal. The Secretary was not permitted to intervene pursuant to the court’s order on April 16, 1991, thereby ending the litigation over this issue.

Court documents, newspaper clippings, correspondence, and university memorandums are included among the records of this series. Video tapes relating to this case and issue are located within the Audio/Visual series listed below.

Series II: Normal Heart
The Normal Heart, a play by Larry Kramer, was produced by the Theatre and Dance Department at SMSU in November 1989. The play dealt with the emerging AIDS epidemic. Because the play had characters which were homosexual, the production was met with great resistance among some segments of the campus and community, including Republican state representative Jean Dixon. Despite protests and pressure, the university resisted calls to stop the play from being performed and defended the students’ right to free speech.

Through newspaper clippings, correspondence, memorandums, and debate coverage, this series documents the controversy which gained national attention. An audio cassette tape and videotapes from this series are located within the Audio/Visual series listed below.

Note: Information on this production of The Normal Heart can also be found in the Theatre and Dance Department collection, UA – RG 4/9.

Series III: University Facilities
This series contains information regarding dedication ceremonies for some campus buildings and properties from 1986 to 2002, including one each from the West Plains and Mountain Grove campuses.

Series IV: Subject Files
The subject files series span the years 1987-2001 and covers a wide variety of topics such as an alcohol and other drug policy task force, governmental relations, campus mail, the inauguration of President Keiser, and the reorganization of SMSU in 1994.

Series V: NCAA Certification
In 1993 the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) approved a certification program for all schools participating in Division I athletics. During 1994-95 SMSU underwent its first certification process.

This series documents that initial process, from the development of the self-study report and the university’s factual response to the peer-review report and recommendation, with all of the committee reports and drafts in between. SMSU was fully certified with no conditions attached.

Series VI: Long Range Plan
Countdown to the SMSU Centennial – A Long Range Vision and Six-Year Plan (2000-2006) was completed as a review and reevaluation of the university’s previous long-range plan Welcoming the 21st Century: A Long-Range Vision and Five-Year Plan (1995-2000). This series follows that process through its various stages and drafts.

Series VII: OPT
The records in this series pertain to the acquisition by the university of the FCC license of Ozarks Public Television (KOZK-TV in Springfield and KOZJ-TV in Joplin). The university was approached by the board of the public broadcasting station about this possibility in early 2000. The SMSU Board of Governors voted in January 2001 to accept the transfer of the license effective July 1, 2001. The station had previously been broadcasting from facilities on the Drury University campus.

Documents planning for the move and transfer, consultant reports, correspondence, media packets, legal papers, budget and personnel information are included in this series.

Series VIII: Hancock II Amendment
In 1980 Missourians passed the Hancock I amendment to the Missouri Constitution which was intended to place a limit on state spending through a so-called tax and expenditure limitation (TEL). The Hancock II amendment was proposed and placed on the ballot in 1994 to redefine portions of the first amendment in an attempt to fully execute its intent. Additionally, Hancock II contained a provision declaring that if there is any inconsistency or conflict with other provisions of the state constitution, the Hancock II Amendment provisions would prevail. Hancock II was defeated in the November state-wide ballot.

President John Keiser debated Congressman Mel Hancock, the sponsor of the amendment. Along with newspaper clippings, there are position reports, an economic impact study, a voter’s guide, and information from the Committee to Protect Missouri’s Future and Missourians for Higher Education.

Series IX: Audio/Visual
Most of the materials here are VHS recordings of various newscasts and programs pertaining to the Bauer v. Kincaid, et al. lawsuit. There are also recordings of The Normal Heart debate, as well as audio cassettes of President Keiser’s debate with Congressman Mel Hancock about the Hancock II Amendment.

Series X: Oversize Materials
The materials stored here are the oversized proof sheets and spiral bound copies of the long-range plan Countdown to the SMSU Centennial.

Container List

The container list for this collection is available in PDF format. Adobe Reader is required to view the container list.

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