Ep. 15 KRPS Presents Higher Ed in Southwest Missouri

Cottey’s Dr. Stefanie Niles

Travel about 100 miles south on Interstate 49, starting in Nevada, south, just a few miles north of the Missouri/Arkansas border in Jane. You’ll drive past exits for no fewer than three colleges and universities.

Complete KRPS Presents Ep. 15
Segment with Dr. Niles

Nevada, Missouri’s private, women’s only institution, Cottey College

Joplin’s four-year state university, Missouri Southern

Segment with Dr. Van Galen
MSSU’s Dr. Dean Van Galen

The longest-tenured of the three Presidents is Southern’s Dr. Dean Van Galen, who joined the university in June 2020. Crowder’s Dr. Katricia Pierson was named President late last year and began her work on campus this January. The most recent addition to this trio of southwest Missouri presidents is Cottey’s Dr. Stefanie Niles, who joined the university on July 1, 2022.

An interesting note, before their current appointments, neither Niles, Van Galen, nor Pierson worked or resided in Missouri. Only Pierson had experience as a university President at East Central University in Oklahoma, where he was the institution’s first female President. She would leave ECU to relocate to Neosho and Crowder.

And Neosho’s Crowder College and its five satellite campuses.

Segment with Dr. Pierson
MSSU’s Van Galen (L) with Crowder President Dr. Katricia Pierson (R)

In each interview, we learn how Cottey, MSSU, and Crowder were established and how they are working towards being affordable for students and working adults in the cases of Southern and Crowder. How each is rebounding from the pandemic and if there were any long-term repercussions. We also speak about the growing presence of online and distance learning and how those goals align with the three institutions’ future.

This week film reviewer Fletcher Powell says a new movie lets its director do what he does best. His review of ‘Three Thousand Years of Longing’, is now in theaters.

Fletcher’s film review

For the time being, KRPS Presents will be on hiatus so that I can dedicate time to launching the new krps.org. In its place, Sunday at 3 pm, will be Intelligence Squared U.S.


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