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Staff Council brings holiday cheer to Bolivar County children with its annual Toy Drive.

Staff Council holds annual toy drive

By | Community, Faculty/Staff, General | No Comments

The Administrative Staff Council at Delta State University continues to work hard at helping others this holiday season. Each year, the Staff Council Projects Committee sponsors the Delta State Toy Drive to benefit children in Bolivar County.

This year’s toy drive was another great success. A total of 276 gifts were collected, including bicycles, a scooter, puzzles, books, games and other boys’ and girls’ toys.

Rhonda Loper, staff council projects committee chair, said this is a fitting way to spread holiday cheer.

“There are children in Cleveland who will receive a present this year, who otherwise wouldn’t have if it hadn’t been for the generosity of the Delta State University Staff. As the Projects Committee chair, I couldn’t be more pleased by the response to our annual Toy Drive this year. I want to extend a special thanks to each individual who gave.”

Each department on campus was asked to provide unwrapped gifts appropriate for newborn children up to 12 years old. The toys will be provided to the Bolivar County Family and Children’s Services for distribution.

Staff Council is also sponsoring a holiday breakfast for all Delta State staff members Dec.17. Employee volunteers are providing and serving food with the coffee and juice being provided by the President’s Office.

Delta State’s Staff Council serves as a liaison between the administration and the staff to provide a formal process for staff to discuss issues involving university policies and procedures and to forward ideas, recommendations and opinions to the president.

campus

Delta State reaffirms accreditation

By | Academics, Faculty/Staff, General, President, Students | No Comments

Delta State University received major news Tuesday with the reaffirmation of accreditation announcement by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

SACSCOC, the regional body for the accreditation of degree-granting higher education institutions in the southern states, officially announced the reaffirmation at its annual conference held in Nashville, Tenn. The reaffirmation continues the university’s accreditation for the next 10 years.

The commission’s mission focuses on the enhancement of educational quality, and it strives to improve effectiveness by ensuring that institutions meet standards established by the higher education community to address the needs of society and students.

“The SACSCOC reaffirmation of Delta State’s accreditation is the best news we could receive as we close out the calendar year and approach the holidays,” said Delta State University President William N. LaForge.

“The SACSCOC stamp of approval is vital to the integrity and rigor of our academic programs, and it is critical to our reputation as a quality university,” LaForge added. “Across our campus, many of our professionals have worked very hard to help reach this goal — from being quality classroom instructors and supporting our academic mission, to conducting an immense amount of research and organizing thousands of pages of reports that supported our document submission to SACSCOC.”

The president saluted all of those involved with this important endeavor, especially Dr. Beverly Moon, dean of Graduate & Continuing Studies and SACSCOC accreditation liaison for Delta State.

“The approval by SACSCOC affirms what we know — Delta State University provides a quality educational experience in all of its aspects,” said Moon. “All efforts of accreditation reaffirmation rely on the entire campus. This wonderful outcome is a testament to the hard work that countless people around campus have put into achieving reaffirmation, especially the Institutional Research and Planning staff.”

Moon also reported positive news with SACSCOC’s approval of Delta State’s Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP), “A World Class Experience: Improving Cultural Competency at Delta State.”

Part of the reaffirmation process includes the creation of a QEP, a five-year plan required by SACSCOC to improve aspects of student learning. Delta State’s focus is geared toward boosting cultural competency at the institution.

“All of our revisions to the QEP were accepted by the SACSCOC, which was a really positive response,” said Moon. “We are good to move forward implementing the QEP on campus as proposed.”

Dr. Charles McAdams, Delta State provost and vice president for Academic Affairs, echoed the significance of the accreditation.

“SACSCOC accreditation is an important and essential external validation of the quality and health of our entire university, and we are very excited about the news of the reaffirmation of our accreditation,” said McAdams. “Students from Mississippi, and from all over the country, can see that we meet and exceed rigorous standards for accreditation.

“Our team, led by Dr. Beverly Moon, has done a magnificent job in shepherding us through this complex process. Delta State is committed to continually improving what we do to help our students succeed. I am pleased that we have been recognized for our efforts.”

Members of the SACSCOC visiting team were on campus in April to document Delta State’s compliance with core requirements, comprehensive standards and federal requirements. As a result of that visit, Delta State received six recommendations and was given five months to provide additional information related to those six areas.

Delta State submitted its response to SACSCOC in September. The information provided by the university satisfactorily addressed four of the recommendations. At Tuesday’s meeting, Delta State was made aware that it will be responsible for providing a monitoring report and informing SACSCOC on its progress in two areas: faculty competence and financial stability.

LaForge said the faculty competence issue deals with credentialing to teach specific courses and should be a relatively quick fix shown through proper reportage, while the financial stability response requires Delta State to demonstrate improvements in institutional budgeting and programming.

“The issue related to financial stability has to do with ensuring that our financial resources are sufficient to support the university’s mission, its programs and its student enrollment,” said LaForge. “Soon after arriving at Delta State, I recognized the disconnect between the university’s increase in spending and the downward trend in enrollment. The recent budget cuts and program eliminations process we have undertaken begin to address that problem, and this process was the important first step to showing our accreditors and our (Institutions of Higher Learning) board that our financial house is in order.

“This fall, we experienced the first increase in enrollment in eight years, and we believe this trend will continue. The combination of reducing expenses and increasing enrollment puts us on the right track to ensuring a successful future for Delta State University.”

SACSCOC initially accredited Delta State in 1930. Accreditation involves a multi-year process guided by the Principles of Accreditation: Foundations for Quality Enhancement and by the policies and procedures of the Commission on Colleges. Learn more about the organization at http://www.sacscoc.org.

Learn more about Delta State’s QEP at http://www.deltastate.edu/academics/institutional-research-and-planning/sacs-2014-reaffirmation/quality-enhancement-plan-2014/.

Delta State University Choirs to hold holiday concert

By | College of Arts and Sciences, Community, Faculty/Staff, General | No Comments

Delta State University Choirs will be performing its annual “Deck the Halls” concert Dec. 7. The event will be held at Covenant Presbyterian Church at 3 p.m.

For the third straight year, guest choirs have been invited to perform. This year, Delta State University Choirs will be hosting the Delta Youth Chorale, Lewisburg High School Capriccio and Bolton High School Concert Choirs.

All of the Delta State University Choirs and guest choirs will perform.

“This is a huge recruitment event for the Department of Music as around 80 high school students from Mississippi and Tennessee will perform,” said Dr. Nicholaus Cummins, director of Choral Activities. “Each year has been a huge success.”

The event is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Cummins at 662-846-4115 or ncummins@deltastate.edu.

 

 

"Sister Act" is coming to the BPAC on Tuesday, Nov. 11 for one night only.

“Sister Act” opens at the BPAC for one night only

By | Bologna Performing Arts Center, Community, General | No Comments

Direct from Broadway, the hilarious five-time Tony-nominated musical smash “Sister Act” is coming to Delta State. “Sister Act” opens at the Bologna Performing Arts Center on Nov. 11.

Produced by Whoopi Goldberg, TROIKA Entertainment and Sister Act On Tour, LLC, the show features an original score with music by multi-Academy, Grammy and Golden Globe Award-winning composer Alan Menken, lyrics by Tony and Academy Award-nominee Glenn Slater and a book by multi-Emmy Award winners Cheri and Bill Steinkellner. Additional book material by Tony and Olivier Award nominee Douglas Carter Beane is also featured.

Directed on Broadway by four-time Tony Award-winner Jerry Zaks, the production features choreography by Tony and Olivier Award-nominee Anthony Van Laast and is based on the Touchstone Pictures motion picture “Sister Act” written by Joseph Howard.

“To hear people laugh and cheer the way they do at “Sister Act” — a show people think they know but are pleasantly surprised to discover is not what they are expecting — is a magical experience for a producer,” said producer Whoopi Goldberg. “Happily, audiences across the country are able to get in on the fun as Deloris and her fabulous sisters spread the love nationwide.”

“Sister Act” tell the story of when disco diva Deloris Van Cartier witnesses a murder, and is then put into protective custody in the one place cops are sure she won’t be found — a convent. Disguised as a nun, she finds herself at odds with both the rigid lifestyle and an uptight Mother Superior. Using her fabulous “disco-ness” and killer voice to inspire the choir, Deloris breathes new life into the church, but in doing so blows her cover. Soon it’s “nun-on-the-run” time but she finds salvation in the heavenly power of her newly found sisterhood.

Based on the mega-hit film, “Sister Act” features an original Alan Menken/Glenn Slater score with a vast inspiration of musical styles from Motown, soul and funk, to great big disco anthems and Barry White inspired musical comedy.

For tickets, stop by or call the Bologna Center 662-846-4626, or go online to www.bolognapac.com. Tickets start at $35 and special rates are available for groups of 10 or more. For more information, visit www.sisteractontour.com.

The Delta Center will host two week long work shops sponsored by The National Endowment for the Humanities.

Delta Center to host workshops

By | Delta Center, Faculty/Staff, General, Students | No Comments

The Delta Center for Culture and Learning is conducting two week-long workshops celebrating the heritage of the Mississippi Delta, through its Landmarks in American History and Culture Program again this year.

The workshop is sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities and is titled “The Most Southern Place on Earth:  Music, History and Culture of the Mississippi Delta.” The workshops will explore the region’s impact on America’s music, food ways, civil rights, literary heritage, and political landscape.

Workshops will be offered to thirty-seven participants each between June 21-17 and July 12-18, 2015. They are open to K-12 teachers, including public, private, and home school, and librarians. Five graduate credit hours may be earned. This will be the sixth year of NEH support for this exciting workshop.

The directors of the workshop are Dr. Luther Brown and Lee Aylward and a special participant will be Dr. Rolando Herts, the new director of the Delta Center for Culture and Learning.

Stipends of $1,200 are available for participants.  To apply for the stipend and to learn more about the workshop go visit the the Delta Center for Culture and Learning webpage at http://deltacenterforcultureandlearning.com/southern-place-workshop/.