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Thursday, May 5, 2016

Monettan to head MSSU Board of Governors

Friday, June 19, 2009

Rod Anderson, of Monett, has been named to head the Board of Governors for Missouri Southern State University in Joplin. This is the first time a Monett resident has been tapped for such an honor.

"I guess it was my turn," Anderson said.

Anderson succeeds Dwight Douglas, of Joplin, who held the chairman's seat for the past four years.

"I had a legacy with the Monett School Board of insisting on the president of the school board having no more than two-year stints," Anderson said, having served as Monett board president. "I was hesitant for a few years in considering the job at Missouri Southern. The other members had confidence in me."

Anderson was appointed to the Board of Governors in 2003. He was elected to his fifth term on the Monett R-1 Board of Education in 2008.

Anderson is not the first Monettan to serve on the Missouri Southern board. Henry Clapper was named to the post by Governor Kit Bond in the 1980s.

Coming to the board at a time of change, Anderson was the seventh person when the board was expanded from six. The Missouri General Assembly, in an effort to keep the Board of Governors politically balanced, subsequently expanded the board to eight people, four from each political party.

Anderson's appointment initially came after Missouri Southern became a university. Prior to that it was governed under junior college rules and all members of the board had some connection to Jasper County.

"We have two people from Springfield on the board now," Anderson said. "The distance makes it a little hard for out-of-town people to hold that office. Mine is not that bad."

Springfield attorney David H. Jones, who is from Pierce City and serves as president of the Harold Bell Wright Museum Board in his hometown, serves as vice chairman of the MSSU Board of Governors.

"This is probably the first time two people from outside of Jasper County, especially from the Monett-Pierce City area, have headed the board," Anderson said. Anderson's term expires in September. He is hopeful that he will be reappointed by Governor Jay Nixon so that he can complete his term as president.
"We've got a lot of good things going at Missouri Southern," Anderson said. "We just came through the search for a new athletic director, naming Jared Bruggeman, from Northern Arizona University, last week. I was involved in that. We've about got the health center completed, which will be opening next fall. The health science building is about 40 percent completed. "We're in the process of working on starting a doctor of osteophathic medicine program," said Anderson. "That will be a great benefit. Today's DOs are like MDs, especially small town doctors. We're working through the steps of that."
Anderson was very upbeat about taking on more of a leadership role with the current MSSU board. "We have a very workable board. No one has a special agenda," he said.

Anderson is owner of Produce Brokers and Distributors, Inc., located in Monett. He earned a bachelor of science degree in marketing and management from Missouri Southern in 1976. He graduated with magna cum laude honors.

Anderson earned the Boy Scouts of America Eagle Scout Award in 1966 and was named Missouri Mr. FBLA (Future Business Leader of America) in 1971. He served in the Missouri Army National Guard for six years. He serves on the board of the Monett Community Foundation, has been active in the Monett Historical Society and has long played a leadership role in the Democratic Party.

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