Southeast Missouri State University Board of Governors extends contract of current president

Carlos Vargas Aburto (Source: Southeast Missouri State University)
Carlos Vargas Aburto (Source: Southeast Missouri State University)

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (KBSI) – The Southeast Missouri State University Board of Governors granted a new three-year contract to the current president of university, Dr. Carlos Vargas.

The new contract is effective July 1, 2022 and runs through June 30, 2025. The contract includes a salary increase for Dr. Vargas equivalent to what the board approved for all university employees at its June 24 meeting.

Board of Governors President Ed Gargas says the new contract comes after the annual evaluation of the University President, which included a self-assessment report and an assessment by the Board of the University’s accomplishments and University President Vargas’ leadership during the past year.

Some of the accomplishments Gargas cited include:

  • Being a University ambassador at countless student events throughout the year, representing the University at Ohio Valley Conference and NCAA committee and meetings, serving on various community and philanthropic boards, engaging with organizations at the state and national level on issues related to higher education, and participating in meetings and events with alumni and donors.
  • Creating a new focused, deliberate, and concise Strategic Action Plan that focuses on educating students to succeed and make positive impacts in their communities; stabilizing Southeast’s enrollment and graduating a diverse community or learners; and enhancing stewardship of Southeast’s resources.
  • Establishing a new Office of Economic and Workforce Development to strengthen partnerships, increase community engagement and expand workforce education and training opportunities.
  • Reorganizing University Communications and University Marketing, and aligning Academic Support Centers under Academic Affairs, to leverage synergies, increase collaboration and improve scopes of work.
  • Completing an Economic Impact Study that communicates the University’s nearly $1 billion economic impact on the State of Missouri.
    Securing resources at the state and federal level to assist in campus infrastructure issues, equipment acquisition, academic program enhancement and student support initiatives.
  • Launching new academic programs such as the Bachelor of Science in professional pilot that exceeded first year enrollment projections.
  • Fostering an environment of success within Redhawks Athletics with women’s volleyball competing in the 2021 NCAA Division I Women’s Volleyball Championship, women’s tennis competing in its first-ever NCAA Tournament; men’s baseball making the NCAA tournament for the second year in a row; Mr. Logan Blomquist capturing the 2022 NCAA Hammer Throw National Championship and becoming the University’s first-ever NCAA Division I Outdoor Track and Field Championships title; and Mr. Brady Barke, Director of Athletics, being named a recipient of the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics AD of the Year Award.

Vargas joined Southeast Missouri State University as its 18th president on July 1, 2015.

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