University President Dr. Robert Vartabedian addressed faculty and staff about the future Monday as Western approaches its 100th year.
Missouri Western faculty and staff gathered as Vartabedian presented his annual address.
He focused on the the master plan for the university.
"We've engaged some master planners who will be assessing the university's facilities and beyond for any changes that they anticipate in the coming years," he said.
The university hired two planners to gather and analyze data for the master plan.
"This is a great opportunity for Missouri Western to show its value to the community and I think we'll do a great job of it," said Dr. David Tushaus, professor of criminal justice, legal studies and social work.
Dr. Vartabedian expects the master plan to be ready in the next six months.
"This year, we're growing and we're looking at possible new residence halls, new buildings, vehicular traffic, parking situations, land leasing opportunities, now that there's no longer a sunset clause on leasing our 723 acres," he said. "So, hopefully, we'll have some expert guidance on all those very important issues."
Besides changing the outside appearance of the school, Missouri Western's student body is changing too. Dr. Vartabedian added that five years ago the university had a dozen international students enrolled. This year, they have almost 150 enrolled.
"That's a great thing for our university both for the international students, in terms of being of what we think is a high quality education, and for our own students in terms of providing them with international perspectives and a truly global education," said Dr. Vartabedian.
With a focus on the future, university leaders and staff say it starts with making each year a success for students.
"I think it's going to be a great year. We have a lot of good students and we've got a good group of new students and we're excited and looking forward to classes starting," added Tushaus.
Missouri Western also recognized new faculty and staff members during the annual address Monday.
The fall semester begins next Monday, August 25.
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