This is an annual meeting to prepare for a new school year.
"In order for this institution to be strategic this year, everybody needs to know where we're going, what we have accomplished, and what we need to do this year," Dr. Muriel said.
University President Dr. John Jasinski says it's necessary to get the whole staff together as a group before the school year begins.
"It's a time to celebrate not just the past year and all the excellent things that have gone on at Northwest Missouri State University, but set the stage for today and tomorrow," Dr. Jasinski said. "Not just the academic year, but for many years to come. And to welcome the new and old faculty and staff."
Dr. Howard is the president of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities and she tells the educators here that not every college is created equally.
Northwest, she says, isn't an Ivy League school, and that's okay.
"It takes the Northwest faculty and staff here to be able to understand what are their backgrounds, what strengths do they bring in and how do we best address them?" Dr. Howard said.
The auditorium full of the people students see every day listen as Dr. Howard tells them to keep in mind the growing number of minority students in colleges nationwide.
"There are a lot more students of color that are already born and are already in the pipeline. They will be attending this university. Some of them will be second language learners and they'll come from all sorts of backgrounds. We need to help them to be successful," she said.
In his remarks, Dr. Jasinski speaks very much about what he calls "Bearcat culture."
That culture is evident by the many staff members wearing green shirts, sporting the familiar Bearcat claw logo.
"Being a Bearcat means so much," Dr. Jasinski said. "It's the paw and what that means. You drive around the country and you see the Bearcat claws. We get so juiced about that."
And if the faculty is jazzed up, the hope is that same energy will go to students as well.
The students arrive on campus Thursday.