Southeast may rename Bootheel centers

Saturday, September 30, 2006

The new names would reflect the university's role at the centers but wouldn't make them separate campuses.

Southeast Missouri State University officials want to rename the school's Bootheel area higher education centers to better identify them as a part of the university.

Under the plan, the centers at Sikeston, Malden and Kennett would be renamed as Southeast Missouri State University with the appropriate city listed after the school's name.

University president Dr. Ken Dobbins said Friday the move has the backing of city and civic leaders in all three communities.

"Our objective is to name those regional campuses appropriately," he said.

They previously had been referred to as higher education centers with no mention made of the university.

Dobbins said the name changes would reflect the fact that the university operates the centers and teaches the college courses in those facilities.

But the university president said Southeast isn't looking to establish the centers as separate campuses that would operate with budgets independently of the Cape Girardeau school.

The school's board of regents is expected to consider approving the name changes at a regular board meeting in late October. The date of the meeting hasn't been finalized, Dobbins said.

The university, he said, won't change the name of its fourth higher education center. Southeast operates the Perryville Higher Education Center in partnership with Mineral Area College of Park Hills, Mo.

"It is a fair partnership," he said.

Southeast previously partnered with Three Rivers Community College to provide college classes at the three Bootheel centers.

The university last year evicted the community college from the three centers, claiming that the junior college didn't pay enough rent to offset Southeast's cost of operating the buildings.

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