Gov. Nixon appoints St. Louis woman as Southeast regent

Friday, November 4, 2011

Gov. Jay Nixon appointed one new member to the Southeast Missouri State University Board of Regents on Wednesday, but another board member whose term expired this year still awaits reappointment or replacement.

Kendra Neely-Martin, a pharmaceutical sales specialist, not-for-profit organization marketing consultant and certified parent instructor from St. Louis, will replace Reginald Dickson, whose term expired at the beginning of the year. Neely-Martin, a Democrat, will represent the St. Louis area.

Neely-Martin received a bachelor's degree in sales and marketing from Southeast Missouri State University in 1994 and a master's degree in marketing from Webster University in 1998.

"We're very pleased that Kendra is going to be on our board. We know that she will contribute significantly," said Dr. Kenneth Dobbins, president of the university.

Dobbins said Dickson was an outstanding board member and that he knows Dickson is being considered by the governor for positions on other boards.

"We believe that it's necessary to have a number of people on boards, and when people are reappointed there is a special reason," Dobbins said. "After serving almost seven years now, Reginald has done a fantastic job and it's appropriate that others have an opportunity."

The functions of the six-member governing board include appointment of the university president, employment of faculty and staff and making budgetary and policy decisions for the university. Members serve six-year terms and are appointed by the governor. Appointees are subject to confirmation by the state Senate.

According to a resume for Neely-Martin released by the president's office, she has been employed with AstraZeneca Pharmaceutical since 2003 and has been involved as a mentor and program coordinator for the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority for many years. She has also been awarded recognition several times for community service through her employment, the sorority, the St. Louis Science Center and the American Heart Association.

Neely-Martin did not return calls for comment Thursday.

Another board member remains unappointed, but the position will continue to be filled by Al Spradling, whose term also expired at the first of the year. Members are allowed to continue to serve until they are reappointed or another nominee is appointed.

Spradling reapplied for his seat in August 2010. He said he is hopeful he will be reappointed by Nixon and that he is not aware of any specific reason Dickson's seat was appointed before his own.

Dobbins said he had not heard about any plans for the governor to make an appointment to Spradling's seat.

Dickson said he is hopeful he will be appointed to the board of Harris-Stowe State University in St. Louis. The university is his alma mater.

State statute requires that any Missouri college governing board not be composed of more than three voting members from the same political party. Members must also live in a 25-county service area.

eragan@semissourian.com

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