Powerful Partnerships

In 16 years as president, Ken Dobbins has worked on building partnerships with alumni, donors, business owners, parents, students and legislators. With so many moving pieces, it might be easy to let those on-campus partnerships suffer. However, the people who have worked most closely with Dr. Dobbins make a case for just how powerful a partner and an advocate he has been for Southeast’s faculty and staff during his presidency.  Being a leader means making tough decisions. While Ken Dobbins accepts that as president the buck stops with him, his administration has......

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A First (Class) Lady

Jeanine Larson Dobbins has been married to Ken for 43 years. She also has an outstanding career in education during those years. At Southeast, Jeanine worked tirelessly to make an impact on the early literacy education of over 275,000 children throughout Missouri.  If you have ever had a conversation with Jeanine Larson Dobbins, you have experienced her warm and welcoming personality. It may not be unusual to expect a university’s first lady to be friendly; however, those who have gotten to know Jeanine say it’s not just a role she plays. “She’s......

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Creativity Takes Courage

At the time of its dedication, the River Campus was a $51 million project almost a decade in the making. Its birth was a vision for the arts—both at Southeast Missouri State University and for the region. It was a campus designed to bring art, music, dance and theatre in one space with studios to help the academic programs thrive. Theatre and performance space would allow students the experience of professional venues and bring in professional touring companies the community previously had to seek out in St. Louis or Memphis. The dream......

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Doing More With Less

In 1991, Ken Dobbins stood surrounded by packed boxes in his living room in Ohio as a Southeast Missouri State University official explained that the University was just hit with a $1 million budget shortfall. “They asked if I was going to still accept the position,” he remembers. “I just stared at all the packed boxes inside the house we just sold.” Dobbins decided he would take the position as planned before the budget woes occurred. He was rewarded for that by another $1 million budget hit one month in office as......

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Becoming First Choice

A personal mantra becomes a mission for a university president focused on access, quality and enrollment.  Southeast Missouri State University has experienced two decades of enrollment growth, and no matter who you talk with, much of the credit for that lands with the University president. “During Dr. Dobbins’ tenure at Southeast, enrollment has skyrocketed from 8,000 to more than 12,000 students, and he’s led the planning and financing of the major expansion in student housing to accommodate Southeast’s unparalleled growth,” says Stan Crader, former board chair for the Southeast Missouri University Foundation. Student......

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