Rob Fulp will chair the search committee seeking a replacement for MSU President Clif Smart. (Photo: provided)

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The Alliance on Healthcare Education named a fifth member to its board of directors. 

Rob Fulp, a regional managing director with Great Southern Bank, was selected to be the fifth member Tuesday during a meeting of the board. He joins Board Chair and Springfield Public Schools Superintendent Grenita Lathan, Missouri State University President Clif Smart, Ozarks Technical Community College Chancellor Hal Higdon and CoxHealth CEO Max Buetow. 

The board also made a slight change to its bylaws, changing the title of the alliance’s lead employee to “executive director.” The board is conducting a search to fill the position. 

In addition to working for Great Southern Bank as a regional managing director of commercial lending, Fulp is also a prominent Springfield booster with a long list of service on boards and charitable foundations. Fulp is the outgoing chair of CoxHealth’s Board of Directors, and is also the chair of a search committee tasked with hiring the next president of Missouri State University, replacing the retiring Smart. In his role as CoxHealth board chair, Fulp played a key role in the formation of the Alliance on Healthcare Education.

Before his return to the banking industry earlier in 2023, after a two-year hiatus, Fulp spent more than 40 years working for banks, including as president of Springfield Community Bank (now Guaranty Bank) for 10 years. 

Fulp’s appointment fills out the alliance’s goal to assemble a five-member directing board. According to its bylaws, the four executive directors of each of the founder participants and a community member comprise the board. 

Announced in August, the alliance combines the resources of the four founding partners to address a shortage of health care workers across southwest Missouri. It effectively creates a track that enables high school students to train for further schooling and careers in health care positions. 

Springfield Public Schools opened a registration for 50 high school sophomores to apply for the courses they will take as juniors and seniors. Those students will attend classes in 2024 and 2025 on OTC’s Springfield campus. 

MSU and OTC will eventually take over space at CoxHealth’s Cox College and offer expanded degree programs. 

From left, Springfield Public Schools Superintendent Grenita Lathan, Missouri State University President Clif Smart, CoxHealth CEO Max Buetow and Ozarks Technical Community College Chancellor Hal Higdon announce the formation of the Alliance for Health Care Education Aug. 29, 2023. (Photo by David Stoeffler)

Joe Hadsall

Joe Hadsall is the education reporter for the Springfield Daily Citizen. Hadsall has more than two decades of experience reporting in the Ozarks with the Joplin Globe, Christian County Headliner News and 417 Magazine. Contact him at (417) 837-3671 or More by Joe Hadsall