On campus at Missouri State University. (Photo by Jesse Scheve/Missouri State University)

Missouri State University has two new members on its Board of Governors. On Monday, Republican Gov. Mike Parson announced he has appointed Jeff Schrag, of Springfield, and Tim Francka, of Bolivar, to the 10-member board. 

“I’m excited about the two new appointments,” MSU President Clif Smart said. 

Schrag is the owner of Mother’s Brewing Co. and publisher of the Daily Events newspaper. A graduate of Kansas State University, Schrag has served as chairman of the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce and the Community Foundation of the Ozarks. He also has been president of the Missouri Press Association and Missouri Craft Brewers Guild. His wife, Mary, currently serves on the Missouri State Board of Education and has previously served on MSU’s Board of Governors. Smart said he considers both to be long-time friends. 

Jeff Schrag

“He has been a great supporter of the university … even though he’s not a graduate,” Smart said. “He’s an entrepreneur. He’s very engaged with the community, and he’s very much involved with the Chamber. He’s been supportive of many university programs like (our) music programs and business programs. Jeff brings that entrepreneurial spirit that the university is known for.”

Francka is the administrative director of long-term care at the Citizens Memorial Heath Care Foundation. Francka, a Missouri State graduate, currently serves on the Missouri Health Care Association board of directors and is the Missouri delegate for the American Health Care Association. Smart said he does not know Francka, but is looking forward to getting to know him. 

“I am excited that he comes to us with a long career in health care,” he said. “Health care is our second-biggest college. It’s growing. It is a driver. It is a driver on the graduate front. So having someone on the board with health care experience is meaningful. I’d talked to the governor about that specifically, and so I appreciate Gov. Parson for responding that way.”

The two new members won’t officially take their seats until confirmed by the Missouri Senate. They replace Jay Wasson, who resigned in mid-2022, and Craig Frazier, whose term ended.

The MSU board is charged with adopting rules and regulations to guide the university, and it consists of nine voting members and one non-voting student member. Voting board members are appointed by the governor to serve six-year terms. Each congressional district in Missouri has at least one but no more than two voting members on the board. 

The new members are set to join the board about six months into a board-driven, two-year transformation plan, Smart said. It’s a process that involves reimagining academic framework, developing strategies to improve enrollment and retention numbers and to create new adult learning opportunities and employer partnerships, Smart said. 

He said he’s hoping that the two new members are confirmed in advance of the board’s next meeting in mid-February. 

Cory Matteson

Cory Matteson moved to Springfield in 2022 to join the team of Daily Citizen journalists and staff eager to launch a local news nonprofit. He returned to the Show-Me State nearly two decades after graduating from the University of Missouri-Columbia. Prior to arriving in Springfield, he worked as a reporter at the Lincoln Journal Star and Casper Star-Tribune. More by Cory Matteson