January 1
Dr. Mario Garcia begins his duties as the inaugural director of the new Institute for Cybersecurity.

January 2020
Construction began over the holiday break on renovation to utility tunnels 51-55 between the Otto and Della Seabaugh Polytechnic Building and Group Housing.

Southeast transitions to a self-insurance employee health plan.

The public relations option in Southeast’s mass communication program is recertified by the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA). The Certification in Education for Public Relations (CEPR), administered by PRSA, is dedicated to the continual improvement of public relations education to better prepare the next generation of practicing professionals.

January 22
Southeast receives funding through the MoExcels Workforce Initiative to boost the number of healthcare professionals in the rural southeast Missouri workforce. The Health Care Pathways Project will assist Saint Francis Medical Center employees in identifying ways to advance or complete their education through prior learning assessments and enrollment in academic programs such as the RN to BSN and business and health administration/management programs and more.

January 31
The Southeast Missouri State University Autism Center for Diagnosis and Treatment celebrates 10 years of service and outreach to families in southeast Missouri.

February 15
For the eighth straight year, the Southeast Cyber Defense Team wins the Missouri Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition.

February 18
Southeast is awarded the 2020-2021 Military Friendly® Schools Silver Designation, ranking it among the year’s list of “Better for Veterans” institutions nationally. Southeast is listed among the nation’s top higher education institutions for setting the standard for providing the best opportunities for veterans and their spouses.

February 21
Federal and state officials visit Southeast to discuss workforce development, rural healthcare needs and the role of law enforcement in the drug addiction crisis in rural Missouri. Participating were Missouri Gov. Mike Parson; Jim Carroll, White House Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP); Anne Hazlett, ONDCP senior advisor for rural affairs; U.S. Rep. Jason Smith; and other regional leaders in health, mental health and law enforcement. The recently published “Rural Community Action Guide” was distributed which focuses on the far-reaching impacts of drug abuse and provides rural leaders action steps and recommendations to combat drug addiction-related issues.

February 24
Work on the Experiential Lab on the first floor of Dempster Hall is complete. This space will provide comprehensive space and technology for real-world student experiences as they cultivate their skills in finance, sales and hospitality management. The facility is expected to open later this semester.

March 3
Southeast announces plans to expand its River Campus with a new art complex to house its ceramics, sculpture and painting programs, creating a “gateway to the arts” in downtown Cape Girardeau. Via a public-private partnership, Southeast will expand its River Campus footprint through renovation and expansion of a facility at 340 S. Frederick. The University is working with the property owners, Scott and Lisa Blank of Cape Girardeau, through a lease-purchase agreement. The new art complex will be in the former Cape Restaurant Supply, just blocks from Southeast’s River Campus, home to the University’s Holland College of Arts and Media.

March 4
Southeast suspends University-related travel for faculty, staff and students to China, Italy, Iran and South Korea due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

March 2020
The University cancels a spring break study abroad trip to London, France and Germany, and student teaching practicums in Chile in April due to COVID-19.

March 9
Southeast Missouri’s women’s basketball team wins the OVC Tournament title, defeating UT Martin and securing a berth to the NCAA Tournament. This was the second OVC Tournament Championship in program history and first since 2006-2007.

March 12
NCAA announces it is canceling its Division I men’s and women’s college basketball tournament due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Southeast’s women’s basketball team was scheduled to compete in the tournament.

March 18
Due to the pandemic, all University events are canceled and remain canceled through June 30.

Southeast announces residence halls will close for the remainder of the spring semester with move-out scheduled for March 20-28, due to COVID-19.

March 23
Southeast suspends in-person classes due to COVID-19. Classes are conducted through alternative modes of delivery for the remainder of the spring semester. Faculty redesign about 1,600 face-to-face courses in just two weeks to adapt to the necessity of remote coursework delivery.

March 24
All Southeast campuses begin transitioning to telework with limited on-site presence due to COVID-19.

March 26
Due to the pandemic, Southeast announces adjustments to fees for parking decal expenses and room and board fees for students with University housing contracts. Adjustments are effective March 23 through the end of the semester.

March 27
Southeast announces an Emergency Relief Fund to support students during COVID-19, providing aid to ensure financial hardship does not disrupt students’ ability to pursue their education. More than $16,000 was raised from more than 90 donors.

March 30
Southeast begins the second half of the spring 2020 semester with alternative delivery of coursework, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

March 31
Southeast 3D prints face masks and face shields to help safeguard the community’s healthcare workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. Faculty and staff in Southeast’s Kent Library’s Heather MacDonald Greene Multimedia Center, EDvolution Center, Catapult Creative House and the Department of Engineering & Technology pooled their 3D printers to build the shields. They are helping meet the dire need for PPE in short supply nationally.

April 1
Gov. Parson announces $180 million in expenditure restrictions to help ensure a balanced budget, with nearly $62 million from four‐year higher education institutions, including, $3.7 million from Southeast. Prior to this withhold, Southeast was funded at a level equivalent to 1999. With the withhold, the University’s funding is now closer to a level equal to 1998.

April 2
Southeast postpones spring 2020 commencement ceremonies due to COVID-19.

April 9
The Arrow, Southeast’s student newspaper, wins 18 awards while virtually hosting the 2020 Missouri College Media Association (MCMA) Awards Ceremony. Among the Arrow’s awards were four first-place awards, six second-place awards, five third-place awards and three honorable mentions.

April 10
Southeast’s Fault Line Film Festival celebrates 10 years of showcasing the creative talents of filmmaking students from the University, area high schools and other institutions across the Midwest during an online version of the festival.

April 15
Due to COVID-19, students are given the options to elect an Incomplete or Credit/No Credit for spring 2020 coursework if they believe their final grade could be negatively impacted by changes to the spring 2020 semester due to the pandemic.

April 18
The Redhawk Food Pantry makes boxes of non-perishable food items available for Southeast students, faculty, staff and Chartwells employees via a drive-thru format. This was the first of several mobile food pantries to help assist during the COVID-19 pandemic.

April 21
Southeast announces plans to extend its Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (BSBA) program to its regional campuses in Sikeston and Kennett, Missouri, and to the University’s Poplar Bluff delivery site beginning in fall 2020.

April 28
Southeast’s Special Collections and Archives announces a new special digital collection, “Documenting the Pandemic: Stories from Southeast,” to record the life-changing COVID-19 pandemic for historical posterity.  The Archives asked individuals to share their first-hand accounts of how the pandemic has changed their lives.

May 1
Southeast launches two new online degree programs for individuals interested in advancing their education in childcare and child development. An online Associate of Arts in Child Care and Guidance and an online Bachelor of Science in Child and Family Studies with a child development option will provide a seamless pathway for students to earn a credential in as early as two years while continuing their learning journey at Southeast with a bachelor’s degree.

May 8
Computers in the EDvolution Center at Southeast leverage their power to contribute to COVID-19 research as part of the Folding@Home initiative. Folding@Home is a distributed computing project for simulating protein dynamics, including the process of protein folding and the movements of proteins implicated in many diseases. The project brings together citizen scientists who volunteer to run simulations of protein dynamics on their personal computers.

Southeast announces receipt of $6,830,214 through the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund of the CARES Act, a federal stimulus package in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Half of the funding ($3,415,107) will be awarded directly to students as emergency aid. The University instructs students on how to apply to be considered for COVID-19 Relief funding.

May 12
USA Gymnastics cancels 2020 national championships due to COVID-19. Southeast’s gymnastics team was on a path to compete at this tournament.

May 14
KRCU Public Radio at Southeast completes the first phase of its newest expansion project as KDMC 91.3 FM signs on the air from Van Buren, Missouri.

May 15
Four 2020 Cape Central High School students are the first to graduate from Southeast’s Accelerated College Experience pilot program launched in 2018. They simultaneously earned credit towards their high school diploma while completing either an Associate of Arts from Three Rivers College or their CORE 42 general education requirements.

The Southeast Board of Regents approves a new Professional Pilot Bachelor of Science. The program now goes to the Missouri Department of Higher Education and Workforce Development for review. Southeast plans to begin implementing the program and admitting students in August 2020 with the program to launch in fall 2021.

The Southeast Board of Regents approves an amendment to the charter of the Lift for Life Academy in St. Louis, expanding the school’s services to Pre-K-12 th grades. The amendment adds pre-kindergarten services as part of a St. Louis area charter school Early Childhood Education Cooperative focused on providing greater access to free, high-quality pre-kindergarten education for three- and four-year-olds.

The Southeast Board of Regents approves a no trespass policy statement and related campus signage. The new policy outlines circumstances under which access to or presence on University property may be restricted and includes procedures for issuing a No Trespass Notice to individuals not affiliated with the University when appropriate.

The Southeast Board of Regents approves FY21 room and board rates, including a plan to offer single rooms in Towers South and East beginning in fall 2020 as these accommodations continue to be an attractive option for students.

May 18
Summer classes begin today via online or remote delivery modes due to COVID-19.

Southeast begins Phase I of its reopening plan as employees transition from telework via a phased process. Workspaces are retrofitted to meet COVID-19 guidelines.

May 27
Southeast announces face-to-face classes will be held in fall 2020 and a new flexible learning mode will be launched. Due to COVID-19, some sections will be relocated to large, non-academic spaces on campus. Over the summer, modifications to academic spaces will be made to meet federal, state and local public health guidance. Technology also will be added or upgraded in many academic spaces to support virtual meetings.

June 1
Gov. Mike Parson announces more than $209 million in budget restrictions due to COVID-19, equating to a $2.07million FY20 withholding for Southeast. This was the second budget restriction for Southeast this fiscal year, with the first coming earlier in the spring. The two FY20 withholdings together total $5.78 million, representing 13% of Southeast’s initial FY20 appropriation.

June 22
The Board of Regents approves a new Graduate Certificate in Cybersecurity and a new minor in jazz studies. Both new programs are to begin with the 2020-2021 academic year.

Southeast announces changes to its fall 2020 calendar to mitigate COVID-19 risks. The schedule calls for forgoing the Labor Day holiday and fall break, and for in-person classes to end before the Thanksgiving break to limit students’ exposure to the virus during holiday-related travel and the potential for transmission thereafter. The remainder of the fall semester and final exams will be conducted online/remotely.

June 22
Acting on pleas for societal reform, Southeast creates the Scholarship for Advocacy, Equity and Justice to mark this historic moment in time in our nation. The scholarship underscores the University’s ongoing commitment to making Southeast a just and equitable institution and will be awarded to a student who values and promotes peaceful advocacy and inclusion.

President Carlos Vargas charges the University’s Equity and Inclusion Committee with implementing a multi-year training program for University leaders, strengthening Southeast’s mentoring programs, establishing a series of workshops dedicated to diversity and cultural inclusion, enhancing engagement with community partners and working with Southeast’s administrative units and academic colleges to continue conversations and reaffirm the University’s commitment to being a more diverse and inclusive community.

June 23
Southeast announces its residence halls will reopen in fall 2020 and be open during the winter break.

June 30
Summer classes beginning today are taught both in-person and online, with courses conducted in the mode of delivery as they were originally scheduled.

July 1
Southeast unveils refreshed spirit marks, including a new primary logo, wordmark and variations for its 15 athletic programs. The redesign features an official brand font to complement the marks, and a focused emphasis on ‘SEMO’ as the preferred reference for the University in Athletics and less formal communications. These logos are the first update to the University’s spirit branding since the Redhawk was introduced in 2005.

Campus events and activities resume after a pause due to COVID-19.

July 10
Southeast announces face coverings will be required at the University beginning July 13 to mitigate transmission of COVID-19.

July 15
Southeast is among five Missouri universities highlighted in the “Degrees with Less Debt: Postsecondary Strategies that Enhance Low-Income and Black Student Success” report released today by St. Louis Graduates. The report identifies strategies employed at colleges and universities attended by St. Louis area students to support low-income and Black students to graduation with less debt. 

July 20
Southeast announces its Protect the Nest Return to Campus Plan to guide students, employees and visitors as the University prepares for the fall 2020 semester. The plan is the result of ongoing work of the University’s Emergency Response Team (ERT) and its six subcommittees in response to the impacts of COVID-19.

August 11
The Board of Regents approves an updated Title IX compliance statement which reflects new guidance from the Department of Education regarding sexual discrimination, sexual harassment and sexual misconduct/sexual violence. The Board also approves a revised policy regarding anti-harassment and non-discrimination.

August 14
Southeast announces a new Division of Equity, Access and Behavioral Health, bringing together under one umbrella the Center for Behavioral Health and Accessibility; Student Conduct; the LGBTQ+ Resource Center; Title IX enforcement of the sexual harassment policy and federal Equal Opportunity law compliance; enforcement of the University’s Non-Discrimination/Affirmative Action policies, procedures and practices and compliance with state and federal civil rights laws; Academic Support Centers; TRIO Programs, currently including the McNair Scholars Programs and Student Support Services; Educational Access Programs; and the Learning Assistance Program. The new Division is expected to strengthen the University’s diversity education efforts and bolster the cultural competence of the University community.

Fall 2020
Gender inclusive housing floor is opened in Vandiver Hall.

August 17
The Ohio Valley Conference (OVC) Board of Presidents announces that fall competition and championships in football, men’s and women’s cross country, women’s soccer and women’s volleyball will be postponed due to concerns and uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic. The decision also impacts the fall competitive schedules for Southeast’s women’s tennis and the non-traditional competition seasons for baseball and softball.

August 19
Southeast’s Mu Kappa chapter of Sigma Nu fraternity is honored with the year’s national Rock Chapter Award, recognizing excellence in all areas of chapter operations.

August 21
Family Weekend and Homecoming Festivities – two of Southeast Missouri’s signature fall traditions – are canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

August 28
Codefi and Southeast enter a partnership to provide additional education, training and support to aspiring and practicing entrepreneurs. The collaborative efforts are made possible by a financial contribution from Codefi to the Southeast Missouri University Foundation that will supplement existing resources to provide additional experiential learning opportunities to students, as well as research and consulting services to the companies located at Codefi and others they support across southeast Missouri.

September 9
To increase access to higher education, Southeast announce expansion of its test optional admissions and scholarship offerings for beginning freshmen starting in fall 2021.

September 15
Southeast is awarded a $1.9 million TRIO Student Support Services (SSS) grant from the U.S. Department of Education to support 200 students annually over a five-year period through the University’s Academic Support Centers.

September 24
Southeast announces rescheduled, in-person dates in November for fall commencement ceremonies to honor spring, summer and fall 2020 graduates. Southeast was unable to host commencement for spring and summer graduates in May 2020 due to COVID-19.

"Southeast’s new Veterans Plaza, located between Academic Hall and Memorial Hall and honoring the military service of Southeast veterans or families of veterans, is dedicated."

Sept. 25, 2020

Veterans standing behind newly established Veterans Plaza

September 25
Southeast reaches a new retention milestone of first-year students this fall, with 80% of first-time, full-time students re-enrolling. Total headcount is down 6%, but the decline in full-time equivalent enrollment of 5% is less than projected during the budget review process. New, first-time enrollment declined only 1%, despite a 13% decline projected in March 2020. Thanks to the efforts of staff and faculty during the COVID-19 pandemic, Southeast was able to avert this estimate. Also, minority enrollment increased to 14% of headcount.

October 1
Southeast is selected to participate in the American Council on Education (ACE) Learner Success Laboratory (LSL). The LSL is part of a suite of ACE’s Transformation Labs to guide colleges and universities through a structured strategic planning process to advance critical institutional priorities.

Due to the ongoing pandemic, the spring 2021 schedule is released with modifications. Classes will begin January 25, 2021, one week later than originally scheduled. No classes will be held February 23 and March 17, and Reading Days will be added on these dates. The semester will end May 14, 2021, as originally scheduled.

October 13
Academic Advising launches the Peer Advisor Support at Southeast (PASS) Program to provide new students a supportive relationship with peer advisers who offer guidance, practical advice and ways to connect to campus.

October 14
Southeast announces it is among the inaugural class of elite institutions across the globe to be named a “Yamaha Institution of Excellence.” With the designation, the University also acquires 40 new Yamaha pianos during the first phase of a strategic initiative to span 10 years. Over the next decade, another 40 new Yamaha pianos will find a home at the River Campus, bringing the total acquisition to 80 new pianos. The acquisition offers Southeast the opportunity to foray into music technology and innovation.

October 19
The Southeast Missouri State University Autism Center for Diagnosis and Treatment receives a $64,000 Opportunity Grant from the Missouri Foundation for Health to advance the Center’s mission of providing support, tools and resources for Bootheel families.

October 24
The Arrow, Southeast’s student newspaper, is honored with six national awards during the Associated College Press (ACP) /College Media Association’s virtual Fall National College Media Convention. The Arrow receives two first-place awards, one second-place award, two third-place awards and was recognized as one of 46 newspaper finalists in the nation in the ACP Newspaper Pacemaker Awards competition.

November 10
Southeast’s Special Collections and Archives unveils a new digital collection, “Documenting the Pandemic: Stories from Southeast,” which includes the stories of campus and community members’ experiences amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

November 17
Southeast announces a new partnership, the Three-Three J.D. Program, with the University of Missouri School of Law. Participating students complete their major and general education requirements in three years, and then matriculate to the University of Missouri Law School during what would have been their senior year at Southeast. This program gives them the opportunity to complete their first year of law school while completing credit hours that transfer back to Southeast to complete their upper division credit hour requirements for their undergraduate degree.

December 2020
Southeast Missouri State University-Kennett celebrates its 20 th year of operation.

December 4
Southeast announces a partnership with US Aviation Group (USAG) and the Cape Girardeau Regional Airport for its Professional Pilot program. Starting in fall 2021, students will have the ability to earn a Bachelor of Science in Professional Pilot.

December 11
KRCU Public Radio at Southeast completes the second phase of its newest expansion project when KDMC 91.3 FM signs on the air from its new home in Ellsinore, Missouri. The second phase involved moving the transmission site to Ellsinore from Van Buran, Missouri, which allows the station to provide a better signal to southeast Missouri listeners.

December 18
The Board of Regents approves the addition, streamlining and deletion of several academic programs following the University’s recent Academic Prioritization Review begun in late spring 2019.


January 25
Southeast implements Canvas as its new learning management system. All winter and spring courses will be fully in Canvas after a successful pilot phase in Fall 2020.

Southeast appoints Dr. Ken Jackson Director of Aviation Operations for its Professional Pilot program.

January 29
Southeast nursing students and faculty volunteer and help administer 1,848 COVID-19 vaccine doses at a vaccination clinic at the Show Me Center hosted by the Cape Girardeau County Public Health Center and Missouri National Guard.

February 9
The State Board of Education evaluated Southeast’s sponsorship of Lift for Life Academy and adopts a Department of Elementary and Secondary Education recommendation that Southeast be allowed to continue as a charter sponsor of Lift for Life Academy.

February 22
For the ninth consecutive year, Southeast’s Cyber Defense Team wins the Missouri Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition.

Southeast is awarded the 2021-2022 Military Friendly® Top 10 Schools and Gold designation, recognizing its commitment to increase and continuously improve policies and procedures benefiting veterans and students as they pursue their higher education goals.

February 26
The Southeast Board of Regents approves plans to expand private room housing on campus in Fall 2021.

The Southeast Board of Regents approves flight and training fees from US Aviation Group for the new Professional Pilot program to launch in fall 2021.

The Board of Regents approves amended and restated By-Laws of the Board of Regents of Southeast, including an amendment to clarify and formalize the frequency of Board of Regents meetings and Article IV to allow for Standing Committees.

Legislation in support of Southeast’s statewide mission request is filed in the Missouri House and Senate that would designate Southeast with a statewide mission in visual and performing arts, computer science, and cybersecurity. The House Bill was recently voted ‘Do Pass’ by the House Higher Education Committee with a vote of 11-0 and has been referred to the House Rules-Administrative Oversight Committee for further consideration.

March 1
A Strategic Action Plan Steering Committee begins meeting to develop a framework for Southeast’s new focused strategic action plan to be presented to the Board of Regents in December 2021.

March 5
The Donald L. Harrison College of Business and Computing is reaccredited by AACSB International – the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.

March 9
Theatre website OnStage Blog recognizes Southeast in its “Best College Theatre Programs in Every State” list for 2021.

March 10
As the pandemic continues, Southeast announces it will host five in-person commencement ceremonies May 14-15, to honor spring and summer graduates, accommodating graduates and their guests while maintaining social distancing guidelines.

March 30
KRCU Public Radio at Southeast transfers KDMC 91.3 FM to Van Buren, Missouri, frequency 88.7 FM as part of its signal expansion project. The new frequency provides an improved signal to southeast Missouri listeners to enjoy KRCU’s quality programming.

April 20
The Southeast debate team finishes fifth in the virtual Education Debate Association’s National Debate Tournament.

April 26
Southeast’s Greek Week 2020 raises more than $45,000 to support the campus and local community, and this year’s blood drive finishes as one the largest in Greek Week history, netting 1,011 units donated to the American Red Cross.

May 14-15
Southeast hosts five in-person commencement ceremonies to honor spring and summer graduates, accommodating graduates and their guests while maintaining social distancing guidelines.

May 19
Southeast id awarded the 2021-2022 Military Friendly® Spouse School designation. The Spouse School designation is a prominent continuation of the University’s rankings from Military Friendly®, which also recently awarded Southeast a 2021-2022 Top 10 Schools and Gold designation.

The Arrow, the student newspaper of Southeast Missouri State University, won 22 awards during the Missouri College Media Association (MCMA) 2021 Virtual Conference.

June 2
Southeast wins the Ohio Valley Conference Commissioner's Cup, the league's ultimate symbol of overall athletic excellence in Conference-sponsored championships, for the first time in school history. While competing in the middle of a COVID-19 pandemic, the Redhawks celebrated a dominating spring season bolstered by first-place finishes in women's tennis, women's track & field, softball and baseball, and a second-place finish in men's track & field. The Redhawks also posted third-place finishes in women's basketball, soccer and volleyball. 

June 30
As part of the next step in its signal expansion project, KRCU Public Radio installs a new antenna and other equipment at 88.7 FM Van Buren. The final phase of the expansion project will be for FCC licensing and approval allowing the station to return to its original power level of 100,000 watts. Once the full project is completed, the station will reach nearly 80,000 listeners in the communities of Poplar Bluff, Van Buren, Ellsinore, Doniphan and Piedmont in Missouri, and in northern Arkansas.

July 7
The Southeast Missouri University Foundation has raised close to $8 million in FY21, which is the highest yearly total since the conclusion of the last major campaign in 2015. The foundation raised $5.8 million in FY19 and $4.75 million in FY20. Most of the money raised, $4.3 million, was donated as outright gifts to the foundation. That is our best total in this type of gift since 2009, said Trudy Lee, vice president for University Advancement and executive director of the Southeast Missouri University Foundation. The additional funds raised, more than $3 million, was received from bequests and the remainder from event sponsorships and attendance.

July 13
Gov. Mike Parson signed House Bill 297 (HB 297) into law on Tuesday, July 13, officially designating Southeast as an institution of higher education with a statewide mission in the areas of computer science, cybersecurity, and visual and performing arts.

July 27
The Southeast Missouri State University Board of Regents voted at its July 27 meeting to offer Dr. Carlos Vargas a new three-year rolling contract to continue as President of Southeast Missouri State University.

July 29
With a focus on providing students a transparent and easy to navigate pathway, officials with Southeast Missouri State University and Mineral Area College (MAC) signed four articulation agreements that will assist in the seamless transfer of students from MAC to bachelor’s degree programs at Southeast. Dr. Carlos Vargas, president of Southeast, and Dr. Joseph Gilgour, president of MAC, signed the agreements during a ceremony at MAC July 29. 

August 2021
The Southeast Board of Regents becomes the Southeast Board of Governors.

August 11
Southeast Missouri State University’s social work program has been reaccredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) for eight years through February 2027. The reaccreditation completes a process that began in August 2018 and included a site visit in February 26, 2020.

September 1
The south side of Houck Field is closed due to safety concerns. Architecture and design firm Hollis + Miller are developing plans for a new structure that could be in place by the start of the fall 2022 season. 

September 7
Southeast Missouri State University has been recognized by Forbes as part of its third annual ‘America’s Best-In-State Employers 2021’ list, ranking as one of the top ten employers in Missouri. Southeast ranked eighth in the state and is also the only organization based in Cape Girardeau to make the list.

September 17
Southeast President Dr. Carlos Vargas emailed students today letting them know the University will distribute $10.4 million in direct aid to them starting September 22. The American Rescue Plan (ARP), a federal stimulus package responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, was signed into law on March 11, 2021. A portion of the ARP provides funding to support students at institutions of higher education in covering unexpected expenses due to COVID-19. Southeast received $10.4 million in Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) III funds to distribute directly to students. This amount is based on a formula in the ARP and funds are provided through the U.S. Department of Education.

Southeast was recognized in multiple categories in the 2022 U.S. News & World Report Best Colleges rankings released this week. Southeast was recognized in nine categories, five overall university categories and four program specific categories. Most notable ranking for Southeast was being No. 16 on the “Top Public Schools” among Midwestern regional universities. The University was also recognized among Midwest regional universities as a Top Performer on Social Mobility, Best Value School, Best College for Veterans and Best Regional University.

Fall 2021
Classroom capacities are set at pre-pandemic levels, and course delivery modes offered are the same as before the pandemic.

Southeast President Dr. Carlos Vargas emailed students today letting them know the University will be distributing $10.4 million in direct aid to them starting on Wednesday, September 22. The American Rescue Plan (ARP), a federal stimulus package responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, was signed into law on March 11, 2021. A portion of the ARP provides funding to support students at institutions of higher education in covering unexpected expenses due to COVID-19. Southeast received $10.4 million in Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) III funds to distribute directly to students. 

Southeast has been recognized in multiple categories in the 2022 U.S. News & World Report Best Colleges rankings released this week. Southeast was recognized in 9 categories, five overall university categories and four program specific categories. Most notable ranking for Southeast was being No. 16on the Top Public Schools among Midwestern regional universities. The University was also recognized among Midwest regional universities as a Top Performer on Social Mobility, Best Value School, Best College for Veterans and Best Regional University.

September 21-22
Members of the Strategic Action Plan Steering Committee lead open forums to gather input and feedback regarding the development of a new Strategic Action Plan.

September 23-24
Southeast’s Board of Governors meets for the first time under its new designation. Until this point in the institution’s history, the governing board was known as the “Board of Regents.” The new “Board of Governors” designation is the result of House Bill 297 approved by Gov. Michael L. Parson on July 14, 2021, that officially designated Southeast as an institution of higher education with a statewide mission in the areas of computer science, cybersecurity, and visual and performing arts. Under state law, any institution with a statewide mission shall have a board of governors.  

October 3
Southeast -owned artwork goes on display at the Saint Louis Art Museum and will remain on display through January 9, 2022, during an exhibition celebrating the 200th anniversary of Missouri’s statehood. Southeast’s contribution to the exhibit comes from the Houck Statuary Collection, acquired in late 1904 by Louis Houck, a railroad entrepreneur and longtime president and member of the former Board of Regents. The collection consisted of 58 pieces of artwork by the highly reputable German artist August Gerber, who created reproductions of ancient world-famous art for the German educational exhibit at the 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis. The Houck Statuary Collection helped the Saint Louis Art Museum tell the story of the World’s Fair, and its impact on the region.

October 13
The National Weather Service (NWS) designated Southeast Missouri State University as StormReady®, highlighting the University’s preparedness for extreme weather and water events. The StormReady® program focuses on communication, mitigation and community preparedness to save lives and property from severe weather. Communities, like universities, must meet certain guidelines before the NWS certifies the community as StormReady®.

October 29
Southeast students, faculty and staff exceeded the 70% vaccination rate goal to help protect against COVID-19 set by University President Dr. Carlos Vargas on August 26 as part of the Great SEMO Vaccine Give Away Get Away incentive program. As a reward, the University was closed Thanksgiving week, November 22-26, and classes scheduled November 22-23 were canceled.


March 2022

Southeast Missouri State University added almost $1 billion to the Missouri economy and supported over 13,000 jobs in fiscal year 2019-2020, according to a recent study that measures the economic impact and return on investment of the University to students, taxpayers, and society. The study was released in March 2022.

August 2022

Construction begins on the first phase of a new transformational Houck multi-use complex.

World Events

The COVID-19 pandemic spreads from China to the vast majority of the world's inhabited areas, infecting at least 81 million and killing at least 1.8 million during its first year. The pandemic led to worldwide lockdowns, and cancellation and postponement of most events.

The murder of George Floyd sparks protests across the United States and the world.

COVID-19 fears cause the Dow Jones Industrial Average to drop 10% in one week, which is its largest drop in history, triggering the COVID-19 recession and the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression.

Joe Biden wins the 2020 U.S. presidential election and becomes the 46th president of the United States. Kamala Harris becomes the first female, Black and Asian vice president in U.S history.

The United States begins mass vaccinations to protect against COVID-19.

President Donald Trump’s supporters storm the U.S. Capitol, in an effort to disrupt certifying the 2020 presidential election results. Members of Congress were evacuated. Five people died. The event became classified as a domestic terrorist attack.

The 2020 Summer Olympics and Paralympics (postponed in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic) are held in Tokyo, Japan.

The number of recorded deaths from COVID-19 surpasses 5 million.

Queen Elizabeth II, the United Kingdom's longest-serving monarch, died September 8, 2022, at Balmoral at the age of 96, after reigning for 70 years.