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Clif Smart is approved to serve as Missouri State University’s president through June 30, 2026.
Photo provided by Missouri State University
Clif Smart is approved to serve as Missouri State University’s president through June 30, 2026.

Clif Smart’s contract extended at MSU

Posted online

The Missouri State University Board of Governors voted to extend President Clif Smart’s contract by another four years.

With the extension of his existing contract, Smart was approved to continue leading the university through June 30, 2026, according to a news release.

“We are extremely pleased with the direction of Missouri State University under President Smart’s guidance,” board Chairwoman Carrie Tergin said in the release. “His leadership has been invaluable in helping the university successfully navigate through a difficult year of budget reduction and uncertainty.”

The board’s contract extension vote came after Smart’s annual self-assessment during the governors’ June meeting. The board spent the summer months evaluating the assessment.

“I am proud of our accomplishments since starting as president in 2011,” Smart said in the release. “I’m certain we will continue to expand and elevate the university and its reputation as we provide a quality and affordable higher education option for Missouri.”

Smart declined a salary increased for the 2018-19 academic year, meaning his base pay will stay at $334,981. Tergin noted the university’s president “was adamant that he should not receive a raise in a year when faculty and staff do not receive across-the-board raises.”

Effective July 1, 2022, Smart’s contract extension means a pay raise to a salary of no less than $380,000. Currently, Smart earns $50,000 annually as part of a deferred compensation plan that fully vests in 2022. Effective June 30, 2023, Smart will be eligible to earn a $50,000 annual cash retention bonus in lieu of deferred compensation, according to the release.

Smart joined MSU in December 2007 as general counsel after a 20-year legal career. He was named interim president in June 2011 and president in October 2012.


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