Missouri State University

Skip search and site index


Now that the conference has passed, check out the schedule to listen to panels and watch keynote videos.

Keynote Video

All events are free and open to the public. No registration is necessary.
Free parking.

About the


April 21-24, 2009

The conference features a series of keynote presentations, panel discussions, and special events throughout the week, which touch upon business, family, international issues, the arts, and education.

Listen on iTunes! Missouri State Journal: Hear about this year's theme!

Welcome from the Conference Chair

Dr. D. Alexander Wait

A discussion of sustainability leading to sustainable practices is the goal of the fifth Missouri State University Public Affairs Conference. Sustainability is more than a buzzword; it is a concept that defines actions needed for our civilization to survive. Sustainability requires an understanding of the intersection of social Equity, Economic prosperity, and Environmental preservation (the three "E's" of sustainable development). Sustainable development leaves no one person or group behind. Sustainable development is measured by more than goods and wealth. It is also measured by natural capital, ecosystem services, happiness, wellbeing, health and vitality. Education is the catalyst for understanding the intersection of the three E's.

The Public Affairs Conference has support from Missouri State President, Dr. Michael Nietzel, Provost Belinda McCarthy, presenting sponsor the Springfield News-Leader and the conference's talented team of Candace Fisk, director of the Missouri State Public Affairs Academy, Mary Ann Wood, director of Public Affairs Support, and the more than 25 Public Affairs Conference Task Force members. We invite your participation and input as we work toward sustainable development and a sustainable future; not just at Missouri State University, and not just for our students, and not just for the Ozarks - but a sustainable future imagined and realized now - for all generations across the globe.

Through our diverse program of panels, keynote sessions and special events, we are constructing a conference reflecting the needs of our University and of our metropolitan community. We invite you to participate in dialog and events with our presenters and others who attend the conference as we pursue a goal of a sustainable future.

Dr. D. Alexander Wait
Provost Fellow for Public Affairs
Conference Chair

An Invitation from the University President

Dr. Michael Nietzel

Sustainability is to today's college students what civil rights was to many students of the 1960s and 1970s. Like college students around the country, Missouri State University students are passionate about it. Sustainability is an important topic, not only for us in Missouri, but for our nation and the world. That is why we are pleased to have it be the theme of this year's Public Affairs Conference. Please accept this invitation to join us for this very special event.

Since having its Public Affairs mission signed into law in 1995, Missouri State University has been successful in integrating the mission into the fabric of campus life. From the curriculum to convocations to special events to service learning, the campus has embraced the mission and all it stands for. Our national recognition from the Templeton Foundation and The Princeton Review speaks to that success.

A centerpiece of the statewide mission is the annual Public Affairs Conference, which brings together an impressive group of individuals from across the United States and around the world to discuss a topic of current importance. The participants bring a wide range of experience and viewpoints. The result is a series of discussions that are informative, challenging and inspiring.

I hope you will join us for these four memorable days as we explore ideas and solutions for our challenge with sustainability. It is one of those topics we simply cannot afford to ignore.

Dr. Michael T. Nietzel
Missouri State University