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MSU Chief of Staff to Retire After Nearly 3 Decades at University

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- After nearly three decades of service to the university, MSU Chief of Staff Paul Kincaid says this school year will be his last. In a news release Tuesday, Missouri State University announced Kincaid will officially retire Oct. 1, 2014.
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- After nearly three decades of service to the university, MSU Chief of Staff Paul Kincaid says this school year will be his last.

In a news release Tuesday, Missouri State University announced Kincaid will officially retire Oct. 1, 2014.

Kincaid first came to MSU in 1986 as the first full-time director of university relations. He went on to become coordinator of governmental relations before former MSU Michael T. Nietzel named him chief of staff.

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SPRINGFIELD – 2013-14 will be the 28th and final year at Missouri State University for Paul Kincaid. The university’s chief of staff and assistant to the president for university relations has announced he will officially retire Oct. 1, 2014.

“Coming to this decision was extremely personal and very difficult,” said Kincaid. “As with any decision of this magnitude, there were 50 or 75 or 100 factors, but really only one reason: I sincerely believe this is the right timing both for me and for the university.

“I will be retiring from Missouri State, but not from work. I intend to continue working in public relations, marketing and communications after leaving the university. In the meantime, my goal is to make 2013-14 the most productive of my 28 years at Missouri State.”

The exact timing of the transition will depend on the starting date of his replacement. Kincaid, 60, will continue until that occurs, which is expected to be between July 1 and Aug. 15. He will continue to work on special assignments after his replacement begins and until his official retirement date of Oct. 1, 2014.

Kincaid informed Missouri State President Clifton M. Smart III of his intentions last week and informed his staff and administrative colleagues yesterday (Sept. 23).

“I was deeply saddened to learn of Paul’s desire to retire from Missouri State University,” said Smart. “He has been a great friend, adviser, historian and confidant since I assumed this position. I have never known anyone more committed to his job or who worked harder. I literally could not have done this job without him the first year. I will miss seeing him every day, but I am confident he will remain involved with the university he loves after retirement.”

Smart has asked Kincaid about continuing in a part-time position after retirement, an offer that Kincaid said he appreciated and would consider “if it makes sense and can benefit the university.”

The timing of his announcement is to provide the best succession planning possible, Kincaid said.

“I wanted to inform President Smart, the Board of Governors, my colleagues and my staff now to provide time for thoughtful consideration of any reorganization, to allow sufficient time for a search and to ensure that the transition itself is seamless,” said Kincaid. “It is very important to me that I leave the university in the best position possible to continue moving forward. I think that’s what ‘succession planning’ means.

“It has been a great honor to work at Missouri State and to work with such great faculty, staff and students. I cannot imagine a more talented, hard-working, dedicated group of people anywhere. It was a pleasure to work side-by-side with them to make Missouri State better every year. Like all administrators, my goal was to leave the university better than I found it. I hope that is the case.”

Kincaid came to Missouri State in 1986 as the first full-time director of university relations, the university’s chief public relations officer. University relations currently includes the offices of university communications, publications, Web and new media, photographic services and athletics communications.

Kincaid also oversees marketing for the university, including chairing the university’s Marketing Council.

In 1993, Kincaid was assigned the added role of coordinator of governmental relations. He has coordinated the state effort since 1993 and the federal initiatives since 2003. He is best known for helping with the university’s efforts to gain the statewide mission in public affairs in 1995 and with the name change, which was ultimately achieved in 2005.

In 2005, President Michael T. Nietzel named him chief of staff to the president in addition to his other responsibilities. Kincaid has served three presidents in that role. Since 1986, he also has worked with 39 different Board of Regents/Board of Governors members and 15 student board members.

In total, at Missouri State Kincaid has worked under five presidents and two interim presidents, and assisted with four presidential searches. He had a leadership role for the Centennial Celebration in 2005, most notably overseeing the writing and publication of the Centennial history book, “Daring to Excel,” and the creation of the presidential plazas.

Kincaid also:
•coordinated many special events, especially building ground-breakings, grand openings and dedications
•wrote significant news releases as well as background papers, speeches, stories for the alumni and internal publications
•helped write and edit four university long-range plans
•chaired and/or served on a number of university committees, advisory groups and task forces

During Kincaid’s time at Missouri State, the university:
• changed from open admissions to selective admissions, significantly increasing its average ACT score
• doubled the number of graduate programs and graduate students
• set multiple records for enrollment and fund-raising
• increased the diversity of its students
• expanded its international initiatives
• built and/or renovated more than a dozen facilities
• developed the Roy Blunt Jordan Valley Innovation Center and initiated the IDEA Commons innovation park
• enjoyed athletic successes, including multiple NCAA post-season appearances
• celebrated the centennial for the Mountain Grove campus in 1999 and the 50th anniversary of the West Plains campus in 2013

A native of Mission, Kan., and a 1970 Shawnee Mission North High School graduate, Kincaid came to Missouri State after 10 years at Emporia State University in Emporia, Kan. Prior to that, he worked one year at his alma mater, Phillips University in Enid, Okla., as assistant news bureau director.

He attended College of Emporia and Kansas State University before receiving his bachelor’s degree in mass communications in 1975 from Phillips University.

Kincaid has been a member of the Public Relations Society of America since 1988. He earned PRSA’s accreditation in public relations (APR) designation in February 1990. In November 2009, he was elected to the PRSA College of Fellows. He remains active in the local chapter of PRSA.

He has been active in the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) since 1976. For CASE International, he served on the Board of Trustees from 1999-2004, served as chair of the District Chairs Council from 2001-03. For CASE District VI, he had many roles, including conference program chair in 1993 and district chair in 1996-97.

Kincaid also has been active with the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU), including serving on its Public Relations Advisory Council since 1999.

During his career, Kincaid has received a number of professional awards, including the CASE District VI Distinguished Service Award in 2001 and the Marvin D. “Swede” Johnson Achievement Award in Governmental Relations in 2006. He was in Class II of Leadership Springfield in 1986-87 and participated in Leadership Missouri in 2007-08. In 2009, he was elected into the national Higher Education Roundtable (Lamplighters).

Kincaid and his wife, Janet, have two grown children: Jennifer, a counselor for Missouri Vocational Rehabilitation and professional dance instructor, and Brian, the coordinator of The eFactory business incubator at Missouri State University. Jennifer received both her undergraduate degree summa cum laude and graduate degree, both in psychology, from Missouri State. Brian received his undergraduate degree in finance summa cum laude from Drury University and his MBA from Missouri State.

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