Education news and issues in the Ozarks.

Drury University, Wallace Hall
Theresa Bettmann / KSMU

The incoming class of students at Drury University is the largest at the school in five years. Drury says 503 new students were on campus when classes began in the traditional Day School on Tuesday.

The preliminary number represents a 39 percent growth over the 363 total freshmen, transfer and international students last fall. The school’s largest ever incoming class was 538 in fall 2010.

Michele Skalicky / KSMU

Counselors will be on hand again today at Missouri State University to offer free help dealing with grief to those who knew retired history professor Dr. Marc Cooper. Representatives from the Mercy Employee Assistance Program will be available in Strong Hall  from 9:30 am to 4 pm to offer one-on-one meetings.

Carrington Hall
Archive / KSMU

Higher education institutions are among the businesses facing big changes to their payroll structures on Dec. 1, the day new requirements to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) kick in.

Specifically, the new rule increases the minimum annual salary for exempt employees from $23,660 to $47,476.

“We have a lot of people that make more than $23,000 but less than $47,500 that are in that managerial responsibility and so we’ve gotta figure out how we’re gonna handle that,” said MSU President Clif Smart.

Marc Cooper
Submitted Photo / Missouri State University

Missouri State University says faculty and staff are mourning the loss of Dr. Marc Cooper, an emeriti history professor. The 66-year-old was found stabbed to death Wednesday night in central Springfield.

Cooper's wife, Nancy, was also stabbed. Police say her injuries are not life-threatening.

Scott Harvey / KSMU

Over 350 Fremont Elementary students this week will experience new ways of learning and various spaces in which to do it.

The newly renovated and expanded school welcomes pre-k through fifth graders Wednesday to its north Springfield location. By adding students from adjacent schools, it also relieves some overcrowding issues elsewhere.

Principal James Grandon says classrooms are twice the size of traditional learning spaces, giving twice as many teachers access to students.