February 11, 2005
Recent UM News
UM Legislative Update is published by Government Relations and University Relations to inform stakeholders of important government activities affecting the University of Missouri.
Legislators form University of Missouri House Caucus
University of Missouri Caucus Co-Chairs Rep. Jim Guest and Rep. Cathy Jolly
To help foster communication and support for the University of Missouri, a group of state representatives with ties to one of the four campuses organized the University of Missouri House Caucus this week. Final signatures are being gathered, but co-chair and UM-Rolla graduate Rep. Jim Guest (R-King City) anticipates about 60 members will sign up. Guest co-chairs the group with Rep. Cathy Jolly (D-Kansas City), who holds degrees from both the Columbia and Kansas City campuses. The co-chairs share leadership duties with vice chairs Rep. Ed Robb (R-Columbia), a former MU professor of economics, and Rep. Clint Zweifel (D-St. Louis), who holds two degrees from UM-St. Louis. [Read more…]
President testifies before House Education Appropriations Committee
University of Missouri President Elson S. Floyd testified in support of the University budget request on Tuesday, Feb. 8 before the House Education Appropriations Committee. "The fundamental guiding principle for us must be to continue to be affordable, to maintain the excellence of the University, and to enhance and promote access," Floyd said. [Read the entire testimony]
The presidents or their representatives from all publicly supported institutions of higher education presented testimony before the Committee this week, and all expressed appreciation to Gov. Blunt for his budget recommendation that higher education receive the same amount next year that each institution received in the current year.
President addresses name change in report to board
President Elson S. Floyd addressed the attempt by Southwest Missouri State University to change its name to Missouri State University during his remarks to the Board of Curators at the Feb. 4 meeting in Columbia.
Noting that the final decision regarding the name change will be made by the Missouri General Assembly, Floyd said that any legislation regarding the name change should contain the following: an affirmation of the exclusive research and land-grant responsibilities of the University of Missouri; a commitment not to duplicate existing academic programs offered by UM; and a commitment not to give a greater percentage increase in funding to Southwest Missouri State than to the University of Missouri. "The state can ill-afford to fund a second research university in Missouri, given the limited financial resources available and the state's fiduciary responsibilities and obligations to its citizens," Floyd said.
White House releases FY06 budget
This week the White House released its budget for Fiscal Year 2006. As anticipated, the budget substantially cuts or eliminates funding for approximately 150 programs in order to reduce the federal deficit by half by 2009. The administration's budget included $1.2 billion for Higher Education Programs, which are proposed for reauthorization under the Higher Education Act. While the budget contained an increase for Pell Grants by $500 dollars over the next five years and $125 million for a new Community College Access program, it eliminated several other higher education programs, including the Perkins loan program and TRIO's Upward Bound and Talent Search Programs.
The science budget would provide slight increases for the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation, and cuts for several other agencies that provide federal funds for research in the physical sciences and engineering.
The President's budget serves as a blueprint for Congress. It is now up to legislators in the House and Senate to determine which cuts and programs will be maintained. A final budget should be passed by Congress later this year.
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