University of Missouri Legislative Update University of Missouri

President Floyd introduces alternative tuition proposal

University of Missouri President Elson S. Floyd announced that he will continue searching for ways to keep tuition increases stable and predictable but he will not recommend locking tuition rates for four or five years for incoming freshmen. Instead, Floyd discussed a new tuition proposal at the Dec. 1-2 Board of Curators meeting in Kansas City. Under the new proposal, the University would hold tuition increases at the rate of inflation so long as state financial support also keeps pace with inflation. Before this policy could become effective, a vote will be required by the Board of Curators at its January meeting. [Read more…]

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House Interim Committee completes work on student-based funding models

The Interim Committee charged with reviewing how state funds are distributed to higher education institutions completed its work Dec. 12 with a report that essentially summarizes testimony received from three hearings around the state but makes no recommendations regarding legislation for the coming session. The committee grew from HB742, sponsored last year by Rep. Carl Bearden (R-St. Charles), speaker pro-tem of the House. The legislation called for an increase in state funding to FY02 levels, then would channel any additional state funding through a new student-based formula similar to a voucher system that students from both public and private schools could receive. The legislation was considered too complex to take up midway through last year’s session, so Speaker Rod Jetton formed the interim committee with Bearden as the chair to collect additional input and consider recommendations for next year. [Read more…]

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State Student Financial Aid Task Force issues recommendations to Coordinating Board

A committee of financial aid experts from across the state has completed its report to the state Coordinating Board for Higher Education, calling for a number of changes in how state financial aid is administered. The committee was formed in response to calls from legislators, parents, students and the public for a simplified array of programs and to ensure that state dollars provide the most benefit for students. [Read more…]

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Senate Education Chair holds higher education summit with college presidents

Sen. Gary Nodler (R-Joplin), chair of the Senate Education Committee, held a higher education summit with college and university presidents Dec. 8 to discuss plans for higher education legislation in the upcoming session. Nodler distributed a list of bills he plans to file and noted that it is likely the legislation will be wrapped into an “omnibus” higher education bill during the session. He was joined by Rep. Gayle Kingery (R-Poplar Bluff), chair of the House Higher Education Committee; Sen. Charlie Shields (R-St. Joseph), chair of the Joint Committee on Education; and Greg Fitch, commissioner of higher education for Missouri. [Read more…]

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Rep. Icet

Rep. Allen Icet named budget chair

Rep. Allen Icet (R-Wildwood) will assume the position of chair of the Budget Committee in the upcoming session of the General Assembly. Icet recently met with House Budget staff and reported that FY07 will be just as challenging as FY06. He said he will push for spending restraints and an overhaul of the state’s budget reserve fund so that it would function more like a savings account and less like a credit card. Icet, an engineer by training, holds a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from Texas A&M University and a master’s degree in business administration from Washington University in St. Louis. Icet has four children; his daughter Sarah is a second year law student at MU, and his daughter Melissa is graduating from MU this month with a bachelor’s degree in biological sciences. Icet had served as vice chairman to former committee chair Rep. Brad Lager (R-Maryville), who will remain on the committee.

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Sen. Chuck Gross visits MU

Sen. Chuck Gross and President Floyd
Sen. Chuck Gross visits with President Floyd.

Sen. Chuck Gross (R-St. Charles), chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, visited MU on Nov. 17 to meet with University officials and to learn more about issues facing the University. He spent time with UM President Elson S. Floyd; MU Chancellor Brady Deaton; UM Health Care CEO Jim Ross; UM Vice President for Finance and Administration Nikki Krawitz; and UM Vice President for Human Resources Ken Hutchinson. The visit focused on the University’s overall budget and request for FY07. Gross later attended a luncheon with members of Chancellor Deaton’s staff to hear more about MU’s research mission to the state. Gross holds a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree, both in public administration, from MU.

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Sen. Chuck Graham

Profile: Sen. Chuck Graham

Sen. Chuck Graham (D-Columbia) is serving his first term as the state senator from the 19th District, which includes Boone and Randolph Counties – and the campus of the University of Missouri-Columbia. “As the home of the University’s flagship campus, the impact on my senatorial district is extremely significant,” Graham said. “The University leads the way as an employer and also is the premier provider of educational and cultural opportunities.” [Read more…]

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