Government Relations

UM Legislative Update Newsletter

January 6, 2006

Profile: Rep. Bob Behnen

Rep. Bob Behnen (R-Kirksville) received a bachelor of arts degree in business administration/marketing from Truman State University in 1991 and a masters of business administration degree from William Woods University in 1996. “The University of Missouri offers the opportunity for our children to better themselves through a top-notch instruction and learning environment, enabling students to achieve their dreams and become productive citizens of our state,” Behnen said.

Behnen was first elected to the Missouri House of Representatives in 2000 to represent District 2, which covers Adair and Putnam counties and part of Sullivan County. He currently serves as chair of the Professional Registration and Licensing Committee, vice chair of the Elementary and Secondary Education Committee, and as a member of the Budget Committee.

In addition to his service in the House, Behnen owns and operates German Genealogy Research (GGR), a family tree research service specializing in German heritage research and old German document translations. He also is an Army veteran who achieved the rank of Sergeant (E-5), and has been honored with the Army Meritorious Service Medal and the Army Achievement Medal, among other honors.

Behnen serves as a board member of the Northeast Missouri Senior Service Council, the president of the Kirksville R-III School Foundation, and a member of the State Records Committee.

Behnen believes the primary challenges facing higher education in Missouri today are a clear, statewide, long-term vision for higher education and its proper funding.

“Unfortunately, too many issues have redirected the state’s focus, such as university name changes and the lack of confidence in the Coordinating Board for Higher Education, to name just a few,” he said. “Obviously, the ever-increasing demand for the available and limited general revenue dollars will always be a great challenge.”

The University of Missouri’s role in economic development and educating the state’s future workforce also is important, according to Behnen. “As a key member of our state’s higher education team, the University of Missouri provides the necessary support and training to traditional and non-traditional students and our communities through its outreach programs,” he said. “Its importance cannot be overstated.”

Behnen sees the University’s mission as the state’s land-grant university to provide educational opportunities to its citizens, from adult education and outreach courses to doctoral degrees, while also leading the state, nation and world in cutting-edge research.

“Higher education will play a key role in the future success of Missouri and its citizens through the investments we make in higher education, research and technology in an effort to position Missouri and its citizens to take advantage of new opportunities,” he said.

“I am pleased to say that the University of Missouri has built a great reputation, and maintains its position as a vanguard leader in higher education, outreach and research,” Behnen said.

The University has a significant impact on its graduates and communities, Behnen said. “We sometimes take for granted what the University of Missouri is able to achieve in the life of one of its students, but one just needs to visit with an alum to see the impact in that person’s life and the community in which they reside,” Behnen said.

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