University of Missouri Legislative Update University of Missouri

Gov. Blunt unveils Lewis & Clark Discovery Initiative to fund higher ed capital improvements

Gov. Matt Blunt and UM President Elson Floyd
Top: Gov. Matt Blunt and UM President
Elson S.Floyd at the podium during the
governor’s press conference at University
of Missouri Health Care. Bottom: In Kansas
City, Gov. Blunt speaks of the Discovery
Initiative while UMKC Chancellor Guy
Bailey and Bill Duncan of the Kansas City
Area Life Sciences Institute look on.

Gov. Matt Blunt unveiled the Lewis & Clark Discovery Initiative at series of stops in Columbia, Kansas City, Springfield and St. Louis on Thursday, Jan. 26. The governor proposes engaging in a public bid process to realize the highest value for Missouri Higher Education Loan Authority, or MOHELA. This would create a public-private partnership to provide a one-time infusion of approximately $300 million for capital improvements at the state’s higher education institutions; $100 million for an endowed student scholarship program; $20 million in matching funds for endowed professorships; and a $5 million endowed fund to facilitate and accelerate commercialization of technology companies. All campuses of the University of Missouri are among those with capital improvement projects that would be funded by the initiative. “This will go down as a landmark period for higher education in Missouri, and we should thank Governor Blunt for getting the ball rolling for an exciting future,” said University of Missouri President Elson S. Floyd. “The University of Missouri stands eager and ready to partner with the state to do our part to prepare Missouri for its new economy.” [Read more…]

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President Floyd testifies to House Appropriations Committee

Dr. Floyd's Testimony
UM President Elson S. Floyd testifies
before the House Appropriations
Education Committee.

University of Missouri President Elson S. Floyd testified before the House Appropriations Education Committee, chaired by Rep. Kathlyn Fares (R-Webster Groves), on Tuesday, Jan. 24. Floyd gave an overview of the University’s FY07 operating budget request of $466.5 million, including mandatory increases in employee health care and retirement costs, maintenance and repair, utilities and insurance. “We are grateful that the governor has demonstrated his support for education with significant increases proposed in his budget address,” Floyd said. “For higher education, this will be the first substantial increase since 2002.” Floyd also discussed the University’s plans for administrative streamlining and gave an update on tuition policy. [Read the president’s talking points…]

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Senate Education panel hears proposal to increase Bright Flight scholarships

When University of Missouri-Columbia student Sean Crotty was weighing where to go to college, he faced a difficult dilemma. Even though he qualified for Missouri’s $2,000 Bright Flight scholarship, the University of Indiana was offering him $8,000 to go to school. In the end, he opted to stay in his home state and attend the University of Missouri, but the major difference in aid offered by the two states illustrates why the Bright Flight scholarship needs to be increased. Crotty, who is involved with the Associated Students of the University of Missouri, was among those testifying in support of SB662 on Tuesday, Jan. 24, before the Senate Education Committee. [Read more…]

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Secretary of State Robin Carnahan visits UMR class Missouri

Secretary of State Robin Carnahan

Missouri Secretary of State Robin Carnahan visited a class at UM-Rolla on Thursday, Jan. 26 to share her views on leadership. Speaking at the Women as Global Leaders course, Carnahan discussed why it is important to have women interested in public service and as elected officials. The course is co-taught by Dr. Paula Lutz, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, and Cecilia Elmore, director of the Women’s Leadership Institute, which provides a number of activities and programs for students to learn about leadership from the female perspective. Its goal is to encourage student involvement and strategic leadership in campus and community organizations.

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Did You Know: UM alumni in the Missouri General Assembly

There are many University of Missouri alumni serving in the Missouri House of Representatives and Senate and in statewide offices. Do you know how many alumni from your campus are serving in public office? Keep track at the Government Relations website.

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Profile: Rep. Beth Low

Beth Low

For Rep. Beth Low (D-Kansas City), attending the University of Missouri-Columbia runs in the family. Not only did Low graduate with a bachelor’s degree in women’s studies, her parents first met at MU, her uncle did graduate work in veterinary medicine, and her aunt was the first woman to graduate with a degree in chemical engineering. “It’s an excellent school with a great reputation, and it’s affordable,” Low said. “I come from a middle class family, and it was great to be able to go there.” [Read more…]

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