Government Relations

UM Legislative Update Newsletter

February 17, 2006

Legislator profile: Rep. Jerry Nolte

Jerry Nolte

Rep. Jerry Nolte (R-Gladstone), like any father, is proud of his son Michael, who also happens to be a student at the University of Missouri-Rolla. Nolte’s son is an electrical engineering and mathematics student in his second year at UMR. Since his son began studying at the University, Nolte has been most impressed by Rolla’s faculty members, who focus heavily on engaging the school’s students.

“We’re really happy with the professors at Rolla,” Nolte said. “They are very bright, and we have been impressed with the amount of attention they pay to their students. They help them spread their wings.”

Still, Nolte has his concerns with higher education in general, namely relating to tuition costs and accessibility.

“My son goes to Rolla, so you can understand that I’m very interested in seeing that the tuition is affordable and efficient,” he said. “At the state level, we need to make sure that the state’s contribution is there. We need to make sure we’re not shortchanging the students.”

Investing in Missouri’s students and in higher education is critical to the state’s economic development, he added.

“This is where people are being trained for jobs of the future, jobs of the 21st century,” Nolte said. “I don’t think you can estimate or put a number on how important the University’s role is in that process because you’re talking about turning students out into the workforce, and the University makes that process of developing a workforce go that much more smoothly.”

In considering the impact higher education has on a community, Nolte turns to the makeup of his constituency.

“A lot of the folks I have as constituents are business professionals, and many of them have attended the University of Missouri,” he said. “That experience has given a lot of them the tools they need to keep them innovative and looking toward the future.”

Nolte, a Gladstone resident, was first elected to the House of Representatives in 2004 to represent District 33, Clay County. He serves on the Appropriations/Public Safety and Corrections Committee, the Local Government Committee and the Tourism Committee. Nolte also is an advertising artist and a former teacher at Oakhill Day School.

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