Government Relations

UM Legislative Update Newsletter

March 3, 2006

Legislator profile: Sen. Jack Goodman

When Sen. Jack Goodman (R-Mt. Vernon) is asked to recall his favorite memory from his days as a student at the University of Missouri-Columbia, the answer is easy: “The first time I asked my wife for a date – and she said yes!” Goodman received a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from MU in 1995 and a juris doctor degree from the MU School of Law in 1998. He now lives in Mount Vernon with his wife, Laura, and their son, Jack Elliott.

Goodman’s favorite professor from his MU days is Bill Bondenson, Distinguished Teaching Professor of Philosophy. “He had a remarkable ability to engage students, not only in class, but also in the assigned work,” he said. “He effectually stimulated objective dialogue and encouraged all students to promote and examine our ideas.”

When Sen. Jack Goodman (R-Mt. Vernon) is asked to recall his favorite memory from his days as a student at the University of Missouri-Columbia, the answer is easy: “The first time I asked my wife for a date – and she said yes!” Goodman received a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from MU in 1995 and a juris doctor degree from the MU School of Law in 1998. He now lives in Mount Vernon with his wife, Laura, and their son, Jack Elliott.

Goodman’s favorite professor from his MU days is Bill Bondenson, Distinguished Teaching Professor of Philosophy. “He had a remarkable ability to engage students, not only in class, but also in the assigned work,” he said. “He effectually stimulated objective dialogue and encouraged all students to promote and examine our ideas.”

Following graduation from MU, Goodman served as an assistant prosecuting attorney in Dade County. He was elected to the Missouri House of Representatives in 2002 and 2004, and served as the Assistant Majority Leader during his second term. He was elected to the Senate in November 2005 in a special election to represent District 29, the counties of Barry, Lawrence, McDonald, Ozark, Stone and Taney.

He currently serves as vice chair of the Ways and Means Committee, and as a member of Aging, Families, Mental and Public Health; Economic Development, Tourism and Local Government; and Judiciary and Civil and Criminal Jurisprudence committees.

In his district, the Missouri Rehabilitation Center – part of the University of Missouri Health Care system – is the largest employer in Lawrence County. “MRC provides both jobs for the area and facilities an influx of persons who come to the center for treatment,” he said.

The rehabilitation center also leases space to the Veterans Health Administration outpatient clinic, which Goodman notes brings people from Missouri and neighboring states to the clinic for treatment and to purchase ancillary services from the MRC. In turn, those patients spend money in the community. The result is that, through MRC, the University of Missouri provides a concentrated economic impact to southwestern Missouri, he said. “MRC aids those people who need rehabilitation and have little means to pay for it, yet the program uses the minimum number of state entitlements as possible, instead relying on innovative sources of funding, such as the VA clinic,” he said.

MU Extension and its services and programs also add to the state’s agricultural economy, Goodman said. “The MU Southwest Research Center is an important part of agricultural development for our entire state,” he said.

According to Goodman, the University also plays a substantial role in economic progress and stability throughout the state. “The University of Missouri’s contribution to economic development in the state is a fundamental service to students and communities,” he said. “This contribution advances science and technology. The University provides opportunities for the growth and development of students through traditional and non-traditional instruction, and also serves as an employer of a multitude of Missourians.”

He sees the mission of the University as the creation and promotion of knowledge. “I also believe that the University’s mission is to serve the educational needs of all students who pursue various disciplines, interests and objectives, and thereby enhance the lifelong learning process,” he said. “Most importantly, I believe that the mission of the University is to serve as a facilitator of community and societal well-being in the pursuit of knowledge, the promotion of understanding, the process of discovery, and the devotion to excellence in all educational endeavors.”

The University’s diversity of programs and opportunities help fulfill this mission, Goodman said.

Higher education plays a vital role in the future of Missouri, he said. “Education at the University of Missouri acts as a doorway through which the future leaders, business people, educators, entrepreneurs, innovators and public servants may gain the necessary skills and tools to guide the state of Missouri,” he said.

Goodman certainly gained those tools and skills through his own education at MU. Yet for future generations of students and families, he notes there are challenges ahead. “The greatest challenges facing higher education in Missouri today stem from the high cost of education as it applies to students, families and communities,” he said.

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