University of Missouri Alumni Alliance presents outstanding service awards
The University of Missouri Alliance of Alumni Associations and Extension presented six honorees with the 2006 Outstanding Alumni Service Awards at a reception and dinner in Jefferson City on Wednesday, April 19. Awardees this year include Gov. Matt Blunt, Outstanding Alumni Service to the University of Missouri; Rep. Gayle Kingery (R-Poplar Bluff), Outstanding Alumni Service to MU; Dr. Harold Frye, Outstanding Alumni Service to UMKC; Charles Remington, Outstanding Alumni Service to UMR; Joseph Porter Jr., Outstanding Alumni Service to UMSL; and Tom Henderson, Ph.D., Outstanding Alumni Service to Extension. The awards are given each year to an individual from each of the four campuses of the University and to one recipient selected for his or her service for the total University of Missouri. [Read more on the honorees]
Senate gives final approval to University budget
The Missouri State Senate gave final approval to the University of Missouri budget for next year on Wednesday, April 19. Included in the bill is a 2 percent increase for general operations and several other adjustments to address special needs on individual campuses. In addition to the overall increase, the Senate added $2 million for UMSL to address funding and $750,000 for UMKC for a new program to train anesthesiologist assistants. The Senate also moved $1 million for UMKC to train more dentists to address the state’s need for such professionals from a separate line item funded last year into the University core budget. The Senate removed $285,000 from UMKC because of perceived inappropriate activity by a grant funded unit on campus.
The budget will now be considered by a House and Senate Conference Committee, which will begin deliberations next week. The House previously passed a total appropriation of $409.3 million for the University of Missouri, compared to the Senate total of $410.6 million. A compromise budget figure must be passed by the General Assembly by Saturday, May 6.
House Budget Committee approves its version of MOHELA plan
The House Budget Committee, chaired by Rep. Allen Icet (R-Wildwood), approved and sent to the floor its version of a MOHELA expenditure plan. The bill, HB1022, provides capital funding for projects across the state to be realized from a partial sale of assets held by MOHELA, the Missouri Higher Education Loan Authority. Major capital projects on each University of Missouri campus are funded in the proposal. The House version also contains funding for a new scholarship program for first-year college students at Missouri’s public and private colleges.
The House Committee also made two major changes to the bill. An earlier suggestion to include funding for interest costs associated with a new women’s prison at Chillicothe was deleted from the bill, and an additional $6 million was added for capital projects at Missouri’s community colleges. Full House action on the bill is expected next week.
The Senate leadership, in its version of a MOHELA funding plan, earlier suggested funding for health care related facilities and programs. Such funding is not included in the House Committee Substitute for House Bill 1022.
In related news, the House Higher Education Committee on Thursday, April 20 approved HB1968, introduced by Rep. Clint Zweifel (D-Florissant), that requires a financial and actuarial analysis about the effects of the proposed MOHELA sale on the authority and its loan interest rates. Such a study is already taking place in conjunction with discussions of selling a portion of MOHELA’s assets to support the Lewis and Clark Discovery Initiative. A second provision in the bill, which would have required legislative approval for the sale of MOHELA, was stricken from the bill during committee debate. It passed unanimously.
House prepares to consider omnibus higher education legislation
SB590, the omnibus higher education bill sponsored by Sen. Gary Nodler (R-Joplin), was passed by the House Higher Education Committee last week and is now in line to be considered by the full House in the final three weeks of the session. The legislation gives additional powers to the Coordinating Board for Higher Education and also extends the engineering equipment grant provision for the University of Missouri. Other provisions of the measure encourage collaboration between the departments of higher education, education and economic development, and provide grants to survivors or spouses of military veterans as well as foster children. The bill also requests a study to review the impact of allowing a tax deduction for higher education expenses for families with household incomes below $100,000.
House approves legislation prohibiting admission of illegal aliens to Missouri public higher education institutions
The Missouri House of Representatives approved HB1864 on Thursday, April 20, which prohibits the University of Missouri and other public higher education institutions from knowingly admitting unlawfully present aliens. The bill, sponsored by Rep. Jerry Nolte (R-Gladstone), also requires that institutions certify to the Senate Appropriations Committee and House Education-Appropriations Committee that they have not knowingly admitted illegal aliens. The University of Missouri already has a policy not to knowingly admit illegal aliens and would not see any additional impact from this legislation other than reporting to the committees. The measure now moves on to the Senate, where it is expected to be taken up by the Senate Education Committee.
Sen. Dan Clemens (R-Marshfield) sees the impact of the University of Missouri in the lives of all those in his legislative district – which includes the counties of Christian, Douglas, Webster and part of Greene – that have been impacted by the University. “This year I have 571 students from the 20th senatorial district enrolled at one of the University’s four campuses,” Clemens said. In addition, there are 2,460 alumni in his district, including a majority of the area’s physicians, dentists and nearly all the veterinarians. “These folks are the community leaders in the district,” he said. [Read more…]