President Floyd testifies at Senate Interim Committee on Cost of College
University of Missouri President Elson S. Floyd testified at the Senate Interim Committee on the Cost of a College Education on Wednesday, Oct. 18 at Missouri Southern State University in Joplin. Floyd spoke on the importance of student financial aid as well as on developing a funding formula for higher education, noting that public four-year institutions have agreed that base funding, performance funding and strategic funding should be core components of any such formula. “I believe we are at a point where higher education institutions in Missouri – from community colleges to four-year institutions to private institutions – are prepared to work together in unity to forward an ambitious agenda to improve higher education quality, affordability and access for generations to come,” Floyd said at the meeting.
The president also emphasized the unique role of the University of Missouri as the state’s land-grant public research institution, with a mission of teaching, research, service and economic development, as well as its important role in Extension activities in every county of the state. Floyd urged the committee to remember that these additional responsibilities should be reflected in any funding formula in the future. Read all of Floyd’s comments.
The committee is chaired by Sen. Gary Nodler (R-Joplin) and includes Sen. Scott Rupp (R-Wentzville); Sen. Charlie Shields (R-St. Joseph); Sen. Frank Barnitz (D-Lake Spring); and Sen. Chuck Graham (D-Columbia). The committee plans to develop a report summarizing the findings of its hearings and present that to the Senate next session.
Coordinating Board approves Fiscal Year 2008 operating, capital requests
The Coordinating Board for Higher Education (CBHE) met on Thursday, Oct. 12 on the campus of St. Charles Community College. Among those in attendance were University of Missouri President Elson S. Floyd and the leaders of Missouri’s public higher education institutions.
The CBHE approved a Fiscal Year 2008 appropriations request for the state’s public postsecondary institutions that would exceed the FY07 actual appropriation by $109 million. The CBHE operating recommendation reflects a 12.6 percent increase in funds for the four-year colleges and universities. The University of Missouri would receive an increase of $50,461,654, bringing the University’s total appropriation to $463,452,843.
Floyd worked with higher education leaders to support the budget recommendation, resulting in the first time in eight years that all of the four-year college presidents agreed to support a unified total recommendation. “I am gratified that every institution came together to recognize that we all contribute to a stronger Missouri,” Floyd said. “One unified voice in January in our State Capitol will help convince the General Assembly that public higher education is the key to Missouri’s economic growth in the 21st century.”
The CBHE also approved a $400,617,748 capital appropriations request for FY08, which includes 14 projects for the state’s public four-year institutions and Linn State Technical College. The four University of Missouri projects on the CBHE priority list are: MU, Health Sciences Research Center; UMKC, Miller Nichols Library; UMR, Schrenk Hall; and UMSL, Benton/Stadler and Master Plan. Earlier in September, the CBHE recommended support for the Lewis and Clark Discovery Initiative, which funds capital projects at Missouri public higher education institutions, including at each UM campus. While the CBHE list and Lewis and Clark initiative contain some different projects, both share the goal of providing crucial capital projects necessary for educating students and recruiting and retaining a world-class faculty.
The CBHE budget recommendations will be forwarded to the governor and the General Assembly for their consideration in January.
Simplified need-based aid program among recommendations approved by Coordinating Board
After several months of work, the State Student Aid Task Force submitted to the Coordinating Board for Higher Education a recommendation to combine the state’s two need-based aid programs (Charles Gallagher Grant Program and Missouri College Guarantee Program) into a single need-based program and to simplify the distribution formula to key off of federal aid guidelines. The plan, which also incorporates a proposal for an additional $25 million in need-based aid as part of the supplemental budget request in January, was adopted by the CBHE at its October meeting in St. Charles.
The new program takes into consideration data that students and families provide to the federal government through the Free Application for Federal Student Financial Aid (FAFSA), and would award need-based aid ranging from $1,000 to $2,150 per year for University of Missouri students who qualify, depending on income levels. The details of the proposal will be refined as part of authorizing legislation that will be introduced at the beginning of the session.
Higher education leaders also heard plans from House Speaker Pro-Tem Carl Bearden (R-St. Charles) that would increase total need-based aid to $109 million. Currently, the state provides about $26 million for need-based programs, and there has been agreement to increase that to $51 million as part of the supplemental budget request. The proposal announced by Bearden would double that again, and essentially fully fund the state’s need-based programs.
Election Day is Nov. 7; Secretary of State website will post results
Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2006. Election returns will be reported beginning that evening and can be found by visiting the Secretary of State’s website. UM Legislative Update will cover the election results in its next issue on Friday, Nov. 10.
University Hospital celebrates 50th anniversary
Congressman Kenny Hulshof and his wife at the University Hospital gala.
On Saturday, Oct. 7, University Hospital and Clinics celebrated its 50th anniversary with a gala at the Hearnes Center Fieldhouse in Columbia. A number of legislators were in attendance, including U.S. Congressman Kenny Hulshof (R-Columbia); Sen. Chuck Graham (D-Columbia); Rep. Judy Baker (D-Columbia); Rep. Bill Deeken (R-Jefferson City); Rep. Jeff Harris (D-Columbia); Rep. Kenny Jones (R-Clarksburg); and Rep. Ed Robb (R-Columbia). The hospital first opened its doors on Sept. 16, 1956. Today the health system has evolved into a program that serves patients from every county in Missouri. University Hospital now houses 274 beds and specializes in treating the most severe illnesses and injuries, offering the only Level I trauma center in mid-Missouri, numerous intensive care units, and highly-specialized medical and surgical services. In addition to providing patient care, UHC has worked in close partnership throughout the years with MU’s School of Medicine, School of Nursing, and School of Health Professions to train thousands of physicians, scientists, nurses, allied health professionals, and other health professionals that serve Missouri.
UMKC hosts Chinese ambassador, leaders for Snow Symposium
China’s Ambassador to the U.S. Zhou Wenzhong participated in a panel discussion at UMKC on Wednesday, Oct. 18 to address issues facing the two countries as they continue to improve their trade relations. The event was part of the Edgar Snow Symposium 2006, an annual event sponsored by the Edgar Snow Memorial Fund Board of Directors to create dialogue about Chinese-American relations. Also serving as panelists were William Reid, vice president of Visa International; J. Stapleton Roy, former U.S. Ambassador to China and managing director of Kissinger Associates, Inc.; and Tong Zhiguang, chairman of the China Import and Export Bank. The panelists discussed trade ties between the U.S. and China and the impact of China’s entry into the World Trade Organization in 2001. Dan Rather, former CBS news anchor, moderated the discussion, which was followed by a reception that also included remarks by Wenzhong. The symposium events were attended by University faculty, staff and students as well as community leaders including Sen. Charlie Wheeler (D-Kansas City).
Governor praises Extension after-school initiative
MU Extension Youth Development Specialist Michele Kroll and 4-H after-school program members visit with Gov. Blunt at the summit.
Gov. Matt Blunt cited an MU Extension 4-H after-school program as a “model for the state” during his participation in the “Lights on After School” summit at Osage Beach on Wednesday, Oct. 11. “Lights on After School” is a national campaign to show community business leaders and governors how rural communities provide education for kids after school. The symposium was a demonstration of partnerships in Camden County, which offer a safe haven and academic acceleration for grades K-12. Missouri 4-H is a partner with Project PASS --Partners Assisting Student Success--and staffs three 4-H after-school sites. The project is funded through the U.S. Department of Education’s 21st Century Community Learning Centers Program.
UM delegation attends convocation on U.S. competitiveness
A delegation from the University of Missouri was in Washington, D.C., on Thursday, Sept. 28, to attend the convocation of “Rising Above the Gathering Storm: Energizing and Employing Regions, States, and Cities” to discuss strengthening U.S. competitiveness. The convocation marked the one-year anniversary of the report by the National Academies, which was initiated by U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and U.S. Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D-NM), members of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, to conduct an assessment of America’s ability to compete and prosper in the 21st century. Among those representing the University of Missouri were Nasser Arshadi, UMSL vice provost for research; John Baumann, UMKC vice provost for research; Jay Goff, dean of enrollment management at UMR; Kent Wray, UMR provost; Tamara Kratochvil, director of technology transfer at UMSL; and Jim Thompson, dean of engineering at MU. Members of the University of Missouri also attended meetings on Capitol Hill to promote the competitiveness agenda.