Government Relations

UM Legislative Update Newsletter

January 26, 2007

Sen. Carl Vogel (R-Jefferson City)

Sen. Carl Vogel (R-Jefferson City) was born and raised in Cole County and went to MU in the 1970s, graduating with a bachelor's degree in business in 1978. His daughter is currently a senior at MU with a double major in political science and religious studies. "I had a great experience at the University, and so has my daughter," Vogel said. "It is amazing the strong friendships that young adults make these days in college."

"The University of Missouri does a good job of communicating the impact it has on districts to legislators," Vogel said. "While those of us in Jefferson City share in a lot of what goes on at MU, the University also has a great impact not only on the labor force but also on students from across the state."

Vogel served in the Missouri House of Representatives from 1990 to 2002, when he was first elected to the Senate to represent the 6th District, the counties of Cole, Callaway, Miller, Morgan and Moniteau. He currently serves as chair of the Ways and Means Committee; vice chair of the Small Business, Insurance and Industrial Relations; and as a member of the Economic Development, Tourism, and Local Government Committee and the Governmental Accountability and Fiscal Oversight Committee.

Higher education plays an important role in educating a future workforce for Missouri, Vogel notes. "It is clear that our economy is converting from a manufacturing to a services-oriented economy. Therefore, the education of the workforce must keep up with those changes. While there will be numerous opportunities for all employees, I think we will continue to see an emphasis on opportunities for those with education," he said.

Vogel said the University of Missouri has done a great job of raising its standards over the last decade, but it is now at a crossroads to continue that momentum. "If you look at the students you are attracting, the research dollars you bring in, the successes of your faculty, these things all play into the equation and the success the University is having," he said. "If we do not continue to adequately fund higher education in the years ahead, all of that hard work will be reversed. I don't want to see that happen."

During difficult budget times, Vogel said the state "tends to put higher education in arrears because of our basic requirements for K-12 and other things the public expects government to do for the taxes paid." With the budget forecast for the state improving, higher education should be in a "good position and be in the front of the line." He describes higher education as having been a good partner that has done exactly what it has been asked.

Yet challenges to higher education will continue, according to Vogel. "You have to walk the fine line between affordability and having what it takes to operate. While universities do have the ability to take increasing expenses and pass them on to the students, it is obvious that the vast majority of Missourians can't face a seven, eight, nine or ten percent tuition increase every year. And some legislators do not understand the relationship that exists between tuition and operating funds from the state. Labor, utilities, transportation costs - those are the same for Universities as they are for businesses. So you have to be able to increase your revenues to cover that," he said.

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