MU School of Health Professions students visit Capitol

Photo: Respiratory therapy students on the steps of the Capitol during their visit to raise awareness about health care. Also shown are Dana Evans, clinical instructor (far right); Shawna Strickland, clinical assistant professor and director of clinical education (top row, far left); and Holly Dodds, clinical assistant professor, St. John’s Mercy extension faculty (top row, third from left).

The University of Missouri-Columbia School of Health Professions’ Respiratory Therapy Class of 2008 joined respiratory care practitioners from around the state in Jefferson City on Wednesday, Feb. 21, to raise awareness about health care issues with Missouri legislators. The students performed free lung screenings and provided materials on smoking cessation to interested persons in the Capitol. In addition to these services, students spoke with their individual representatives regarding health care issues. Rep. Judy Baker (D-Columbia) joined the students for an extended conversation regarding current health care initiatives. This is the third year the Missouri Society for Respiratory Care has organized the event at the Capitol.

Photo: Respiratory therapy students on the steps of the Capitol during their visit to raise awareness about health care. Also shown are Dana Evans, clinical instructor (far right); Shawna Strickland, clinical assistant professor and director of clinical education (top row, far left); and Holly Dodds, clinical assistant professor, St. John’s Mercy extension faculty (top row, third from left).

icon question markUniversity update

President Floyd testifies before House Education Appropriations Committee

University of Missouri President Elson S. Floyd testified before the House Education Appropriations Committee, chaired by Rep. Kathlyn Fares (R-Webster Groves), on Tuesday, Feb. 27. Floyd discussed the University’s operating request and told committee members that the University appreciated the governor’s recommendation of an appropriations increase for public higher education. The higher education appropriations bill includes a 4.2 percent increase in operating funds for the University of Missouri, an increase of $17.4 million over FY2007 funding levels.

The House Budget Committee, chaired by Rep. Allen Icet (R-Wildwood), will begin deliberations on all 13 operating budget bills on Monday, March 5. The committee will review each appropriations bill, including HB3 which contains funding for the University of Missouri. The House of Representatives is expected to give final approval to the entire state budget by Thursday, March 15.

University of Missouri Board of Curators schedules presidential search forums

The University of Missouri Board of Curators will conduct six public forums around the state during March to discuss its search for the institution’s next president. The public forums will be held in Portageville, St. Louis, Kansas City, Columbia, Rolla and Springfield. Board members will attend forums in their regions to visit with citizens about the search process and solicit public comments. “The Board of Curators has begun a nationwide search to identify and recruit the best possible person to become the University of Missouri's next president,” said Board Chair Don Walsworth. “We seek an exemplary leader of national stature to guide the University during an era marked by great challenges and unlimited opportunities for higher education.”

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icon question markState relations

House Higher Education Committee passes intellectual diversity bill

The House Higher Education Committee, chaired by Rep. Gayle Kingery (R-Poplar Bluff), heard testimony on Tuesday, Feb. 27, on HB213, which establishes the intellectual diversity act. Sponsored by Rep. Jane Cunningham (R-Chesterfield), the bill would require each public institution to prepare a report annually to the Department of Higher Education to detail steps taken to ensure intellectual diversity on the campus. The bill lists several examples of items that could be included in the report. It also requires that institutions post information on websites for students about the process they can go through to register a complaint. [Read more…]

Senate Education Committee passes transfer scholarship bill

The Senate Education Committee, chaired by Sen. Gary Nodler (R-Joplin), met in executive session on Wednesday, Feb. 28 and voted to pass SB160, which would create an associate’s degree transfer scholarship for students who complete a two-year degree and then transfer to a public four-year institution to pursue a bachelor’s degree. The scholarship plan was supported by the Missouri Community College Association as well as the Council on Public Higher Education (COPHE), which represents the leaders of the state’s 14 public four-year institutions. Data has shown that students who complete a two-year degree and then transfer to a four-year institution have a high rate of success. The bill also would allow students who are eligible for the state’s A+ scholarship to attend Rankin Technical Institute, a private non-for-profit institution. The committee voted 5-4 to adopt the measure, which has now been reported to the Senate floor and is on the perfection calendar.

House approves bill banning illegal immigrants from attending universities

The Missouri House of Representatives voted Thursday, March 1, to give final approval to HB269, a bill that would require higher education institutions to certify that they do not admit students who are unlawfully present in the U.S. Sponsor Rep. Jerry Nolte (R-Gladstone) said the higher education immigration bill is intended to implement a measure of accountability that would help ensure that taxpayer dollars are used to educate legal residents of the state. The legislation would require higher education institutions to certify annually to the House Education Appropriations Committee that they have not knowingly admitted any illegal aliens during the preceding year. Certification would be required prior to any appropriations to an institution, leaving the possibility that a university could be penalized financially. The University of Missouri prefers that institutions make the certification to the Department of Higher Education and will work for this change as the bill moves to the Senate for further consideration.

Nolte used the University of Missouri’s current process as an example during his discussion on the bill and suggested that other institutions create similar methods for determining the residency of students.

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icon question markCampus highlights

Elected officials attend UMKC reception to welcome deputy chancellor for diversity
Sen. Yvonne Wilson (D-Kansas City) with Dr. Karen Dace, UMKC deputy chancellor for diversity, access and equality. Photo credit: Bob Greenspan.
Sen. Yvonne Wilson (D-Kansas City) with Dr. Karen Dace, UMKC deputy chancellor for diversity, access and equality. Photo credit: Bob Greenspan.

Sen. Yvonne Wilson (D-Kansas City), Rep. Michael Brown (D-Kansas City), former Sen. Charles Wheeler and Curator Emeritus Angela Bennett were among those attending a reception to welcome Dr. Karen Dace as UMKC’s new deputy chancellor for diversity, access and equity. “I want to congratulate the chancellor for bringing a deputy chancellor for diversity, access and equity to the campus and for having the reception in the community for eople to meet her,” Wilson said. Dace will serve as a senior member of the chancellor’s leadership team responsible for developing new diversity initiatives and programs, as well as strengthening current ones; advising the chancellor on diversity and equity matters; and fostering a welcoming and appreciative climate of diversity. Previously, Dace served as associate vice president for diversity at the University of Utah, where she also worked in the ethnic studies program and African-American studies. At UMKC, she will have a joint appointment as associate professor in the College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Communication Studies.

Saline County Extension Council holds annual meeting
Rep. Joe Aull presents a resolution to Cynthia Crawford at the Saline County Extension Council meeting.
Rep. Joe Aull presents a resolution to Cynthia Crawford at the Saline County Extension Council meeting.

The Saline County Extension Council held its annual meeting Wednesday, Feb. 21, in Marshall, and played hosted to Rep. Joe Aull (D-Marshall). Aull was on hand to present a resolution honoring Cynthia Crawford, family financial specialist and county program director, for 25 years of service with University of Missouri Extension. MU Vice Chancellor for Research Jim Coleman served as the keynote speaker and spoke of extension’s important statewide role. “I’m beginning to understand what an incredibly important role it is and why it really differentiates us in a lot of ways from any other university in the state about how we connect to every outreach in the state, from the inner city to the rural region,” Coleman said. Coleman also highlighted the impact the University has on Saline County, noting that there are 430 alumni in the county, which includes 13 percent of the county’s teachers, and 39 University employees, returning about $148,000 in tax revenue.

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icon question markLegislator profile

Jeff Smith
Sen. Jeff Smith

Sen. Jeff Smith (D-St. Louis) was elected to the Senate in 2006 to represent District 4, St. Louis City. Smith currently teaches political science as an adjunct at Washington University, and also has taught courses on public policy and politics at Dartmouth College and the University of Missouri-St. Louis. “The University of Missouri’s most significant impact in the 4th District is that it turns out hundreds of graduates each year that come to work in the district’s industries of biotechnology, manufacturing, academia and hospitality,” Smith said. [Read more…]

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Federal update

University of Missouri delegates visit Capitol Hill

MU Vice Chancellor and Dean of the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources Tom Payne and Vice Provost for Extension Michael Ouart were among the delegates from the University of Missouri on hand in Washington, D.C. for the annual Council for Agricultural Research, Extension, and Teaching (CARET) meeting. CARET, a national grassroots organization created by NASULGC’s Division of Agriculture, offers testimony in support of land-grant agricultural programs of research, extension and teaching to Congressional committees. UM delegates met with Congressional members to advocate on behalf of several issues, including increased funding for the Hatch Act and the McIntire-Stennis program. They also briefed members on the new CREATE-21 initiative for the farm bill, which is to be reauthorized this year.

Also on Capitol Hill this week were Bill Schonberg and Mariesa Crow, both from UMR, to advocate for a number of issues pertaining to the future of engineering education. Their efforts included urging Congressional members to support funding amounts in the President’s FY08 budget request for the National Science Foundation and the Department of Energy Office of Science, as well as increased funding for Department of Defense basic and applied research. They also encouraged members of Congress to pass comprehensive authorization legislation aimed at improving U.S. competitiveness and STEM education.

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