UM interim president Lamb visits lawmakers at the Capitol

University of Missouri Interim President Gordon H. Lamb visited the State Capitol on Tuesday, April 10, and Wednesday, April 11, to meet with lawmakers in both the House and Senate. Lamb, who officially began his duties as interim president on Monday, April 9, thanked the legislators for their support of the University and public higher education in Missouri. He also discussed the University of Missouri budget and capital projects with elected officials.

University of Missouri Interim President Gordon Lamb talks with Rep. Judy Baker (D-Columbia) and Senate Education Committee Chair Gary Nodler (R-Joplin) during his visit to the Capitol.

icon question markState relations

House approves intellectual diversity legislation

The House on Thursday, April 12, third read and passed HB213, a bill sponsored by Rep. Jane Cunningham (R-Chesterfield) that requires an annual report of steps public universities take to ensure intellectual diversity in policies and on campus. The bill passed by a 97-50 vote but faces an uncertain future in the Senate. The legislation was spurred by a case involving a Missouri State University student who felt punished for refusing to sign a letter supporting gay adoption. The student filed suit against MSU and the social work department, and MSU settled the case out of court. [Read more…]

Senate Appropriations Committee continues work on budget

The Senate Appropriations Committee, chaired by Sen. Chuck Gross (R-St. Charles), made several decisions this week on budget items related to the University of Missouri. The committee restored the full governor’s core appropriation recommendation of $430 million. While there are several open items to be finalized next week, it appears that funding for all specialized University-related activities will be maintained at the level recommended by the House. The committee will continue work on the budget next week.

Senate committee passes immigration reform legislation

The Senate Pensions, Veterans’ Affairs and General Laws Committee voted Wednesday, April 11, to pass out of committee a bill that combines three pieces of immigration reform legislation, creating the Missouri Omnibus Immigration Act. Senate Committee Substitute for SB348, 626 and 461 brings together bills sponsored by Sen. Chris Koster (R-Harrisonville), Sen. Luann Ridgeway (R- Smithville) and Sen. Victor Callahan (D-Independence), respectively. The combined version includes a section that would prohibit illegal aliens from being admitted to public colleges and universities in Missouri. The bill would require that, prior to the approval of any appropriations by the General Assembly, all universities certify to an appropriations committee that they have not knowingly admitted any aliens unlawfully present in the U.S. during the preceding year. [Read more…]

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icon question markUniversity update

CBHE Chair Kathy Swann with UMSL honoree Dr. Gregory Geisler and UMSL Chancellor Tom George.
UM faculty honored with Governor’s Awards for Teaching Excellence

University of Missouri faculty were among those honored with the 2007 Governor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching during a luncheon held Wednesday, April 11, at MU. Coordinating Board for Higher Education Chair Kathy Swann presented the awards to the University honorees, including Dr. Vairam Arunachalam, professor of accountancy, MU; Dr. Kathleen Kilway, associate professor of chemistry, UMKC; Dr. Kent Peaslee, curators’ teaching professor of metallurgical engineering, UMR; and Dr. Gregory Geisler, associate professor of business, UMSL. Recipients were selected by their respective institutions for outstanding teaching, innovation in course design and delivery, effective advising, service to the institution’s community, and commitment to excellence. [See more photos...]

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Mizzou Alumni Association presents Geyer Awards
From left: Sen. Charlie Shields, Barney Whitlock and Sen. Chuck Gross.
From left: Sen. Charlie Shields, Barney Whitlock and Sen. Chuck Gross.

The Mizzou Legislative Network of the Mizzou Alumni Association will present the 2007 Geyer Public Service Awards on Friday, April 13, to Sen. Chuck Gross (R-St. Charles), Sen. Charlie Shields (R-St. Joseph) and Barney Whitlock for their efforts on behalf of higher education and the University. Gross, who serves as chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee, received a bachelor’s degree and master’s degree, both in public administration, from MU. Shields, majority floor leader in the Senate, earned a bachelor’s degree in marketing and a master’s degree in business administration from MU. Whitlock, who holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from MU, is an active alum who has served as chair of the Mizzou Legislative Network. The awards are given each year to elected officials and citizens in recognition of their support for the University and higher education, and are named in honor of the legislator who sponsored the bill that formed the University of Missouri in 1839.

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icon question markLegislator profile

Rep. Kathlyn Fares
Rep. Kathlyn Fares
Rep. Kathlyn Fares

Rep. Kathlyn Fares (R-Webster Groves) serves as chair of the House Appropriations-Education Committee and as a member of the Higher Education and Budget Committees. “I see higher education as a continuation of excellence we should strive for in the educational process,” Fares said. “By this I mean a seamless system of K-16 for Missouri citizens. We must have an educated workforce to compete in today’s global economy. I see higher education as strong economic development in our state.” [Read more…]

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icon question markFederal update

U.S. Senate passes stem cell legislation

The U.S. Senate passed two bills aimed at expanding stem cell research on Wednesday, April 11. S.5, referred to as the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act of 2007, which was introduced by Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), would allow expanded federal funding of embryonic stem cell research. S.30, introduced by Sen. Norm Coleman (R-MN), would intensify research to derive human pluripotent stem cell lines. S.5 is the same legislation that passed both the House and Senate last year, except it includes language the Senate approved last year in a different bill encouraging the National Institutes of Health to pursue other forms of stem cell research. President George W. Bush is expected to veto any bill that would lift the ban on embryonic stem cell research as S.5 does. To override the president’s veto, the Senate would need 66 votes and the House would need a two-thirds majority.

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