University of Missouri holds Missouri 100 event

From left, U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill, Missouri 100 Co-Chair Gary Forsee, U.S. Sen. Christopher “Kit” Bond, UM Interim President Gordon Lamb and Missouri 100 Co-Chair Richard Miller at The Missouri

Members of The Missouri 100, a presidential advisory group assembled by UM Interim President Gordon Lamb, held their inaugural meeting Nov. 9-10 in Columbia, Mo.

During the Friday evening reception, U.S. Sens. Christopher “Kit” Bond (R) and Claire McCaskill (D) spoke of the wonderful work the University does in areas of health care, research and economic development. They encouraged all members of The Missouri 100 to share the University’s unique mission with all Missourians. Other legislators who attended the reception included Sen. Chuck Graham (D-Columbia), Rep. Judy Baker (D-Columbia), Rep. Allen Icet (R-Wildwood) and Rep. Ron Richard (R-Joplin).

The Missouri 100 members also met Saturday morning for in-depth discussions regarding the University’s impact statewide. Speakers included UM Health Care CEO James Ross, Missouri Director of Economic Development Greg Steinhoff and Lamb, among others. Legislators who attended Saturday’s meeting included Rep. Steve Tilley (R-Perryville), Richard, Sen. Mike Gibbons (R-Kirkwood), and Icet.

Membership in The Missouri 100 is by invitation from the president. Members will speak with one voice as they advocate for the University as a whole, and the UM president will confer with members during travels around the state.

icon question markUniversity updates
UMSL, UMKC host legislative forums
UM Interim President Gordon Lamb listens as Sen. Joan Bray (D-St. Louis) talks about health care needs in Missouri.
UM Interim President Gordon Lamb listens as Sen. Joan Bray (D-St. Louis) talks about health care needs in Missouri.

The University of Missouri held legislative forums in St. Louis and Kansas City on
Thursday, Nov. 8 and Thursday, Nov. 15 respectively.

Legislators and University supporters attended to hear updates on the University’s 2009 appropriations request for operations; its Preparing to Care initiative to increase the number of graduates in health-related fields to counter Missouri’s health care provider shortage; and its faculty compensation plan, which would provide $3.55 million in state funds in the FY 09 operating budget as the first year of a three-year plan to match University resources to increase compensation for ranked faculty. Discussions were followed by a campus tour and lunches with the chancellor and other campus leaders.

From left, Rep. Shalonn “Kiki” Curls (D-Kansas City) visits with Sen. Yvonne Wilson (D-Kansas City), Rep. Ryan Silvey (R-Kansas City) and Rep. Jeff Grisamore (R-Lee’s Summit) during the Legislative Forum in Kansas City.
From left, Rep. Shalonn "Kiki" Curls (D-Kansas City) visits with Sen. Yvonne Wilson (D-Kansas City), Rep. Ryan Silvey (R-Kansas City), and Rep. Jeff Grisamore (R-Lee's Summit) during the Legislative Forum in Kansas City.

Legislators attending the St. Louis event include Sen. Joan Bray (D-St. Louis), Sen. Rita Days (D-St. Louis), Rep. Robin Wright-Jones (D-St. Louis) and Rep. Clint Zweifel (D-Florissant). Legislators attending in Kansas City included Rep. Ryan Silvey (R-Kansas City) Rep. Shalonn “Kiki” Curls (D-Kansas City), Rep. Paul LeVota (D-Independence), Sen. Luann Ridgeway (R-Smithville), Sen. Yvonne Wilson (D-Kansas City), Rep. Jeff Grisamore (R-Lee’s Summit), Rep. Gary Dusenberg (R-Blue Springs), Rep. Jason Holsman (D-Kansas City) and Budget Analyst with Senate Appropriations Trevor Foley.

Legislative forums are planned in Columbia Nov. 27 and Rolla Dec. 4.

University Unity Tour continues; next stop: Warrensburg

Warrensburg will be UM Interim President Gordon Lamb’s next stop in the 2007 University Unity tour. The event is scheduled for 11:30 a.m. Monday, Nov. 27 at the Elliott Union Ballroom at the University of Central Missouri.

Lamb will travel to Warrensburg to share a luncheon presentation for the community with UCM President Dr. Aaron Podolefsky. The presidents will discuss Preparing to Care, a collaborative proposal among public four- and two-year institutions to increase the number of health care professional graduates.

The Warrensburg event is part of the second annual University Unity tour in support of public higher education. Lamb is appearing at joint statewide events with his counterparts from Missouri’s public universities to discuss the institutions’ service and accountability to Missourians. Community leaders, legislators and media throughout the region are invited to attend.

Future University Unity destinations include Missouri Western State University and Northwest Missouri State University, both Dec. 3, and Truman State University Dec. 7. Other events will be announced in coming days.

icon question markCampus highlights
UMKC, UMR receive payments from Lewis and Clark Discovery Initiative

The University of Missouri–Kansas City and the University of Missouri–Rolla received payments from the Lewis and Clark Discovery Initiative Fund on Thursday, Nov. 15. UMKC received a payment of $1.6 million to fund equipment replacement in its School of Dentistry, and UMR received $786,020 for its engineering facility.

In total, the state released nearly $23 million on Thursday to Missouri’s higher education institutions , including Harris Stowe State University, Missouri Southern State University, Missouri Western State University and several community colleges.

“The University of Missouri–Kansas City’s School of Dentistry is both pleased and proud to be the recipient of the Lewis and Clark Discovery Initiative funding,” said UMKC Chancellor Guy Bailey. “As the only dental school in Missouri, this funding will be critical as UMKC continues to work toward addressing dental and dental hygiene shortages across the state.  The funds will allow for the replacement of more than 260 dental chairs, lights and units and enable the School of Dentistry to refurbish areas within the clinic that are used for advanced and specialty programs.

UMSL business students meet state treasurer
Joe Fruend, Missouri Treasurer Sarah Steelman (D) and Chris Baum at UMSL
Missouri State Treasurer Sarah Steelman (middle) with Beta Alpha Psi faculty advisors Michael Brown and Rebecca Spear

Missouri Treasurer Sarah Steelman (R) and Deputy Director Doug Gaston recently visited the University of Missouri-St. Louis. The event, attended by School of Business students and faculty, was hosted by Beta Alpha Psi, an honors organization for financial information (accounting, finance and information systems) students and professionals. Steelman discussed the MOST program, a savings plan for higher education, as well as the state's decision to no longer invest in terrorist-identified countries.

UMKC holds Crescendo Gala
From left, Rep. Michael Brown (D-Kansas City) and his wife Gilma visit with UMKC Deputy Chancellor Mary Larson Diaz and her husband Paco Diaz during UMKC’s Crescendo Gala.
From left, Rep. Michael Brown (D-Kansas City) and his wife Gilma visit with UMKC Deputy Chancellor Mary Larson Diaz and her husband Paco Diaz during UMKC's Crescendo Gala.

The Friends of the Conservatory, a community group that works to promote the University of Missouri–Kansas City’s Conservatory of Music and Dance, hosted the 14th annual Crescendo Gala this month in support of the school’s highly talented students, several of whom performed for those in attendance.

The event, themed “The Many Colors of Music and Dance,” attracted an audience of more than 550 friends from the community and was attended by both UM Interim President Gordon Lamb and State Rep. Michael Brown (D-Kansas City) and his wife, Gilma. Kent Barnhart, executive director of the Quality Hill Playhouse and a conservatory graduate, served as master of ceremonies.

The Friends of the Conservatory announced during the event that they had raised more than $762,000 for student scholarships the previous year. UMKC Chancellor Guy Bailey also presented flowers to Vera Olson after announcing the UMKC Performing Arts Center would be renamed in honor of her late husband, Dr. James C. Olson, who served as UMKC’s chancellor from 1968 to 1976.

icon question markState relations
Governors Blunt and Sebelius place friendly Wager on MU-KU game

Missouri Gov. Matt Blunt and Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius have placed a friendly wager on the Nov. 24 game between the University of Missouri-Columbia and University of Kansas.

“Governor Sebelius and I have worked together on many issues facing the bi-state region but when it comes to the Tigers and Jayhawks we can find no common ground,” Blunt said. “The Tigers are having a tremendous season, and I am confident that Governor Sebelius will be wearing black and gold at next year’s economic development summit.”

“While I commend Governor Blunt’s optimism, the Jayhawks have demonstrated incredible talent both in the classroom and on the field; and I look forward to Governor Blunt sporting crimson and blue when we gather next year in Kansas City,” Sebelius said.

After Kansas loses to Missouri, Gov. Sebelius will wear MU’s colors, black and gold, at the 2008 Governors’ Summit on Regional Economic Development in Kansas City. In the unlikely event that MU is defeated, Gov. Blunt will wear crimson and blue at the event.

The MU-KU game is Saturday, Nov. 24 at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City. The Governor’s Regional Summit is in February 2008.

icon question markFederal update
Labor/health and human services appropriations bill vetoed

President George W. Bush this week followed through on his threat to veto any spending bill exceeding his budget amounts when he vetoed the labor/health and human services appropriations bill that Congress passed. The labor/HHS bill, which funds higher education programs such as Pell Grant, Gear Up, Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education, federal Trio programs and the National Institute of Health (NIH), was about $9.8 billion over the president’s requested amount. The bill as passed by Congress would have provided $30 billion for NIH—about $1.1 billion above the FY 07 amount, and the maximum Pell Grant award would have been raised to $4,925 by adding $125 in discretionary funding in addition to the $490 in mandatory funding added by the College Cost Reduction Act. The House failed to override the veto by a vote of 277 to 141.

House introduces HEA Bill

The House Education and Labor Committee passed H.R. 4173, the College Opportunity and Affordability Act of 2007, on Thursday, Nov. 15. The lengthy bill, which is intended to reauthorize the Higher Education Act, was released last week and after mark up was passed unanimously by the committee. The bill contains several provisions relating to college cost, transfer of credit, preferred lender lists, textbook affordability and copyright infringement. While the bill contains robust Pell Grant levels, it also contains several new programs, federal regulations and reporting requirements that could be troublesome to higher education institutions. The bill is expected to come to the floor in December or January.