August 11, 2008

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UM Board of Curators approves FY2010 operations appropriations requests

The University of Missouri Board of Curators approved the university's FY 2010 operations and capital appropriations requests to the Missouri legislature during a meeting July 25. The university is asking the state to fund the FY 2009 core state appropriation of $438 million, plus a portion of a new investment plan that totals $103 million. The university also is requesting $624.8 million for capital rehabilitation and new construction projects on the university's four campuses.

New investments requested by the university as part of its operations request include a competitive ranked faculty compensation program to recruit and retain top-quality faculty; an initiative to increase the number of health care professionals in the state; and economic development initiatives to increase the number of patents, licenses and commercialization of intellectual property on the university's four campuses, among other items. Also included is a request for $6.8 million, half of the amount needed to help support an almost 20 percent increase in enrollment from FY 2000 to FY 2007. This is the largest enrollment increase of any four-year public university and represents 72 percent of the total enrollment growth at the state's public four-year institutions during that period.

The new $103 million investment plan would be funded through state appropriations, efficiencies and reallocations in university resources, and inflationary increases in tuition and fees. The state's share would total $75 million.

For a detailed list of operating requests, click here.

University, community cut ribbon on new research facility at MU's Discovery Ridge

RADIL ribbon cuttingUniversity officials cut the ribbon on the new RADIL research facility at Discovery Ridge in Columbia Aug. 4. Sen. Carl Vogel (R-Jefferson City), and Rep. Paul Quinn (D-Monroe City), were among many citizens on hand to tour the $15.5 million facility, which is entirely funded by revenues generated by the fee-for-service operation. The facility provides infrastructure for more than 1,000 clients furthering research to treat and prevent animal and human diseases. The facility employs nine faculty members and 52 full-time staff, as well as 48 post-doctoral fellows, graduate students and undergraduate employees with an annual payroll of $3.3 million. The facility is the second major client for Discovery Ridge, MU's research park for businesses that directly relates to the research mission of the university and supports research in the life sciences, engineering and technology. The park is four miles from the MU campus.

Click here for additional photos.

UM president visits with School of Medicine alumni

UM president visits with School of Medicine alumniDuring a visit to Joplin July 22, UM System President Gary Forsee met with MU School of Medicine alumni at Freeman Health System. Following a tour of the facility, the president sat down with alumni and other Freeman physicians to discuss health professional shortages and how the shortage impacts the delivery of health care in the state. The discussion reinforced the university's request again this year for $24.2 million in additional state funding that would allow state colleges and universities to admit more students and prepare the next generation of health professionals.

Forsee meets with STARS graduates

UM President meets with STARS graduatesUM System President Gary Forsee visited UMSL July 18 as guest speaker at the annual Students and Teachers as Research Scientists confirmation. The STARS program at UMSL gives high school students the opportunity to conduct research for six weeks with faculty and scientists at UMSL, Saint Louis University, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, Washington University in St. Louis and the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center in Creve Coeur, Mo. This year, 81 students completed the program. "Thanks to the combined efforts of everyone in this room, STARS is both nationally and internationally recognized as one of the premier summer educational programs for gifted high school students with a passion for the sciences," Forsee said. Ken Mares, director of STARS, was a featured guest last month on the UM Communications Podcast.

Elected officials join northeast Missouri farmers for MU's Greenley Center Field Day

Rep. Jim WhortonThe dust had barely settled from the Aug. 5 primaries when several legislators and candidates came to Novelty, Mo., to attend MU's Greenley Center Field day Aug. 7, where they learned about research on crops, irrigation, feed animals and wind power. Attendees also heard from U.S. Senator Kit Bond (R) and U.S. Rep. Kenny Hulshof (R) at lunch. Other elected officials who attended included Sens. Wes Shoemyer (D-Clarence) and Dan Clemens (R-Marshfield) and Reps. Rebecca McClanahan (D-Kirksville), Brian Munzlinger (R-Williamstown), Tom Shively (D-Shelbyville) and Jim Whorton (D-Trenton).

Click here for additional photos.

Primaries set stage for November matchups

Only 22 percent of registered voters braved the Aug. 5 heat to vote in the primaries, a much lower turnout than anticipated by election officials. To view the upcoming matchups, including university alumni status of candidates, click here.

Highlights include:

  • Congress
  • Most of Tuesday's focus was on the 9th Congressional District race to replace Kenny Hulshof, and multiple candidates from each party waged significant campaigns. In the end, republican voters selected Blaine Leutkemeyer of St. Elizabeth and democrats supported Judy Baker of Columbia. That race, along with the 6th District contest between incumbent republican Sam Graves of Tarkio and democratic challenger Kay Barnes of Kansas City, will attract the most attention in November. Among the other seven incumbents, only Lacy Clay of St. Louis faces no November opposition.

  • Statewide contests
  • The GOP primary for governor attracted the most attention, and republican Kenny Hulshof prevailed over challenger Sarah Steelman by nearly five percentage points. Hulshof will now face Jay Nixon in November. Both candidates are MU graduates. The other four statewide matchups include republican Peter Kinder vs. democrat Sam Page for lieutenant governor; democrat incumbent Robin Carnahan vs. republican Mitch Hubbard for secretary of state; republican Brad Lager vs. democrat Clint Zweifel for treasurer; and democrat Chris Koster vs. republican Mike Gibbons for attorney general. Kinder, Page, Zweifel and Koster all have degrees from one of the University of Missouri campuses.

  • State Senate
  • Three races that generated a lot of attention included the 5th District democratic race in St. Louis where Robin Wright-Jones defeated Rodney Hubbard by less than a percentage point. No republican filed for the race, so she will now be the next senator, replacing Maida Coleman. In the 7th District in St. Louis County, republican Jane Cunningham defeated two challengers to win with 46.3 percent of the vote. She will face democrat Kevin Leeseberg in November. And in the 31st district in west-central Missouri, republican David Pearce defeated Rex Rector to emerge as the winner, setting up a matchup with democrat Chris Benjamin in November. Both Pearce and Benjamin are MU graduates.

    Four incumbents face no opposition in November: Yvonne Wilson of Kansas City, Victor Callahan of Kansas City, Tim Green of St. Louis and Jack Goodman of Mt. Vernon. Eight incumbents face November challengers, and four other races involve open seats.

  • State House
  • The winners in 76 of the 163 House races are already decided after the primary, with 49 democrats and 27 Republicans facing no opponent in November. Some 63 incumbents, however, do face challengers in November. Only one incumbent lost in the primary: Dem. Rep. Tony George of the 74th District in Florissant. There will be a minimum of 41 freshman House members next session, slightly higher than two years ago.

Congress approves reauthorization of the Higher Education Act

The Higher Education Act reauthorization of 2007 (H.R. 4137) passed Congress on Aug. 1. The measure increases transparency in numerous areas for students and parents, particularly regarding tuition, text book costs, levels of state funding for state universities and colleges, as well as student loan terms and conditions. The measure also establishes a federal loan forgiveness program in a number of high-need professions, such as teachers, health professionals and STEM professions. For more information, click here.

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