Oct. 1, 2010

Governor calls higher education leaders together at summit to announce strategic plan

As higher education leaders at Missouri public institutions prepare for another challenging budget year, Governor Jay Nixon has outlined a four-part plan to improve higher education in the state. Leaders from all institutions of higher education met with the Governor in August to hear his thoughts and listen to experts provide ideas on how other states have approached similar challenges.

Nixon’s strategy includes four primary goals:

  1. Increase the percentage of young adults who have attained a postsecondary degree. Currently only 39 percent of Missourians meet the criteria, and the Governor has set a goal of reaching 60 percent by 2020, five years ahead of a national goal to meet the threshold by 2025.
  2. A statewide review of academic programs to increase efficiency and productivity and to ensure that there is a correct mix of programs linked to economic development goals of the state to help Missouri prepare for the workforce needs of the future.
  3. Increase cooperation and collaboration in administrative and academic areas among institutions.
  4. Review and revise the funding formula for public higher education.

The Coordinating Board for Higher Education has already begun the program review goal, collecting examples for an inventory of collaboration and cooperation among institutions. They have also formed to review existing funding models and to consider possible funding formula revisions.

Veto session marked by farewell speeches of departing lawmakers

Legislators are required to return to the State Capitol each September to provide an opportunity to overturn any vetoes by the Governor. When legislators convened September 15, they spent most of the time hearing from colleagues who are not returning because of term limits.

Ten Senators gave farewell remarks to the Upper Chamber. They include Matt Bartle, Joan Bray, Norma Champion, Dan Clemens, Rita Days, John Griesheimer, Gary Nodler, Delbert Scott, Charlie Shields and Carl Vogel.

Senate President Pro Tem Charlie Shields

Senate President Pro Tem Charlie Shields is one of 10 Senators who are not returning to the Senate due to term limits. (Photo courtesy of MO Senate Communications)

The House of Representatives did consider a motion to override the Governor’s veto of HB1903, which related to establishing a fund to receive and allocate federal stabilization funds. The Governor vetoed the bill because he argued it set up a duplicative process for receiving and allocating the funds as well as unconstitutionally intruded on Executive authority. The House did not reach the required number of votes for an override, however, so attention turned to farewell remarks by Speaker Ron Richard (R-Joplin); Minority Leader Paul LeVota (D-Kansas City), and many other House members who are term limited.

Missouri House Speaker Ron Richard

Missouri House Speaker Ron Richard is one of over 50 House members not returning to the Missouri House of Representatives due to term limits. There are also Representatives have decided to not seek reelection. (Photo courtesy of MO House Communications)

House members termed out include: Walt Bivins, Rachel Bringer, Jason Brown, Mark Bruns, John Burnett, Robert Wayne Cooper, Michael Corcoran, Mike Cunningham, Cynthia Davis, Bill Deeken, Mike Dethrow, Bob Dixon, Curt Dougherty, Gary Dusenberg, Ed Emery, Doug Ervin, Jim Guest, Belinda Harris, Steve Hobbs, Ted Hoskins, Allen Icet, Gayle Kingery, J.C. Kuessner, Paul LeVota, Al Liese, Scott Lipke, Kate Meiners, Brian Munzlinger, Brian Nieves, Bryan Pratt, Ron Richard, Marilyn Ruestman, Ray Salva, Therese Sander, Robert Schaaf, Charlie Schlottach, Sue Schoemehl, Tom Self, Trent Skaggs, Joe Smith, Michael Spreng, Bryan Stevenson, Mike Sutherland, Jim Viebrock, Michael Vogt, Maynard Wallace, Regina Walsh, Jay Wasson, Kevin Wilson, Larry Wilson, Terry Witte, and Patricia Yaeger.

President Outlines Legislative Priorities for the 2011 Legislative Session

In order to maintain a high quality of education, research, service and economic development, the University has a documented need of $552.1 million for the upcoming fiscal year. The President is finalizing the University’s Legislative Priorities for the upcoming session. The priorities include:

  • Protecting our core operating appropriation of $427.9 million
  • Creating initiatives to provide capital funds. UM needs more than $49 million to fund critical facility improvements.
  • Encouraging the state to consider revenue enhancements such as: increasing the cigarette tax, tax credit reform, and other economic development initiatives.

Click here to see more details regarding UM’s legislative priorities.

President provides House, Senate candidates with issue summary for UM

Candidates for the Missouri Senate and House received a letter from UM President Gary Forsee earlier this month calling their attention to key issues facing UM and higher education. The summary highlighted recent work to increase efficiencies and noted the need for operating and capital support as the state prepares for increasing numbers of college students and an economy and job market that require more postsecondary education. A copy of the letter and supporting document can be seen here.


More than 80 candidates have affiliations with UM campuses

Although the educational background of some legislative candidates is not immediately evident on web site or campaign pages, a preliminary review indicates that at least 80 of the candidates have attended, graduated from, or sent children to Mizzou, UMKC, UMSL or Missouri S&T. In all, about 50 have an affiliation with Mizzou, followed by 16 each for UMSL and UMKC and 2 for Missouri S&T. Several candidates have degrees from more than one UM campus. More information will be provided in a future update.


Board of Curators, CBHE Approve FY 2012 Budget Request

The University of Missouri System’s FY 2012 state budget request was approved by the Board of Curators on July 23rd. While the University has a documented need of over $552 million, the University’s highest priority for the 2011 legislative session is protecting the current year core appropriation of $427.9 million. Should funds become available, an additional $124.2 million would support continuing investments for the Caring for Missourians program, competitive ranked faculty compensation, student enrollment growth, and for ongoing maintenance and repair efforts. In our UM Related Programs, an additional $44.5 million is needed to restore and increase appropriations for our health care and other curator programs such as MOREnet. The Curators also approved the FY12 capital request, which documents more than $49 million in campus critical facility needs and $293 million for top priority rehabilitation and new construction projects.

The University’s budget was forwarded, along with all other public higher education institutional requests, to the Coordinating Board for Higher Education for review and approval at its September 9th meeting. When formatting its request, the CBHE took into consideration the phase-out in FY12 of $860 million of federal budget stabilization funds. $300 million of this shortfall was addressed through vetoes to the FY 2011 budget. Recently passed federal legislation will deliver $200 million in additional federal stabilization funds to Missouri. However, even after these developments and assuming legislators approve a carry-over of all FY11 cuts, the Governor’s office still estimates a $450 to $500 million deficit in FY12.

Therefore, the CBHE agreed to request a total of $911.4 million for higher education. The total amount does not contain increases to institutional core budgets, but does include a request for $39.9 million in general revenue funds to replace the federal stabilization funds that were used in FY11. The CBHE also agreed to develop a “secondary budget request” that is not expected to be funded, but will help communicate to elected officials that additional investment in higher education is needed. Finally, the CBHE approved a FY12 capital improvements request for priority funding of the thirteen remaining Lewis and Clark Discovery Initiative projects, including Ellis Fischel Cancer Center at MU, Benton and Stadler Halls at UMSL, and a number of UM agricultural centers around the state. A secondary priority list will also be submitted that includes the top priority of each 2-year and 4-year institution. The budget request will now be submitted to the Governor’s budget office.


University groups host candidate forum September 30 in St. Joseph

Candidates for state Senate and House seats in the St. Joseph area participated in a candidate forum on higher education issues Thursday, September 30, at the Heartland Foundation/emPowerU facility downtown.  The forum was sponsored jointly by MU Extension, the Mizzou Alumni Association, and the Mizzou Flagship Council. Prior to the forum, candidates spent time visiting displays and meeting representatives from MU Extension during a showcase event.  Legislators and candidates who participated in the forum included Senator Brad Lager, R-Savannah; Rep. Rob Schaaf, R-St. Joseph; Rep. Martin Rucker, D-St. Joseph; Rep. Pat Conway, D-St. Joseph; Jason Gregory, R-St. Joseph; Delus Johnson, R-St. Joseph; Mark Sheehan, D-St. Joseph, Bill Caldwell, D-Dearborn; and Galen Wayne Higdon, Jr., R-St. Joseph.

The panel was moderated by radio host Tom Brand. Candidates discussed their support for higher education and Extension programs, the challenges facing the state economy and its impact on higher education, and the importance of creating jobs.  They all voiced support for having voters consider a bonding plan to fund higher education capital construction projects in the next year.

All Candidates

Candidates and legislators in the St. Joseph area prepare to begin a panel discussion on higher education Thursday, September 30th, sponsored by the MU Extension, the Mizzou Alumni Association, and the Mizzou Flagship Council.

Additional photos of the event can be found here.

Mizzou at the State Fair

MU Chancellor Brady Deaton and Sen. Kit Bond at the Missouri State Fair.

Sen. Kit Bond is greeted by MU Chancellor Brady Deaton at the Missouri State Fair on August 18. Senator Bond took time to sample a “Bond Select Chestnut Ice Cream” made by buck’s Ice Cream at Mizzou during a visit to the Mizzou Central area at the State Fair. Sen. Bond grows chestnut trees on a farm near Mexico.