February 3, 2012

Interim President Owens testifies in House

On February 1, Interim President Steve Owens testified before the House Appropriations – Education committee on the 2013 budget. As the committee prepares to draft their higher education budget recommendations for FY 2013, chairman Mike Lair (R-Chillicothe) invited Presidents and representatives from all of the state’s two-year and four-year public institutions to testify.  Comments centered on the impact of the proposed budget reduction of 12.5 percent and the effect it could have on the institutions and on tuition for the upcoming academic year. 

Interim President Owens took the opportunity to review the University’s unique mission and wide variety of contributions to the state.  He also discussed a variety of potential impacts should large budget cuts be imposed next fiscal year.  Finally, Owens briefed the committee on the University of Missouri’s proposed tuition increases for the 2012 – 2013 academic year.  To read his comments in their entirety, click here. Interim President Owens’ supporting slides can be found here

Above: Interim President Steve Owens (left) testifies with Nikki Krawitz (right), Vice President of Finance and Administration.

UM considering an average tuition increase of 6.5% for 2012-2013 academic year

The University of Missouri has proposed tuition increases for the four UM campuses for the 2012-2013 academic year. The proposed increases are as follows:

  • Missouri S&T: 9%
  • UMSL: 8.2%
  • MU: 7.5%
  • UMKC: 3%

The tuition increases would generate approximately $28 million in additional revenue for UM. The current proposed budget cuts of 12.5% equate to a reduction of $50 million. If the Board of Curators approve a tuition increase above the Consumer Price Index (CPI) of 3%, UM will have to seek a tuition waiver from the Commissioner of the Department of Higher Education. The Board of Curators will approve tuition rates for the UM campuses at a special meeting in February.

Student representative to Board of Curators confirmed by Senate, Van Matre considered by Senate

Amy Johnson, a UMKC student, was confirmed on February 2 by the Missouri Senate to serve as a student representative on the Board of Curators. Johnson will serve a two-year term and will replace Laura Confer of Missouri S&T as the student representative. Johnson was sworn in and is beginning to serve her term. For the full press release on Amy Johnson’s appointment, click here.

The Senate considered approval for nominee Craig Van Matre to serve on the Board of Curators on February 2. Several senators raised concerns with Van Matre’s appointment, and after a discussion on the Senate floor, Van Matre’s motion for approval was withdrawn from consideration. To see Governor Nixon’s statement on Van Matre’s service to the Board of Curators, click here.

House higher education committee passes bill related to remedial education, transfer

The House Higher Education Committee, chaired by Rep. Mike Thomson (R-Maryville) conducted its first hearing of the session on January 24, to consider HB 1042. The bill would encourage improved remedial education practices and transfer and articulation agreements between two- and four-year institutions. A committee substitute for HB 1042 was passed by the full committee on January 31.  The bill, sponsored by Thomson, is similar to SB 455 sponsored by Senator David Pearce, (R-Warrensburg). That bill has been passed by the Senate Education Committee and is on the Senate calendar for consideration on the floor.

The University of Missouri System is already working closely with the two-year sector to improve course transfer and is an active participant in the Department of Higher Education’s  Committee on Transfer and Articulation (COTA), which is charged in this legislation with developing a course transfer library.  The remedial education section of these bills is primarily aimed at the two-year sector.

Lawmakers hear bills that would expand and improve charter schools in Missouri

Bills to enact many changes in the state’s charter school operation were heard January 25 before both the Senate Education Committee and the House Elementary and Secondary Education Committee.  SB 576, sponsored by Senator Bill Stouffer (R-Napton); and HB 1228, sponsored by Rep. Tishaura Jones, (D-St. Louis) are identical bills that expand charter schools statewide instead of limiting them to St. Louis and Kansas City. The bills also improve clarity and accountability for sponsoring organizations, particularly related to shutting down failing charter schools.

The University of Missouri System sponsors charter schools in both St. Louis and Kansas City and has been involved in development of accountability measures that are reflected in the legislation.  Dr. Deborah Carr, an assistant professor of education at MU who coordinates several of the charter schools sponsored by MU, testified in support of the bill before both committees.

Chris Kelly, Gary Forsee awarded the MU Geyer Award

On January 23, former UM President Gary Forsee and Rep. Chris Kelly (D-Columbia) were recipients of the 2011 Geyer Award. The ceremony was held at the Governor’s mansion and more than 40 state legislators attended to congratulate Forsee and Kelly.

Each year the Mizzou Legislative Network, part of the Mizzou Alumni Association, awards the Henry S. Geyer Award, named for the former state Representative St. Louis, who was the author of the Geyer Act of 1839 from which established the University. The award recognizes the work of public officials and citizens who have made a positive impact on higher education and Mizzou.

From left to right: former UM President Gary Forsee, MU Chancellor Brady Deaton, and Rep. Chris Kelly.

UMSL sponsors RCGA reception

From left to right: Rep. Clem Smith, (D-St. Louis), UMSL Chancellor Tom George, UM System President-designate Tim Wolfe, and Rep. Kathie Conway (R-St. Charles). They were among the officials who attended an UMSL-sponsored reception at the Chase Park Plaza Hotel prior to the St. Louis Regional Commerce and Growth Association’s 175th Annual Meeting and Dinner. The reception attracted almost 100 UMSL alumni and supporters.
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