House and Senate schedule budget hearings
The House Appropriations – Education committee, chaired by Rep. Mike Lair (R-Chillicothe), held its first two meetings this week. The committee heard from Deputy Commissioner of Higher Education, Paul Wagner, on January 15th for a discussion about performance funding for higher education. On January 16th, the committee heard testimony from Dr. Stacey Preis, the Executive Director of the Joint Committee on Education, about their work over the interim on possible higher education funding formulas.
The committee has posted a notice for public testimony about elementary and secondary and higher education on January 23rd. They will hear from all of the public 2- and 4-year Presidents or their representatives on January 29th and 30th. University of Missouri President Tim Wolfe is scheduled to testify on the 30th.
The Senate Appropriations committee chaired by Sen. Kurt Schaefer (R-Columbia) will take public testimony about higher education on January 22nd and they will hear from representatives of the higher education community in February.
Former Missouri Supreme Court Judge Ann Covington appointed to Board of Curators
Ann Covington, of Columbia, was appointed to the University of Missouri Board of Curators on January 17. Covington was the first female judge to serve as member of the Missouri Supreme Court for more than 12 years, until retiring from the bench in 2001. Covington is appointed to serve in Missouri’s 4th Congressional district. Covington’s undergraduate degree is from Duke University, and her law degree is from the University of Missouri. For the entire press announcement from the Governor’s office, click here .
Governor Nixon sworn in during inauguration ceremonies
On January 14, Governor Jay Nixon began his second term as Missouri’s 55th governor at the inauguration ceremonies in Jefferson City. The event included a parade, swearing-in of elected officials, and the inaugural ball in Jefferson City. UM System President Tim Wolfe attended the swearing-in ceremony. Governor Nixon’s inauguration speech can be found here .
Extension bill introduced in the House
Legislation to allow MU Extension to establish single- or multi-county Extension districts to increase efficiency in program delivery and provide options for funding future programming was introduced Jan. 17 in the House of Representatives. House Bill 202 , introduced by Rep. Bill Reiboldt (R-Neosho), would provide the statutory authority needed to establish the districting plan.
A companion bill, SB 9  sponsored by Senator David Pearce (R-Warrensburg), was introduced earlier in the session in the Senate.
Alumni Alliance distributes maps to legislators
The Alliance of Alumni Associations and Extension joined with the State Extension Council and 4H students at the Capitol to distribute maps to legislators on January 17th. After the modification of legislative district boundaries was final, the Alliance voted to devote a portion of their budget to the production of maps. The maps are a topographical representation of each legislator’s district and include facts about the University of Missouri’s impact on that district. The number of alumni, students, employees, and tax revenues returned to the district are reported and University and MU Extension properties are also designated on the maps.
The Alumni Alliance is a group of 40 members, comprised of alumni from all four of the University of Missouri campuses and Extension. The group was created by the Board of Curators in 1969 to encourage communication and cooperation among the System campuses and to help University advocates speak with one voice when delivering messages to legislators, community leaders, and the public. University Extension was added to the group in 1994. Every year, the Alliance hosts the annual Legislative Day at the Capitol. The 2013 Legislative Day is scheduled for Wednesday, April 3rd.
To learn more about the Alliance, click here .
Legislators tour MU facilities
About 50 members of the Missouri General Assembly spent part of the day on January 16, touring areas of the University of Missouri campus in Columbia to learn more about the institution and its mission to the state. The legislators, mostly freshman lawmakers in the House, toured the MU Research Reactor, Life Science Incubator, College of Engineering, University Hospital, and the Bond Life Sciences Center before going to Mizzou Arena to watch the Tigers defeat the Georgia Bulldogs in a basketball matchup.
The University illustrated its four part mission of teaching, research, service and economic development and highlighted legislative priorities for the coming session, including the operating budget, a bonding plan for capital improvements and the MU Extension districting proposal. Lawmakers heard from UM President Tim Wolfe and MU Chancellor Brady Deaton during the visit.
Speaker Tim Jones (R-Eureka) recorded a short video log focusing on the importance of the mission of the University of Missouri System. The video log was filmed in front of the Columns and Jesse Hall on MU’s campus and can be found here .
Above from left to right: Speaker Tim Jones (R-Eureka), UM System President Tim Wolfe, and Senate President Pro Tem Tom Dempsey (R-St. Charles) during the MU basketball game on January 16th. Photo courtesy of Wally Pfeffer.