March 3, 2017

STATE UPDATE:

Dr. Mun Choi starts as UM System’s president

Wednesday marked the first official day for new UM System President Mun Choi. President Choi is the 24th president to serve and is the first Asian American UM System President. Previously, he served as the provost of the University of Connecticut. President Choi was welcomed into office by all four campuses, as well as Columbia Mayor Brian Treece, on Twitter. President Choi has already been meeting with our state’s political leaders, including Governor Eric Greitens, Lt. Governor Mike Parson, Senate President Pro Tem Ron Richard (R-Joplin) and House Speaker Todd Richardson (R-Poplar Bluff).  To see his welcome video, please click here.

President Choi addressing UM System employees
Pictured: President Mun Choi addressing UM System employees in November.

House panel adds funding in for higher education

Wednesday, the House subcommittee for education appropriations met to mark up early versions of the FY18 spending bill. The subcommittee added funding for several partnership programs but left the overall core cut just over nine percent for public institutions.  The panel, chaired by Rep. Lyle Rowland (R-Cedarcreek), added $2 million each for the Missouri S&T engineering expansion with Missouri State University (MSU) and the UMKC satellite dental clinic partnership with Missouri Southern State University, as well as $1 million to UMKC for its pharmacy partnership with MSU. The group also passed an amendment to insert $200,000 for the international collaborative program at UMSL.

Committee members discussed concern about lack of funding for the expansion of the MU School of Medicine through a clinical campus in Springfield, which had received appropriations of $10 million in the previous four years but was zeroed out in the Governor’s recommendation. MU partnered with the two hospitals in Springfield to expand its medical school enrollment by 32 students each year, or 128 students total, with half of those additional students spending their last two years at the Springfield clinic.

UM System Annual Legislative Day

This week, the University of Missouri System hosted its 43rd annual Legislative Day in Jefferson City. More than 500 supporters from across the state representing the four campuses and MU Extension participated.  Attendees visited with elected officials to describe the importance of the UM System and shared their personal success stories. In a joint rally, Lieutenant Governor Mike Parson and new UM System President Mun Choi addressed the crowd about the significant role that higher education plays in Missouri’s success.  Choi also joined the four chancellors in meeting with legislative leaders from the House and Senate. Displays in the rotunda illustrated the University’s mission of teaching, research, service and economic development.  To see photos from this event, please click here.

Morton, Foley, Richardson, Choi, Schrader and George
From left: UMKC Chancellor Leo Morton, MU Interim Chancellor Hank Foley, Speaker Todd Richardson, UM System President Mun Choi, S&T Chancellor Cheryl Schrader and UMSL Chancellor Tom George

State revenues show strong rebound

State revenue numbers for the month of February jumped 25.2 percent compared to a year ago.  This increase pushed year-to-date numbers up 4.9 percent compared to last year, according to data released by the State Budget Office this week. State budget leaders recently reduced the revenue estimate for the current fiscal year to a growth of 3 percent, meaning this month’s strong returns place revenues ahead of what was projected.

Although corporate income and tax collections have decreased more than 25% for the year, individual income taxes and sales taxes have increased, helping to drive the overall number.

UMSL lunch with a legislator

The Associated Students of the University of Missouri’s UMSL chapter  hosted a lunch with a legislator event last week on campus. Rep. Alan Green (D-Florissant) and Rep. Joe Adams (D-University City) sat down with student leaders to discuss current legislative topics and what life is like as a state representative.

Students with Representatives Green and Adams

From left: UMSL student Nathan Theus, Representative Alan Green, UMSL student Jennifer Boston, Representative Joe Adams and UMSL student Trevor Dobbs

FEDERAL UPDATE:

UM System financial aid directors visit Capitol Hill to advocate for federal financial aid

Financial aid representatives from MU and UMSL were in Washington, D.C. this week to attend the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA) Leadership and Legislative Conference and Expo. While in DC, they also met with staff from the Missouri congressional offices to discuss the importance of student financial aid reform, including year-round Pell grant funding and the importance and need for reauthorization of the Higher Education Act.

UM System financial aid directors visit Capitol Hill
Pictured (left to right): Nick Prewett, Director of Financial Aid (MU); Cassandra Hicks, Coordinator of Student Employment and State Aid (SEMO); Kerry Hallahan, Director of Financial Aid (Logan University); and Samantha Matchefts, Senior Associate Director of Financial Aid (UMSL).

Missouri Student Association leadership participates in SEC on the Hill day

This week student leaders from universities in the Southeastern Conference (SEC) visited Capitol Hill for their annual SEC in DC conference. The Missouri Students Association (MSA) visited several offices of the Missouri delegation including Senator Claire McCaskill (D-MO), Senator Roy Blunt (R-MO), Rep. Lacy Clay (D-MO/1st), Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-MO/4th) and Rep. Jason Smith (R-MO/8th). The MSA students discussed important issues includes student affordability, open educational resources and mental health services for students.

MSA participates in SEC on the Hill day

Pictured from left: Mark McDaniel, MSA Senate Speaker, Rep. Lacy Clay (D-MO/1st), Tim Davis, MSA Secretary of Auxiliarie, and Sophie Dieckhaus, former MSA Chief of Staff

 

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