March 31, 2017


Degree approval legislation approved by House, ready for debate in the Senate

The House this week passed HB758 sponsored by Rep. Steve Cookson (R-Poplar Bluff) that codifies the task force agreements on degree approval for public institutions in Missouri. After defeating an amendment by a vote of 38-112 that would have enabled all community colleges to offer 4-year bachelor’s degrees, the underlying bill was perfected by a voice vote Tuesday and third read and passed Thursday by a 141-5 vote. The companion bill, SB328 sponsored by Senator Gary Romine (R-Farmington), is on the Senate calendar and expected to be taken up next week.

All public universities, colleges and community colleges in Missouri have signed letters in support for the legislation, which was drafted from the Department of Higher Education’s degree task force that developed the policy last year.  The plan clarifies the roles of institutions, what types of graduate and professional degrees they may offer, and establishes a process for joint degree programs and partnerships.

House to take up budget bills next week

The House Budget Committee completed work this week on the FY2018 spending bills, setting them up for House floor debate next Tuesday.  For the higher education core budget, there were no major changes in committee markup.  The House version of the budget includes a 9% core cut for the UM System, as compared to a 6.58% core cut for other public institutions.

The House version also provides part of the requested funding for four UM System related line items:

  • $5 million of $10 million requested for the MU School of Medicine expansion for the clinical campus in Springfield
  • $1 million of the $2 million requested for the UMKC-Missouri State University (MSU) Pharmacy program
  • $1 million split evenly between Missouri S&T and MSU to establish a mechanical engineering program
  • $1.5 million of the $3.5 million to be shared by Missouri Southern State University ($1 million) and UMKC ($500,000) to launch a dental satellite program in Joplin



National 4-H Missouri delegates in Washington, DC

Missouri 4-H student delegates represented the state at the National 4-H Conference in Washington, DC. While in DC, the students participated in roundtable discussions at the Department of Energy, Department of Agriculture and the House Agriculture Committee to discuss diversity in agriculture, world food supply needs and the importance of wind energy. The students also met with members of the Missouri congressional delegation on Capitol Hill to discuss the importance of the 4-H program.

From left: Mitchell Moon, Senator Claire McCaskill (D-MO), Shea Fitzgerald and Terryn Dodson


MU Engineering professor participates in energy events in DC

Randy Curry, Logan Distinguished Professor in Electrical and Computer Engineering and director of the Center for Physical and Power Electronics at the University of Missouri-Columbia (MU) College of Engineering, was in DC this week to participate in the “Directed Energy to DC Exhibition” sponsored by the Higher Energy Laser-Joint Technology Office and the Directed Energy Professional Society.  Dr. Curry exhibited at the Pentagon and visited the offices of Senator Roy Blunt (R-MO) and Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-MO/4th) to update them on directed energy research at MU.  Bob Schwartz, UM System interim vice president for academic affairs, research and economic development, also participated.


UMKC Vice Chancellor and MRIGlobal discuss One Health Intelligence in DC

This week, Tony Caruso, assistant vice chancellor for research and professor of Physics at the University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) visited Washington, DC, with Dean Gray, director of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance for MRIGlobal, to discuss the One Health Intelligence initiative.  While in DC, Caruso and Gray met with program officers and leadership at the National Science Foundation (NSF), the Veterans Administration (VA) and the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USUHS), as well as congressional staff in the Missouri delegation.

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