The University of Missouri System is teaming up with four-year colleges and community colleges around the state to ensure more health care professionals graduate in the coming years.
Under a new agreement called “Preparing to Care,” the state’s colleges and universities will ask the legislature for $38.3 million in recurring funds to open more slots for students to become dentists, nurses, optometrists, pharmacists, physicians and therapists. Under the agreement, MU would receive an additional 209 medical students next year.
“This is a critical need in the state,” said UM System Interim President Gordon Lamb. “We can meet it with this, and 100 percent of our public institutions are involved.”
“We have a win, win, win,” he said.
Lamb will announce the plan at different stops throughout Missouri on his “2007 University Unity tour,” which begins Monday in Springfield. Lamb will meet in public forums with the presidents of higher education institutions in five cities to discuss the importance of higher education in the state.
Lamb said he has spoken with Gov. Matt Blunt and legislative leaders about the plan, and said he thinks they will take the initiative into consideration despite higher education cuts in past years.
“This has a lot of appeal, because it is so positive for so many constituencies,” UM System spokesman Scott Charton said. “Who can be against this?”