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Archive for January, 2009

In a press conference on Thursday at the Sinclair School of Nursing, Gov. Jay Nixon addressed his Caring for Missourians initiative, a program that would provide millions of dollars in additional funds to Missouri health care education. 

A total of $39.8 million dollars is being requested to be part of Nixon’s budget proposal that sits awaiting the General Assembly. MU would be receiving $9 million per year as an annual budget increase. The remaining funds would be given to all 2 year and 4 year universities with health care programs. 

The funds will be used to expand faculty and resources so the programs can accept more students each year. Gov. Nixon says this is a response to the shortage of health care professionals in Missouri. You can view more facts about the shortage and the Caring for Missourians program here

To read the full article as featured in The Columbia Missourian, click here.

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On Wednesday Feb. 4, the University of Missouri Department of Physics and Astronomy will host “The Rabbit in the Moon and Other Lunar Myths” as part of their Cosmic Conversations series. 

Angela Speck, an MU professor, will lead the discussion. Afterwards, the Stankowski Field Lights will be turned off and the public can view the night sky at the Laws Observatory. This event is free and open to all. 

Where? Room 120 in the Physics Building, MU campus

When? February 4th. Discussion beginning at 7. Observation beginning at 8. 

The United Nations designated 2009 as the International Year of Astronomy. 2009 marks the 400th anniversary of Galileo Galilei’s first recorded astronomical observations with a telescope. 

For more information, please visit the Cosmic Conversations website.

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Last night, the MSA senate passed a bill to put a referendum before students asking whether they want to fund more sustainability initiatives at MU.

At senate committee meetings the night before last, trayless dining was brought up by representatives from Sustain Mizzou as an example of a project that might be tried in the near future, perhaps first in the form of a pilot program in a single dining hall.

Other universities have tried this in the past, and in at least one case, the shift to trayless dining turned out to be quite lucrative for enterprising students.

From udreview.com:

Student sells trays in response to trayless dining

by Jennifer Heine
Issue date: 9/16/08
Senior Eric Dramstad opened up shop, selling laptop-sized, orange plastic trays in response to Dining Services’ decision to go trayless in the dining halls.
Click here for the whole story.

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Jeni Hart, an assistant professor in the MU College of Education, recently finished a new study where she examined the diversity practices and work among college faculty and how that work is then viewed by universities.

Most universities base their promotion system on researching and teaching. Hart found that diversity can be just as important. As quoted in a press release,

Diversity work is often considered to be in the service category and ultimately devalued. When faculty use their expertise, time and energies to increase institutional and educational opportunities for underrepresented students and faculty, they connect the different roles they undertake in academe. They use their scholarly skills of identifying problems worthy of study, their critical capacities to understand how the problem has been framed, engage in evidence presentation and elicit critical feedback – all hallmarks of the research process.

Hart looked at the diversity initiatives at different universities. She found that diversity work required intellectual understanding of research and teaching practices, making it scholarly work and in her opinion, worthy of reward.

Her study was published in the book Doing Diversity in Higher Education: Faculty Leaders Share Challenges and Strategies.

You can read the entire press release here.

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In his State of the State address, Gov. Jay Nixon used the story of student Jennifer Long to prove his point that Missouri higher education should be more affordable.

In a nutshell, Long chose to attend Pittsburg State University in Kansas because they offer a flat rate tuition, which ended up being cheaper than attending an in-state school. You can read the full story here.

According to collegeboard.com, the average public tuition in the US is $6,585 and the average private tuition is $25,143. You can read more fun tuition facts here. MU’s tuition (along with the other three schools in the UM system) is $2947.20 before any fees.

If you are looking to venture out of the Midwest, you can take a look at average undergraduate tuition rates in all 50 states here. The most recent figures the National Center for Educational Statistics come from the 2006-2007 school year.

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Gov. Jay Nixon’s office has suspended funds to capital improvement projects at colleges and universities around the state. Such projects were slated to receive money through the sale of MOHELA’s assets under a plan touted by former Gov. Matt Blunt.

According to a letter sent to UM System Vice President of Finance and Administration Nikki Krawitz from Nixon’s office, there may not be enough money in the fund to finance the more than 30 projects that were supposed to receive funds. One of the projects whose funds have been suspended indefinitely is the Ellis Fischel Cancer Center, which was to receive $31.2 million to help it relocate to University Hospital.

Click here to read more from the story at ColumbiaMissourian.com.

The story even made the Chronicle of Higher Education, a national news source for educators and administrators in higher education. Click here to read its story, which leads with, “Not that you need more depressing news, but…”

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Gov. Jay Nixon said he will recommend that the University of Missouri System Board of Curators shift $14 million from the MU Extension program, which funds online courses and distance learning. This announcement was made Tuesday during Nixon’s State of the State address.

But it came as a surprise to UM System President Gary Forsee. In a statement released Wednesday, Forsee said: “We had not anticipated that University Extension would be singled out for a 50 percent reduction in state funding. Our Extension outreach — ranging from agriculture research and local nutrition programs to youth development initiatives, including 4H — has been part of the fabric of our state for nearly a century. We obviously need some time to examine the implications of this proposed budget cut and its impact on citizens across the state.”

Nixon’s recommendation remains just that — a suggestion to the General Assembly, which can either accept, amend or reject it as it takes up the budget later in the legislative session.

Read more about Nixon’s plans for higher education here. And you can find Forsee’s complete statement here.

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