By Matt Sepic, KWMU
St. Louis, Mo. – The president of the University of Missouri system says he hopes the state Legislature will act quickly to approve a merger between UM and Northwest Missouri State University in Maryville.
President Elson Floyd spoke with staff at the university's St. Louis campus Monday. With about a month left in the legislative session, it's not certain whether lawmakers will have time to consider the merger proposal.
On Sunday, Northwest's Board of Regents approved preliminary merger plans, and UM's Board of Curators will address the issue Wednesday.
Floyd admits getting legislative approval this year is an ambitious goal. "We really should try to see if we can finalize the arrangement during this
legislative session," said Floyd. "If we can't, then it will be entertained during the next legislative session."
Floyd says merging the institutions will benefit both campuses, but will not result in layoffs. He also says adding a fifth campus will strengthen UM's academic presence in northwestern Missouri, and allow the institutions to share administrative costs.
"That will then free up those resources for Northwest Missouri State University to use them to go to what I feel those resources should be deployed towards that is the academic core mission of the institution."