Harris-Stowe State University is looking for a new president, and its professors are working under a new contract that was imposed on them by the school's governing board. The labor issues are just one indication that Harris-Stowe faces many long-simmering problems that raise questions about the institution's future.
To outsiders, the atmosphere on the venerable midtown campus was calm. But long-simmering disputes between the faculty and top officials were about to go public.
Harris-Stowe’s journey to the university it is today began in 1857, when the St. Louis Public Schools founded a teacher-training institution for white students only – the first such teacher education institution west of the Mississippi River.
It later became known as Harris Teachers College, which in 1920 grew into a four-year undergraduate institution, offering a bachelor’s degree.
Art McCoy, who is currently on paid administrative leave from his job as superintendent of the Ferguson-Florissant School District, is in the running for the position 0f president of Harris-Stowe State University, St. Louis Public Radio and the Beacon has learned.
Asked about his candidacy for the job, McCoy said in an interview he did not want to discuss it while his status in Ferguson-Florissant remains unclear. But he did acknowledge that he had been asked by several people to consider the Harris-Stowe job, and he agreed to join the search pool.
Updated at 3:23 p.m. Mon., Feb. 17, with announcement of new SIU president. Some of the jobs came open suddenly, one at the end of a long campus standoff and still others quietly at the end of long, productive tenures, but they all have resulted in room at the top of the ivory tower:
At least four local schools – Saint Louis University, Harris-Stowe State University, St. Louis Community College and the Southern Illinois University system – have vacancies in the office of their top administrator or did until Monday, when SIU named a new president.
Rev. Al Sharpton is joining Missouri Congressman Lacy Clay in opposing efforts to require voters to show photo IDs at the polls.
Last year, Republicans in 38 states introduced legislation that would require a state-approved photo ID to vote. Seven states have since signed it into law.
Sharpton joined Clay in St. Louis Friday at a voter rights forum to oppose a similar law from passing in Missouri. “We've got to turn this around," Sharpton said. "And start targeting in Missouri those legislators that are targeting our right to vote,” he said.
The American Federation of Teachers has awarded a national grant to AFT St. Louis, the St. Louis Public School District and Harris Stowe State University to create professional development programs for early childhood educators.
Each year, more than 2,000 children attend pre-K in St. Louis Public Schools. Through the program, pre-K teachers and paraprofessionals will receive training in early learning so that students have a strong foundation for later learning.