higher education

Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

The Missouri Senate has so far passed five of the 13 bills that make up the state budget for next year.

Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

Budget writers in the Missouri Senate have begun their review of the state's spending plan for Fiscal Year 2015.

Provost Holden Thorp
Washington University

Seated in his office on the second floor of Brookings Hall on the eastern edge of the Washington University campus, Provost Holden Thorp has a pretty good metaphor for what his job entails compared with that of university Chancellor Mark Wrighton.

“You can see the chancellor’s office is across the hall,” Thorp said in a recent interview. “His office faces the park and the Arch and downtown. My office is on this side and faces out to the old quad.

UMSL Photo/August Jennewein

This past fall, a new educational program for young adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities began at the University of Missouri-St. Louis. The program, called SUCCEED, is a two-year residential program designed to help students build the skills needed to either find a job or enroll in a degree-seeking program.

The program is the brainchild of Deborah Baldini, the associate dean  for the College of Arts and Sciences/Continuing Education at UMSL, and the president and CEO of St. Louis Arc, Kathy Meath.

(Courtesy: Southwestern Illinois College)

During the State of the Union address last week, President Barack Obama called on community colleges to build stronger partnerships with local businesses.  And according to St. Louis-area community college leaders, many of those initiatives are already in place on their campuses.

UMSL website

Despite financial concerns that threatened to derail its approval, a $17 million building for the optometry program at the University of Missouri-St. Louis won passage Friday, but not without reservations over how it will be paid for.

Regional Chamber

In an effort to attract employers and investors, the St. Louis Regional Chamber wants to add 75,000 college graduates by the year 2025, pushing the area into the top 10 nationwide in college attainment.

The first time Janet Martinez started college, she was right out of high school in Oklahoma. By her own admission, she was not quite ready for the responsibility involved: too many decisions, too much social life.

“It was all too much for me,” she says. She left after one semester.

Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri Governor Jay Nixon (D) says next year he's going to propose a Higher Education budget that's "substantially" higher that it's been in recent years.

Nixon made that promise Monday to a group of Higher Education officials meeting in Jefferson City, though he won't say yet how high his proposed budget hike will be.  He also suggested that his higher budget proposal could be rendered moot if this year's failed income tax cut legislation is revived next year.

Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

Members of a Missouri House interim committee tasked with improving government efficiency complained Wednesday about not having access to the full budgets of any of the state's universities.

The committee was examining the Department of Higher Education.  Republican committee member Kathie Conway of St. Charles says the department's annual budget requests to the Governor's office do not contain line-by-line expense requests she says the committee needs to do its job.

Educators Make Final Push Against Tax Cut Bill

Sep 9, 2013
(Chris McDaniel/St. Louis Public Radio)

A group of educators criticized a tax cut bill today that could severely hinder schools in Missouri. They maintained that the bill, which Governor Jay Nixon vetoed in June, would cut revenue for the state by $800 million and result in reduced funding for education.

The superintendents from the Northwest, Washington and Hazelwood School Districts argued that the bill would have detrimental effects on their districts. Hazelwood superintendent Grayling Tobias said the bill could cause budget cuts for equipment and extracurricular activities, larger class sizes and fewer teachers.

Field of students at a graduation
(via Flickr/j.o.h.n. walker)

The St. Louis Regional Chamber is launching a collaborative initiative to increase the percentage of the area’s workforce which has a bachelor’s degree or higher.

Thirty percent of adults in the St. Louis region have at least a bachelor’s degree, ranking it 14th among the nation’s metropolitan areas.  That’s just behind Los Angeles and ahead of Houston, according to U.S. Census estimates.  Meanwhile, decades of slow population growth place St. Louis as the 19th most populated region.

Field of students at a graduation
(via Flickr/j.o.h.n. walker)

Updated at 6:03 p.m. to include details on a House-Sen. joint committee's proposal to use performance-based criteria in a new Higher Ed. funding formula.

A joint House-Senate panel is recommending performance play a role in how much money Missouri’s colleges and universities get from the state each year.

Panel members on Monday released a proposed Higher Education funding formula, which would include performance measurement in such things as student enrollment/retention, the number of research programs at an institution, and public service to the surrounding community or state.  State Senator David Pearce (R, Warrensburg) chairs the Joint Committee on Education.

(St. Louis Public Radio)

A group of Missouri lawmakers is considering an overhaul of how the state’s colleges and universities are funded each year.

A first draft of recommendations was released today, and it includes basing 10 percent of an institution’s state funding on performance standards such as graduation rates for seniors and retention rates for freshmen and sophomores.  State Senator David Pearce (R, Warrensburg) chairs the Joint House-Senate Committee on Education.

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Will be updated.

Missouri officials are awarding nine grants worth nearly $9 million to create so-called "Innovation Campuses" involving colleges and universities.

The program pairs universities and colleges with businesses to train students for jobs in high-demand fields. It also is aimed at helping students earn their degrees faster and graduate with less debt.

Governor Jay Nixon (D) has signed Missouri’s $24 billion budget into law, but he also sliced $15 million from next year’s spending plan.

Adam Procter / Flickr

Missouri college students soon could find it a little easier to transfer credit hours among institutions.

Gov. Jay Nixon signed legislation Thursday requiring public colleges and universities to formulate by July 2014 a core of 25 lower-level courses for which credit hours can be transferred among all public institutions.

(via Flickr/IndofunkSatish)

Out-migration is costing St. Louis County money

More people are moving out of St. Louis County than moving in – and they’re taking money with them.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch cites Internal Revenue Service figures that show those who left the county between 2001 and 2010 earned on average $8,000 more than those who moved in. And about 52,000 more people left the county than moved in.

IndofunkSatish/via Flickr

Judge approves settlement in lawsuit over mental health care for the deaf

A federal judge has approved a settlement in a class action lawsuit brought against two Missouri state agencies on behalf of more than a thousand deaf residents.

Plaintiffs in the 2010 lawsuit alleged that the state departments of Mental Health and Social Services failed to provide adequate mental health care for deaf persons in crisis.

The departments were sued under the  Americans with Disabilities Act.

(via Flickr/david_shane)

The Missouri House has passed all 13 bills that make up the state’s $24 billion budget for FY 2013.

The process took longer than expected, because of the large number of Democrats who took issue with cutting funding to blind pensions and for not spending enough on K-12 schools.  Sara Lampe (D, Springfield) urged fellow lawmakers to look for other ways to balance the budget besides cutting services.

Flickr/david_shane

Missouri’s state budget for next year has received first-round approval by the State House. 

As promised, Republican leaders defunded a program that aids blind Missourians and used the money to erase Governor Jay Nixon’s proposed cuts to Higher Education. 

House Budget Chairman Ryan Silvey told the chamber he’s no longer willing to cut money from Missouri’s universities and community colleges:

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