Saint Louis University

(Sarah Skiöld-Hanlin/St. Louis Public Radio)

It has been just over three months since the federal spending cuts known as sequestration first took effect.

A handful of programs were spared — but not scientific research, which amounts to about $140 billion in annual government spending.

As St. Louis Public Radio’s Véronique LaCapra found out, at universities here in St. Louis, some scientists are worried about what the budget cuts will mean for their research — and for their students.

"I had to let go of some science."

xxDale Singer | St. Louis Beacon People tour the new St. Louis University Law School building Downtown, with the St. Louis skyline and Gateway Arch in the background.
Dale Singer | St. Louis Beacon | 2013

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: When students show up for the new school year at the Saint Louis University law school downtown, they won’t have to look too far to be reminded of what their education is all about.

They will make up the first classes in the new law school building at 100 N. Tucker Boulevard. What was an 11-story building, now with a 12th floor added, features dramatic views of downtown landmarks to the east and the civil and circuit courthouses to the south as well as the federal Eagleton courthouse.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Dear Beaconites --

As the Beacon grows, so do people's expectations of us. This is good. We hold ourselves to the highest journalistic standards, and we're glad you expect no less.

But inevitably, we make choices that disappoint some people. Why didn't you cover this, they ask? Why did you miss that angle? This week, complaints arose on several fronts.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Even though the Rev. Lawrence Biondi has asked the Saint Louis University board of trustees to begin looking for his successor, he still inspires a mixed reaction – praise for what he has accomplished but also a wariness about the harm he could still do to those who have challenged his administration.

This article originally appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: The first time Ken Parker stepped onto the Saint Louis University campus was in November 1990, when he attended an academic conference there.

“I have a distinct memory of stepping out of the Busch Student Center,” he recalls, “looking across Grand and thinking, ‘I can’t imagine what it would be like to walk on this campus every day.’ It wasn’t a very attractive place.”

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Once the initial flurry of news and reaction over the Rev. Lawrence Biondi’s decision to step down as president of Saint Louis University was over, the natural next journalistic step was a look back at his career: What did he do right? What did he do wrong? How will his tenure be remembered?

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon - The long-anticipated appearance by the president and the chairman of the board of Saint Louis University before its Faculty Senate Tuesday was described by professors as civil but not necessarily a session that answered all of their concerns about the SLU administration.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Faculty senate meetings at Saint Louis University have been open to reporters this year as the senate voted no confidence in the Rev. Lawrence Biondi, the school’s president, and sought his resignation.

But Tuesday, when Biondi and the new leaders of the SLU board of trustees are set to meet with the senate, no media will be allowed. A university spokeswoman said the meeting was being closed to anyone but members of the faculty “per agreement of those involved the meeting.” Biondi said earlier this month that he would be stepping down.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Help Wanted:

Midwestern Jesuit university seeking new president. The leading candidate needs to be scholarly, collaborative and respectful of colleagues, able to resist a corporate attitude but still be skillful in raising money, recognize and deal with the coming crisis in higher education, handle disagreement without being disagreeable. President does not have to be a Jesuit but must appreciate, understand and be able to embody the Jesuit mission of the university.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: As he begins his third stint as head of the Saint Louis University board of trustees, J. Joe Adorjan wants to make a few points clear.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: The Saint Louis University campus barely had time to digest the news that the Rev. Lawrence Biondi plans to leave after more than 25 years as president before its attention turned to the next issues:

Who will the new president be? What qualities should she or he have? How will the search process unfold? Whose voices will be heard? The university has given no details of how the search will proceed.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: The Rev. Lawrence Biondi announced Saturday night at a gala celebrating his 25 years as president of Saint Louis University that he will leave his office and has asked the university's board to start searching for his successor.

The announcement comes at the end of a strife-filled year during which faculty members and students voted no confidence in his leadership.

Commentary: If Biondi is so bad, why didn't faculty object earlier?

May 3, 2013

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Now that the weather is nice again, students and faculty will be found outside protesting President Biondi as they did in the fall.

Protesting Fr. Biondi seems to be a new tradition at SLU. It certainly has not always been the case during his 25 year tenure.

This raises the reasonable question, why the strong objections to Fr. Biondi’s leadership now? He hasn’t changed, has he?

Adam Allington / St. Louis Public Radio

The relationship between faculty and administration at St. Louis University is showing no signs of improvement, and that's putting it mildly.

In what has become a common occurrence on campus, faculty and students took to the streets in protest on Wednesday.  This most recent uproar came after a scheduled meeting between the faculty Senate, Biondi and Board of Trustees Chairman Tom Brouster was cancelled.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: The Rev. Lawrence Biondi, president of Saint Louis University, did not attend the school’s Faculty Senate meeting as originally scheduled on Tuesday, but his presence was definitely felt.

Much of the meeting was spent discussing the draft of a senate report that found Biondi’s leadership was subpar, a reason for what a task force found to be SLU’s decline in many areas. His style was characterized as management by intimidation.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Have you heard the one about the small town that had a hard time supporting one lawyer but had no trouble supporting two?

That joke drew a big laugh from Mike Wolff, the new dean of the Saint Louis University law school. At the end of a strife-filled year that hasn’t provided much even to smile about, Wolff is pushing to put the past behind him and the school and plot a future that includes a new building, a new push to integrate the school and the community and new ways to prepare future lawyers for careers that will require a range of professional skills beyond simply waging pitched battles in court.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: The Rev. Lawrence Biondi, president of Saint Louis University, and Thomas Brouster, head of the university's board of trustees, will not meet with the Faculty Senate as planned on Tuesday, senate president Mark Knuepfer said Saturday.

In a strongly worded statement, Knuepfer said the secretary of the SLU board had told him that the pair would not be attending the final senate meeting of the year, as agreed upon in a statement released after the board meeting in December.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Faculty, staff and students got together at Saint Louis University to focus on the school’s future, but their discussions inevitably concentrated on the recent past.

Wednesday’s meeting was billed as an effort to draw up a people’s strategic plan for SLU as it nears its 200th birthday in 2018. The call to arms talked about an effort to devise a “not-so-secret” blueprint, compared with what organizers said had been put together behind closed doors by university officials, then kept under wraps.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: The executive director of Saint Louis University’s new state-of-the-art Center for Workforce and Organizational Development understands that the world of information technology stands still for no one. 

So even as she’s hosting an open house at her new training facility Thursday afternoon, Katherine Cain is already talking about the agility of the curriculum and how it will be evolving in the months ahead.

Saint Louis University board of trustees who has been a focus of faculty discontent during the stalemate over the Rev. Lawrence Biondi, will step down from his chairmanship at the end of the school year.

Brouster told the Beacon he was leaving because his business and his family required more of his attention than he could give if he remained in the board chairmanship, which he assumed last September – the beginning of a year of tumult at the university.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Saint Louis University needs new leadership, say nearly three-fourths of the faculty members who responded to a survey taken by the university’s chapter of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP).

In a news release Thursday morning, the faculty group said its survey validated earlier “no confidence” votes on the leadership of SLU President Lawrence Biondi taken by faculty and student government groups.

Flickr/California National Guard

Saint Louis University is launching a study to explore whether two cancer medications could also help protect U.S. troops from bioterrorism attacks.

SLU is part of a consortium of institutions participating in the project, which is funded by the U.S. Department of Defense.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Saint Louis University is threatening a faculty group with a copyright infringement lawsuit if it proceeds with its own supplemental survey on the climate on campus.

The survey, which is designed to focus more sharply on the strained relationship between professors and the Rev. Lawrence Biondi, president of the university, was set to go out last week. But it is on hold because of the threatened legal action.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Depending on who you talk to, a new tuition policy at Saint Louis University law school will either save summer students money or cause them to pay up to 60 percent more.

In recent years, summer students, who generally are those working part time toward a law degree, have paid a flat fee of $4,500 for courses, regardless of how many hours they sign up for. The new policy, which students were notified of last week, gets rid of the flat fee and instead charges $1,200 for each credit hour.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Depending on who you talk to, a new tuition policy at Saint Louis University law school will either save summer students money or cause them to pay up to 60 percent more.

In recent years, summer students, who generally are those working part time toward a law degree, have paid a flat fee of $4,500 for courses, regardless of how many hours they sign up for. The new policy, which students were notified of last week, gets rid of the flat fee and instead charges $1,200 for each credit hour.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: As a stubborn winter hangs on into early spring, the board of trustees at Saint Louis University wants to get a reading on another kind of climate – the mood among faculty, staff and students on a campus racked by controversy in recent months.

Based on comments by the president of the university’s Faculty Senate on Tuesday, the answer is likely to be: lukewarm, at best.

(Saint Louis Athletics)

Jason Kertz is a 2009 graduate of Saint Louis University.  He is now a middle school teacher as well as baseball and basketball coach at Chaminade College Prep.

A song he posted earlier this week on YouTube already has several thousand views.  The song, “Started from the Bottom (Bills on Top),” is a cover of singer Mike Posner’s cover of rapper Drake’s song, “Started from the Bottom.”

Sean Sandefur/St. Louis Public Radio

Over a thousand Billikens fans showed up to cheer on their team at a watch party at Saint Louis University’s Chaifetz Arena.

The game was displayed on all four jumbotrons, with snacks and refreshments also being offered. The event was free and open to the public.

SLU is a 4 seed in the NCAA Tournament, their highest seed in school history. Their success this season is attributed greatly to the recruiting of their late coach, Rick Majerus. Majerus passed away last December of heart failure, and their season has been unofficially dedicated in his memory.

Nurses Picket Outside SLU Hospital

Mar 11, 2013
Chris McDaniel, St. Louis Public Radio

Close to 100 nurses from Saint Louis University Hospital and Des Peres Hospital picketed in the cold outside of SLU Hospital on Monday morning, saying they are required to do too much with too little staffing and insufficient equipment.

Marchelle Bettis is an RN on the trauma unit, and works with critical victims of stabbings, shootings and accidents. She says it's hard for her and her coworkers to do their jobs appropriately with the current staffing.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Dear Beaconites --

Typically, the fate of an interim dean at Saint Louis University would be of little interest to anyone beyond the campus. But these are not typical times for SLU, and Tom Keefe is not your typical law school dean. As a result, events that might have played out as a quiet kerfuffle turned into a public circus this week.

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