University of Missouri

(via Flickr/Adam Procter)

After lengthy fly-in sessions in St. Louis and Kansas City to meet prospective candidates and narrow the list, the head of the University of Missouri Board of Curators will say only that the search for a new system president “is going well.”

Pam Henrickson refrained from giving any more specific information after the curators met at the university’s Kansas City campus on Friday.

Interim President Mike Middleton addresses the University of Missouri Board of Curators
Dale Singer | St. Louis Public Radio

The interim president of the University of Missouri system said that even as memories of last fall’s racial protests in Columbia persist, the school continues to perform valuable services for the state.

But the only African-American member of the university’s Board of Curators wants to make sure that the system’s new emphasis on diversity results in action, not just talk.

The columns at the University of Missouri-Columbia.
St. Louis Public Radio file photo

A former Missouri state representative is suing the University of Missouri and Joshua Hawley, a Republican candidate for attorney general, over delays by the university in responding to a wide-ranging request for emails and other documents.

Millennium Student Center at UMSL
Dale Singer | St. Louis Public Radio

Tuition at the University of Missouri’s four campuses will remain flat this fall for in-state undergraduate students.

New UM diversity officer Kevin McDonald
University of Missouri

Monday’s St. Louis on the Air featured two exciting segments. First, we aired the season two premiere of the St. Louis Public Radio podcast We Live Here. Want to stay up-to-date on the podcast? Check out its new website here.

Following the premiere, the University of Missouri System’s newly named, first-ever chief diversity, equity and inclusion officer, Kevin McDonald, joined us to discuss some of the issues that We Live Here delves into as well as his plans for the new role. You can read about McDonald’s background here.

Ari Cohn, a senior program officer with the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE).
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

The saga of Melissa Click is one so widely-known that it is sure to be recorded in the great books of higher ed lore. Click, in the fall of 2015, became famous for “calling for some muscle” to keep a reporter from entering a “media-free” zone on public property where Mizzou’s Concerned Student 1950 protesters were encamped. As a writer in The Atlantic pointed out, “If the case of Melissa Click were a law professor’s hypothetical, it’d be a great one.”

House budget chair Tom Flanigan, R-Carthage, at right, directs debate on budget bills Tuesday.
Tim Bommel | Missouri House Communications

Missouri's $27 billion state budget is on its way to the Senate.

The House Thursday passed all 13 budget bills, which includes a nearly $9 million cut to higher education.

For that reason, several state representatives voted against the higher ed bill, HB 2003.

University of Missouri system President Mike Middleton prepares to testify Wednesday before the Joint Committee on Education.
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

After nationally watched protests over race relations and the departure of key officials, the leaders of the University of Missouri system promised lawmakers that change is on the way.

But legislators on the Joint Committee on Education questioned whether the four-campus system’s direction was truly righted – especially since a controversial professor is still employed at Mizzou.

Mizzou's Columns
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

When Sen. Kurt Schaefer ventured into electoral politics, the Columbia Republican promised to be a zealous advocate for his hometown university.

Moments after finishing off his victory celebration in 2008 over state Sen. Chuck Graham, Schaefer told this reporter about how he would champion higher education funding in the midst of a national economic collapse. After all, he said, "an investment in the University of Missouri is not just an investment for Columbia — it is an investment for the state."

Sen. Jill Schupp
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

On the latest edition of the Politically Speaking podcast, Sen. Jill Schupp returns to the show for the third time to talk about the Missouri General Assembly’s fast start.

The Creve Coeur Democrat was elected to the 24th District Senate, which encompasses more than 20 municipalities in St. Louis County. Schupp is part of an eight-person Democratic caucus that’s seen its influence wane as the GOP made gains in the General Assembly’s upper chamber.

A bill in the Missouri House that seeks to ensure First Amendment rights for student journalists received overwhelming support in a hearing Monday night. The so-called Walter Cronkite New Voices Act would require public schools and universities to grant student journalists the same degree of free speech they would a professional journalist.

Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

Accreditation, school transfers and issues of race and discrimination on college campuses have all been big stories in education in 2015. On Monday’s “St. Louis on the Air,” St. Louis Public Radio’s education reporter, Dale Singer, joined host Don Marsh in discussing some of the biggest developments of the year.

Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

From the first amendment discussions that came out of the University of Missouri protests, to governors’ attempts to block Syrian refugees, to the challenge of Missouri Senate Bill No. 5, it’s been a busy month for legal questions in the state of Missouri.

On Monday’s Legal Roundtable on “St. Louis on the Air,” host Don Marsh led a panel discussion about the most pressing legal questions of the day. Joining him for this monthly segment: 

On Oct. 10, students blocked a car carrying former University of Missouri system president Tim Wolfe during Mizzou's homecoming parade
Susannah Lohr | St. Louis Public Radio

This week’s show started with a simple question we could not get out of our heads as we followed the recent shakeups at Mizzou.

Gary Pinkel is the winningest football coach in Mizzou history, and will retire at the end of the 2015 season.
Courtesy MU Tigers

Mizzou head football coach Gary Pinkel will retire at the end of this season.

According to a statement from the University’s Athletics Department this afternoon, Pinkel’s decision is "health-based." Pinkel, the winningest coach in Mizzou history, was diagnosed with lymphoma in May, but was able to continue his coaching duties as he was being treated.

First Amendment
Robin Klein | Wikipedia

Republican presidential candidates and anti-racism protesters at Mizzou don’t agree on much. Yet both made news recently by confronting journalists. Intentionally or not, they raised similar, significant questions about press freedom — and responsibility.

For journalists, it’s tempting to conclude that if you’re being criticized from opposite sides, you must be doing things right. It’s not that simple. Let’s break down the issues and look at what’s at stake — for reporters and for the public we are supposed to serve.

University of Missouri-Columbia

The activist group Concerned Student 1950 has vowed to keep pushing for change in the wake of resignations by both the University of Missouri system President, Tim Wolfe, and chancellor of the Columbia campus, R. Bowen Loftin.

UM System President Responds to Protests

Nov 8, 2015
University of Missouri System President Tim Wolfe talks to 'St. Louis on the Air' host Don Marsh on Jan. 29, 2015, at St. Louis Public Radio in St. Louis.
File photo | Jason Rosenbaum / St. Louis Public Radio

KBIA, Columbia, Mo. - There was a rush of local and national media attention Sunday after the students of color on the Mizzou Tigers Football team’s Saturday announcement that they would not take part in any “football related activities” until University of Missouri System President Tim Wolfe either resigned or was removed from office due to his “negligence toward marginalized students’ experiences.”

A colony of embryonic stem cells, from the H9 cell line. The cells in the background are mouse fibroblast cells. Only the colony in the center are human embryonic stem cells.
Ryddragyn | English Wikipedia -

Nine years after Missouri voters approved protections for embryonic stem cell research, the issue has re-emerged as a hot topic in Jefferson City and among next year’s candidates.

A key factor: Missouri Right to Life – a longstanding opponent of embryonic stem-cell research – is linking the issue to its opposition to Planned Parenthood, which operates Missouri’s only abortion clinics.

University of Missouri-Columbia

Updated 1:22 p.m., Sept. 16 with audio from "St. Louis on the Air" - R. Bowen Loftin found that a lot of things were the same when he moved from the top job at Texas A&M to become chancellor of the University of Missouri-Columbia last year, but he did have to make one big change.

Instead of greeting his Aggie crowd with a hearty “Howdy!” he learned to get a big response at Mizzou with three simple letters: “M-I-Z”.

Mary Nelson
St. Louis Community College

In recent weeks, the Missouri Senate has considered the nomination of four lawyers to be members of the University Missouri Board of Curators, but only three of them won confirmation.

The fourth, Mary Nelson of St. Louis, was rejected by a committee vote. State Sen. Kurt Schaefer, R-Columbia, said that if she joined the board, that would mean that eight of nine curators – all but David Steward of St. Louis – would be lawyers. He said that would be too many members from one profession.

University of Missouri System President Tim Wolfe talks to 'St. Louis on the Air' host Don Marsh on Jan. 29, 2015, at St. Louis Public Radio in St. Louis.
File photo | Jason Rosenbaum / St. Louis Public Radio

Continuing his push to build backing for stronger financial support from the state, University of Missouri President Tim Wolfe said Friday that residents, industry and political leaders have to work together to make a convincing appeal.

“We’ve got to stop playing the blame game,” Wolfe told members of the UM Board of Curators in Columbia. “We’ve got to stop pointing fingers. We’ve got to stop looking in the rear-view mirror and start looking through the windshield.”

Millennium Student Center at UMSL
Dale Singer | St. Louis Public Radio

Updated at 4:04 p.m. with more on the tuition debate:

Students at the University of Missouri will pay just 0.8 percent more in tuition and fees at the four-campus university system for the coming school year, but the school’s leaders say they need to get more money from the state so they can charge students less.

Millennium Student Center at UMSL
Dale Singer | St. Louis Public Radio

While the University of Missouri-St. Louis is experiencing a hiring freeze because of a projected lack of enrollment for the spring semester, it isn’t just sitting back and accepting the situation.

Chancellor Tom George said Thursday that about 600 students who were expected to enroll for next semester still had not signed up. The school is actively trying to figure out if they are just procrastinating or whether outside factors, such as the unsettled atmosphere in north St. Louis County following the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, is prompting them to stay away.

Jess Jiang / St. Louis Public Radio

Michael Sam, the only openly gay professional football player, was introduced at a news conference at Rams Park Tuesday. 

Sam received unprecedented attention for a 249th pick in the NFL draft. He answered questions for nearly half an hour during the news conference. That's much longer than what even No. 2 draft pick, fellow St. Louis rookie, Greg Robinson, had to endure.

Bill Greenblatt | UPI

After working to reduce problems with sexual assault in the military, U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., is turning her attention to the same issue at the nation’s colleges and universities.

Both settings, she said Thursday, have ways they are alike in how such cases are treated.

University of Missouri website

The University of Missouri system announced Wednesday it is hiring an outside consultant to review the school’s policies and materials concerning sexual assault and mental health services.

An archway entrance to Saint Louis University
chuteme | Flickr | Creative Commons

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.

University of Missouri website

Updated 4:43 p.m., Fri., Feb. 14 with Wolfe announcing task force on sexual assault policies and mental health issues.

The University of Missouri Board of Curators has hired the St. Louis law firm of Dowd Bennett to investigate the handling of allegations of sexual assault of a former student at the Columbia campus who later committed suicide.

Updated at 10:12 p.m. with investigator hired for Courey case:

Tuition for resident undergraduate students at the four campuses of the University of Missouri will remain flat for the coming school year after a unanimous vote by the Board of Curators Wednesday.

Meeting in Columbia, the curators went along unanimously with a recommendation by university President Tim Wolfe. He in turn was agreeing with a wish expressed by Gov. Jay Nixon last week in his State of the State address.