This story will be updated. Corrected at 12:30 p.m. to reflect when the vote was taken.
Employees of the University of Missouri system will now be able to include their same-sex partner on their medical, dental and retirement plans.
The system's Board of Curators approved the benefit changes yesterday, the conclusion of an effort that began in 2011. A couple would have to be living together for at least a year in order to be eligible.
University of Missouri curators want to see more spending cuts in non-academic programs before they agree to raise tuition at the system's four campuses.
The governing board met Thursday at the University of Missouri-Kansas City to discuss a proposed tuition increase for the 2012-13 academic year.
Administrators are recommending a 7.5 percent tuition increase for Missouri residents attending the Columbia campus and even larger increases at the St. Louis and Rolla campuses. The Kansas City campus would see a 3 percent increase.
The University of Missouri has chosen its next president and expects to announce its decision next week. Board of Curators chairman Warren Erdman says a search committee began with a pool of more than 100 candidates from academic and non-academic backgrounds alike.
"We had four interviews and we worked our way down to a couple second interviews," Erdman said. "Then there were a few telephone follow-ups. In the end, the committee recommended a single finalist."
University of Missouri curators will meet behind closed doors Monday night for the second time in two weeks as they continue to search for a new system president.
The governing boards' Presidential Search Committee is scheduled to meet at University Hall in Columbia and by teleconference for out-of-town curators. The search committee meetings are closed to the public.
Curators' chairman Warren Erdman said in October that he expected the board to soon narrow the presidential search to an unspecified number of finalists.
University of Missouri officials plan to make big cuts to an investment program in order to balance the books after a surprise cut in state funding.
The UM System says the Enterprise Investment Program’s budget will drop from $5 million to less than $3 million. UM System Vice President for Finance and Administration, Nikki Krawitz, said the year-old program helps bring University research and inventions to the marketplace.
Missouri Senate President Pro Tem Rob Mayer says he is looking for around $500 million of savings in the state budget over the next several years. Missouri's Legislature is not in session this week because of its annual spring break. But Mayer says he nonetheless will be meeting with Senate budget-writing staff to try to identify changes that can save the state money. Mayer is a former chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee. He gave little indication of what he is looking to cut. But Mayer did note that a gubernatorial commission has identified potential savings by restructuring and paring back the state's tax credits. Senate Majority Leader Tom Dempsey says the chamber is expected to take up a package of tax credit changes when lawmakers return from their break.
University of Missouri curators head to Rolla to determine the qualifications for the system's next president. The two-day meeting beginning Monday at Missouri University of Science and Technology follows several statewide public forums by a 20-member advisory panel that will help curators choose the new president. Curators are looking to replace Gary Forsee, who retired in January to care for his ill wife. Former general counsel Steve Owens is the interim president but is not interested in the permanent job. Campus leaders expect the presidential search to last most of this year. Curators will craft a statement on the desired qualifications of the four-campus system's next leader based in part on public comments from the statewide meetings.
The state of Illinois' decision to eliminate the death penalty means about three dozen state employees will soon be out of work. The (Decatur) Herald & Review reports that State Appellate Defender Michael Pelletier began notifying about 37 employees in his office on Friday that their jobs are being eliminated. That's because Gov. Pat Quinn abolished the death penalty earlier this month and commuted the sentences of the 15 men on death row. Most of the employees being cut are lawyers who handled death penalty cases. The reduction will save about $4.7 million.