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MOHELA Board loses two members

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Charles McClain has been interim commissioner for just a few months. His previous jobs include serving as president for what is now Truman State University (Truman photo)

By KWMU/AP

St. Louis, MO – Next week's scheduled vote on a plan to sell student loan assets to raise money for construction at Missouri college campuses again is up in the air. This time it's because two members of the board making the vote have resigned.

Missouri's interim commissioner for higher education, Charles McClain, said Thursday he's leaving the job Friday for health reasons. The commissioner also has a seat on the board of MOHELA, the state's student loan agency.

But Marilyn Bush has also resigned from the board. She is an executive at Bank of America and had been mentioned by Attorney General Jay Nixon's office has having a potential conflict on the vote.

Her resignation letter cited the fact that her term was to end next month anyway.

McClain had an automatic spot on MOHELA's board because of his position as head of the Higher Education Department. Both Bush and McClain had expressed support for a plan to sell some of MOHELAs assets to raise $350 million for construction at college campuses.

But Attorney General Jay Nixon has argued the plan would be illegal. The board delayed voting on the plan at its last meeting because of concerns raised by Nixon's office that some board members might have conflicts of interest.

It's not clear whether there are enough votes to approve the plan next week with Monday's departures.

McClain began work at the Coordinating Board for Higher Education on August 1. It's a job he previously held from 1989-1995. He had planned to remain as interim commissioner until the board chose a permanent replacement for Gregory Fitch. Fitch left in June to take a similar position in Alabama.

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