Education

Missouri Legislators Tentatively Agree to Raise Tuition Caps

May 17, 2018
cindyt7070 / flickr

Lawmakers from the Missouri Senate and House hashed out an agreement Tuesday to raise caps on tuition increases.

Columbia School Board Votes to Officially rename Lee Elementary

May 15, 2018

The name of Robert E. Lee Elementary School has become one of the many symbols of the Confederacy taken down amid a national movement to reconsider the recognition given these controversial symbols.

University of Missouri System President Mun Choi and University of Missouri’s Chancellor Alexander Cartwright heard from students, faculty and staff about the challenges of attracting and retaining top-tier professors Monday.

Choi said he believes financial recognition is extremely important for keeping faculty in the system.

“I’ve asked all of the chancellors from the four campuses, as well as the CFO’s to build into their budget this year a 2 percent performance increase pool,” he said.

The administrators also heard from attendees about tuition caps.

Judge Hears Final Arguments in Historic MU Grad Worker Unionization Case

Apr 23, 2018

Are MU graduate workers employees with the right to unionize?

To the nearly 100 graduate students and Columbia residents rallying Friday afternoon outside the Boone County Courthouse, the answer was a resounding yes.

“We are employees,” coalition co-chair Simona Simkins said determinedly into a microphone. She called for guaranteed access to health care, child care and livable wages for MU’s graduate workers.

Columns at University of Missouri
Adam Procter / Flickr

The University of Missouri System has a state economic impact of about $5.4 billion a year, according to a recent study.

The economic impact study was done by consulting firm Tripp Umbach. System administrators and Tripp officials presented the results to lawmakers on Tuesday, the Columbia Missourian reported.

Every year, St. Louis NAACP President Adolphus Pruitt lobbies to boost funding to Missouri’s historically black colleges and universities, and every year, he said, it’s more of the same: Missouri’s HBCU’s will come out at the end of the budget process underfunded again. Though higher education has seen across the board cuts in the last few years, this problem has always afflicted HBCU’s, said Pruitt.

Ryan Famuliner / KBIA

A newly published Economic Impact report says that the University of Missouri System brings in over $5 billion dollars each year to the state of Missouri.


The MU School of Music broke ground Sunday on a new music center that will be built on the Columbia campus. The first phase will include rehearsal spaces, learning labs and a recording suite.

Jeanne and Rex Sinquefield of Westphalia gifted ten million dollars to phase one of the project.

“My long term is to make Missouri a Mecca for musical composition and we’re half way there and what we needed was a place, a physical place,” Jeanne Sinquefield said.

UM Curators Prepared to Send Five-Year Capital Plan for Approval in April

Mar 21, 2018

A Translational Precision Medicine Complex and renovations to the School of Nursing are the proposed top capital priorities for MU from 2019 to 2023.

Mizzou Columns
David Chicopham / Flickr

In a joint statement, the University of Missouri and Farmhouse International Fraternity announced the closure of MU's fraternity chapter after allegations of hazing and other misconduct involving alcohol. 

First 2018 Kemper Fellowship Award Announced

Mar 19, 2018
Courtesy of University of Missouri

Shelly Rodgers, a strategic communications professor in the Missouri School of Journalism, is the first 2018 William T. Kemper Fellowship for Teaching Excellence recipient. She was surprised with the award and a $10,000 check while in a meeting with her colleagues.

“I am so deeply indebted and just humbled by this entire process and this award.” Rodgers said.

Unity Drives Newly Created High School Drum Line

Feb 19, 2018

A recent rehearsal of Columbia's newest drum line began with a barn dance.

Hickman High School senior Rachel Keneipp stood by herself at the front of the Battle High School gym, playing "Turkey in the Straw" on marimba. Behind her, the other 17 members of Columbia Percussion United, all wearing cowboy hats, formed a circle and began line dancing. Then they moved to their instruments and joined in playing the American folk song.

Missouri families can now use an existing college savings program to get a tax break on private school tuition and other K-12 education expenses, Treasurer Eric Schmitt announced this week.

An amendment added at the last minute to the massive tax overhaul Congress passed in December allows participants in state 529 college savings programs to spend up to $10,000 annually to cover tuition expenses at public, private and religious schools.

 Southeast Missouri State University will cut 35 to 40 jobs over the next five months, a move that the school's president says is necessary to balance the budget.

National Headquarters Shuts Down MU Fraternity

Jan 9, 2018

Sigma Alpha Epsilon at MU has been placed under a cease-and-desist order according to a statement last month from the national headquarters for the fraternity.

According to a statement released Dec. 13 by the Fraternity Service Center, the Missouri Alpha chapter of SAE must immediately stop all chapter operations until further notice.

MU Still Has WaysTo Go In Diverse Faculty Hiring, Choi and Cartwright Say

Jan 9, 2018
Columns at University of Missouri
Adam Procter / Flickr

MU had its best year in recent history hiring faculty of diverse backgrounds, but it still hasn’t reached its goal of having 10 percent of the faculty come from underrepresented minority groups, UM System President Mun Choi and MU Chancellor Alexander Cartwright said on Monday at a hearing of the Missouri House Special Committee on Urban Issues.

Tyler Adkisson / KBIA

Two years ago, graduate students at the University of Missouri found out in an email that their health insurance would be cut. Students began protesting around the issue, eventually creating a group called the Coalition of Graduate Workers. Sarah Senff was a member of that coalition to improve working conditions for graduate students. KBIA’s Elena Rivera spoke with Senff about the organizing in 2015 and what has changed in the past two years for graduate students at MU.

Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education

Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens is facing criticism for his role in a leadership shake-up at the state's education agency, but he's not the first governor to use appointments to enact change.

At issue are Greitens' recent appointments to the State Board of Education, who in turn voted to fire former Education Commissioner Margie Vandeven.

The UM System Board of Curators will view an initial assessment of administrative departments during its meeting Friday. Among its contents: recommendations for a fresh look at employee benefits and hints at a potential decrease of full-time employees in several key departments.

In November, Columbia Public School’s Misha Fugit, a sixth grade English teacher at Jefferson Middle School, received a national award for her work in children’s literacy. KBIA’s Taylor Kinnerup spoke with Fugit about receiving the award and her plans for the grant money.

Kinnerup: Can you just tell me a little bit about the award you've recently received?

Fugit: Yes, I received the Bonnie Campbell Hill National Literacy Leader Award - it has a very long title - from the Children's Literature Assembly, which is a branch of the National Council for the Teachers of English. So, that’s a mouthful, but the award is really about helping teachers who have shown promise in the field, as far as their contributions to articles or thinking in the field, to learn and grow themselves as professionals in an area that they're interested in.


MU wants to increase new undergrad enrollment to 6,000 by 2023

Nov 28, 2017

MU doesn’t just want to build enrollment by 2023 — it also wants to increase how many students are coming back, finishing degrees and landing jobs within six months of graduating.

A forum for students, faculty and staff Monday drew about 140 people to Memorial Student Union, filling Stotler Lounge, with dozens standing along the back and sides. Many took notes and asked questions as the MU Strategic Enrollment Management Committee revealed five goals to be met by 2023.

MU Appoints Pat Okker Permanent Dean Of Arts & Science

Nov 21, 2017
Stephanie Atkinson Photography

MU Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor Garnett Stokes on Tuesday named Patricia Okker dean of the College of Arts and Science, effective immediately.

Okker, a professor of English, had been serving as interim dean of A&S since Aug. 1, 2016.

“Dr. Okker emerged from a strong pool of finalists as the clear choice of faculty, staff, and campus leaders inside and outside of the college,” Stokes said. “During her time as interim dean, Dr. Okker demonstrated that she is a dynamic, decisive leader who is willing to make tough decisions."

Updated at 2:15 p.m. with governor's comments —

Missouri’s commissioner of education survived a rare move to oust her by appointees of Republican Gov. Eric Greitens.

The State Board of Education, though stacked with appointees by Greitens, did not vote in favor of firing Margie Vandeven in a closed-door meeting Tuesday. The board tied 4-4.

The University of Missouri says it will continue to use live pigs to train emergency room doctors despite protests. 

Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education

Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens removed a State Board of Education appointee Monday night. On Tuesday, members were expected to discuss firing the state's top education official. 

Meiying Wu / KBIA

Columbia Public Schools is moving forward with a world language center so it can continue offering advanced Japanese and German classes. Low enrollment in those upper-level classes drove the decision to merge them.

“Students then would still be able to pursue a language that they have interest in, but we would be able to consolidate that into a central location,” said Michelle Baumstark, Community Relations Director for CPS.

The plan was presented Monday to the Columbia Board of Education, and the district is moving forward with it. The center will be in one of the existing high schools rather than a new building.

Sara Shahriari / KBIA

Last week marked 100 days for MU Chancellor Alexander Cartwright. The University of Missouri held an event on Wednesday, Nov. 15 to celebrate the Chancellor and announce new initiatives for student success.

Some of these initiatives are aimed at lowering costs. One is the Border State Scholars award. It will reduce out-of-state tuition by $2,500 for students coming to MU from one of the 8 states that border Missouri. 


State Data Results Show Slight Descrease In Overall Performance for Columbia Public Schools

Nov 15, 2017
Meiying Wu / KBIA

Correction An original version of this article incorrectly referred to Annual Performance Report score as a Missouri Assessment Program score. MAP is one factor used to calculate a district's ARP.

Columbia Public Schools' Annual Performance Report score dropped a couple percentage points compared to last year, according to data from the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

Last year, the district received an 86.8 percent overall score on the state's annual report card for districts, or APR. The report uses test scores, college and career readiness, attendance, graduation rates and other factors to determine school district accreditation. This year's score was 84.3 percent.

The Jefferson City Public School District continues to host community meetings on diversity.

These series of meetings were in response to an incident in September where a group of high school students posed in a picture that included racist imagery.

University of Missouri

NOTE: This story will be updated

University of Missouri Provost Garnett Stokes will leave the University of Missouri to become the next President of the University of New Mexico.

UNM made the announcement Thursday morning, stating that Stokes will take over the role on March 1, 2018. Stokes had been announced as one of the five finalists for the job last month.

In an email to MU faculty and staff Thursday, MU Chancellor Alexander Cartwright said that he expects the school to launch a national search immediately, and to identify an interim provost “in the coming weeks.”

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