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Clips Report is a selection of local, statewide and national news clips about the University of Missouri and higher education, compiled by UM System University Communications as a service for UM System officials. The report may include articles dealing with controversial subjects, policy matters, higher education trends and other significant topics affecting the University.
The articles are not screened for accuracy, balance of favorable and unfavorable reports, or representation of campuses, University Extension or media outlets. Some articles, especially those from Columbia newspapers, are written by students. The report is not an effort to measure the University’s public information efforts.
April 18, 2008
Op-ed: There’s time left to study curator seat, 1
UM president receives severance package from Sprint Nextel, 3
UM opposes anti-affirmative action initiative, 4
MU receives funding for three National Needs Fellowships, 9
MU journalism professor to take position at USC, 10
Magnolia tree dedicated to late MU history professor and Jefferson scholar, 12
MU professor among top teacher nominees, 14
National health institute cites MU biologist’s research, 15
MU college athletes struggle to find new identities after graduation, 17
MU football player arrested on suspicion of drug possession, 21
Ex-MU basketball player pleads guilty in fight, 22
MU student drives car through house, 24
MU helping KC children stay active, 26
MU and Missouri S&T teachers receive ‘Teachers of the Year’ award, 28
UMKC and funding for life sciences, 29
MSU Community Caravan used in outreach effort, 32
SLU and Harris-Stowe organizes Dream Keepers’ Fair, 34
McGovern retires after 10 years as ATSY president, 36
UCM board sets fees for students, 37
Ousted SIUC chancellor is reassigned to faculty, 38
SIU raises tuition amid static funding from state, 39
Letter: Education funding trails inflation, 41
2 Midwest colleges reopen after threats, 42
College town ponders treatment of homeless after student is killed, 47
Virginia Tech: One year later, 49
Missouri Senate approves higher education budget, 63
Student lending crisis, 65
Gap persists between faculty salaries at public and private institutions, 75
Trustees are playing a greater role in managing colleges’ risks, 77
Following in the footsteps of Chase, Citibank stops lending to certain colleges, 79
Study finds one-quarter of community colleges do not offer federal loans, 81
Private colleges showed health investment gains last year, but they aren’t expected to last, 83
Online college faces criticism for renting out space on ‘.edu’ domain, 84
Survey finds students want stronger focus on social responsibility, 85
Journals may soon use antiplagiarism software on their authors, 86
Columbia Daily Tribune
Op-ed: There’s time left to study curator seat
Giving students vote might not be answer.
By BO FRASER
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
In his editorial on Wednesday, Hank Waters addresses the possibility of giving the student representative on the University of Missouri Board of Curators a vote if Missouri loses a congressional seat in 2010. He asks, "Why not?" Before we rush into this, let’s stop and give it some thoughtful consideration.
Some members of the Board of Curators feel that it would be inappropriate to have a constituency board. There is merit to that concern. If we have students represented with a vote, what about faculty, what about University of Missouri Extension, what about University Hospital and related health interests?
The state Constitution requires that the University of Missouri office be governed by nine members of the Board of Curators. The Missouri statutes require that a curator be a Missouri resident for a minimum of two years, that there be no more than one curator from each of the nine congressional districts and that there be no more than five members from one political party. There are a few points to consider.
First, I have found that the university is a very complex organization. It takes a considerable amount of time to get up to speed on what makes this place tick. I have been on board for 15 months, and I am still low on the learning curve. Every two years, there are three new curators appointed, so there will always be three curators that will be pretty low on the learning curve. If the student curator turns over every two years, they will never get to the desired experience level. That means there will always be four relatively "green" members of the board.
Second, curators are in a leadership position. As we move through this life, we gain invaluable lessons that should be useful in this leadership role as a curator. Students who are 19 to 22 years old have just begun their life journey.
Third, why rush into this change at this time without at least discussing other options? If we lose the congressional seat, it won’t happen until 2010.
Let me put one option on the table to think about. We have graduates from all four campuses that are world-class leaders in every sense of the word. They have experience as leaders, they know how to lead and they love the university and support it in a number of ways. Wouldn’t it be an opportunity to strengthen the board if the statutes created a "wild card" curator by elimination of the residence requirement for one curator and opening up the pool to some extremely well-qualified individuals who are presently locked out of the pool? It is also possible that politics might play a lesser part in this nonresident position.
I believe this kind of alternative would nudge the board in the right direction in terms of leadership and experience. There might be better ideas out there, and it would be good to pause to consider what some of them might be.
These considerations should in no way diminish the contribution of the two student representatives who I have had the opportunity to work with during my short time on the board. I have found both to be outstanding individuals who have done a great job of representing the students.
In the greater scheme of things, allowing a voting student member probably doesn’t rise to a very high level of importance.
However, we should be interested in strengthening the board in terms of leadership and experience. There are ways to accomplish that.
Bo Fraser is a member of the University of Missouri Board of Curators. This piece does not reflect the board’s stance on the issue of a voting student curator.
Forsee makes bank
Sprint Nextel still compensates Forsee as part of a severance package.
By JOHN HENRY
Friday, April 11, 2008
UM system President Gary Forsee is making less at his post as president than Sprint Nextel Corp. is required to pay him annually, because of a severance package he received.
Forsee received a substantial amount of money last year before leaving his post as chief executive officer of Sprint Nextel.
In 2007, Forsee received more than $19.9 million and was rewarded with the value of stock and options prior to his resignation, according to a proxy statement submitted by Sprint Nextel to the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Forsee resigned from Sprint Nextel after the company chose to officially terminate his contract Jan. 1. Last year, while at Sprint Nextel, he was ranked No. 116 on a Forbes Magazine list of highest compensated chief executives in the country.
Sprint Nextel spokesman James Fisher said a number of factors contributed to Forsee’s large salary increase. In 2007, the value of Forsee’s pension increased and, on the heels of his resignation, the company decided to include the financial benefits of his severance package into his salary.
“Those were the major differences in his overall compensation from year to year,” Fisher said.
In accordance to Forsee’s severance package, Sprint Nextel will have to pay him $84,325 a month for the rest of his life. These monthly payments, which began on Jan. 1, amount to more than $1 million a year.
Fisher said this aspect of Forsee’s severance package was unique to his contract.
When Forsee negotiated his contract with Sprint Nextel in 2003, he agreed to certain terms for a retirement plan. At the time, he did not know the exact amount he would be paid monthly.
“The pension plan that that (money) is being paid from was something that Gary negotiated as part of his contract,” Fisher said. “It did not apply to any other employee.”
Forsee’s severance package does not include the numerous company perks he received in 2006 and 2007. In those years, Forsee was provided a security system for his residence and required to use a company aircraft for business and non-business travel.
As UM system president, Forsee can make up to half the amount he will receive annually under his Sprint Nextel severance plan. Earlier this year, Forsee signed a three-year contract with the UM system to make $400,000 a year, plus up to $100,000 in annual incentives.
UM system spokesman Scott Charton said Forsee, a graduate of the UM system through the Missouri University of Science and Technology, was more focused on giving back to the university system than his potential paycheck from it.
He said Forsee donates more in philanthropy to the university system than it now pays him annually.
“President Forsee did not take this job for the paycheck,” Charton said. “We have got a great leader with a strong 35-year business background and we were fortunate to have him at the price we got him.”
Anti-affirmative action initiative debated
By VANNAH SHAW
Thursday, April 17, 2008
COLUMBIA — Jeffrey Williams is an adjunct assistant professor of English and director of access and urban outreach for the Office of Enrollment Management.
But he also grew up in the housing projects in a family that benefited from public aid.
Williams said the affirmative action system works. He opposes the Missouri Civil Rights Initiative, a proposed constitutional amendment that would ban affirmative action in the state. The initiative would appear on the November ballot if enough signatures are collected by the May 4 deadline.
Arguments for both sides of the issue were presented at a forum Wednesday evening at the Gaines Oldham Black Culture Center sponsored by the Missing Minority Campaign. MoCRI Executive Director Tim Asher and Brian Johnson, an independent political consultant, spoke on behalf of the initiative. Opposed were Williams and Roger Worthington, who works with the Chancellor’s Diversity Initiative.
Asher said personal experiences should not shape opinions.
He is the grandson of immigrants who allowed blacks to dance in a store they owned, he said. After a slave girl attended a dance without permission and was removed by force, his family continued to let the blacks congregate; as a result their building was burned.
“I support affirmative action. I don’t support race practices,” Asher said.
Affirmative action is supposed to create equality, he said, but the disparities minorities once faced aren’t as prevalent today. He pointed to presidential candidate Barack Obama as an example.
Worthington, who opposes the amendment, said disparities in accumulated wealth between white and minority families affects their access to quality education. He said this gives whites greater access to education and opportunities, which they then pass on to their children.
“This creates a cycle,” Worthington said.
Both sides agreed there are problems in the educational system that affect minority students but disagreed on whether the initiative will help or hurt the existing disparities.
Groups like By Any Means Necessary, a coalition to defend affirmative action, are trying to prevent the initiative from getting the signatures needed to be on the November ballot.
Neil Lyons of By Any Means Necessary said if the first phase of their campaign is successful, Missouri will be the first state to keep an anti-affirmative action initiative from gaining the required signatures.
Another argument against the bill is that it uses language from the Civil Rights Movement while being against civil rights. Lyons said during the forum that many people requested their signatures be removed because they thought they were signing in support of affirmative action.
MU students David Adams, Anne Zellhoefer and Kate Chute came to the forum to learn more about the issue.
Adams and Zellhoefer both said the arguments against MoCRI were more convincing.
“There’s a real difference in the experience of white Caucasian individuals and black individuals in our society,” Zellhoefer said.
Chute said she remains undecided, while friend and initiative supporter Michael Alexander, also an MU student, said his opinion has not changed.
Civil Rights Initiative protest moves through MU campus
By HANNAH ZIMMERMAN
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
COLUMBIA — More than 100 people gathered on the MU campus Tuesday for a five-hour protest opposing an initiative that could end affirmative action in the state.
Starting outside an MU dining hall and ending at Jesse Hall, the protesters, organized by Missing Minority Campaign, marched to oppose the Missouri Civil Rights Initiative.
The initiative is a proposed constitutional amendment that will appear on the November 2008 ballot if enough signatures are collected by the state’s May 4 deadline. According to the Missouri Civil Right Initiative Web site, the amendment would prohibit state and local governments from “granting preferential treatment to any individual or group based on race, sex, color, ethnicity or national origin in the operation of public employment, public education and public contracting.”
If passed, it would mean race or gender could not be used as a factor in college admissions or financial aid.
Clad with signs that said “MOCRI=Fraud” and “We deserve a chance,” protestors marched to spread awareness about the benefits of affirmative action and declare their opposition to the initiative.
Tim Asher, who proposed the initiative, said the proposed ballot item would create equal opportunity, equal protection and equal access under the law.
“We believe that government preferences some citizens over others,” Asher said. “If they don’t use preferences, there would be no effect.”
Many, including UM System President Gary Forsee, believe that this amendment, if passed, would have an effect on education and hiring.
“The University of Missouri opposes the amendment that would limit diversity on campuses,” said Jennifer Hollingshead, assistant director of university communications for the UM System. “Limiting diversity on campuses would have an adverse effect on the learning environment.”
Some protestors at Tuesday’s event said they felt the proposed initiative would have a negative effect on education and hiring and are using the march as an opportunity to voice their opinion.
Kris Dyer, a 21-year-old MU student who came upon the protest as it was happening, liked what he heard.
“I think a proposal like this should not be passed,” Dyer said. “Affirmative action is a step in the right direction”
As the group moved through the campus and spoke to many people who were against the initiative, they also spoke to some who were in favor of it. One supporter was Kevin Cordia, a student at MU who happened to be at Speakers Circle the same time as the protest.
“I have never been for affirmative action. I believe that people should attain any merit in society based on their own accomplishments rather then their religion, sex or race,” Cordia said. “I don’t think people should be discriminated because of their race, but I also don’t think that they should get a job just because of their race.”
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