Learning Center
Plans & pricing Sign in
Sign Out



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.

June 30, 2006 Dr. Floyd interview, 1 UM System selects Gary Allen for vice president of IT, 6 Beth Fisher named new executive director of MOBIUS, 7 Governor signs higher education budget, 8 NCAA may require testing for sickle cell, 11 Thefts at MU fraternity lead to arrest of ex-athlete, 13 MU researcher awarded Army contract, 15 MU alum donates $1.1 million to School of Medicine, 17 MU alum, former Vox managing editor is killed, 19 Reality-based learning aids MU students, 20 MU gives tours to prospective students, 22 Two tenants remain at UMKC Twin Oak towers, 23 UMSL criminologist leaving, 25 UMR expert assesses Rock Bridge Park‟s stability, 28 UMR receives ASEE membership award, 31 MSU considers adding „sexual orientation‟ to nondiscrimination policy, 32 Student loan rates about to rise, 35

The Columbia Daily Tribune Learning curve Elson Floyd says the lessons of his first three-plus years as president of the University of Missouri make him a more effective leader. By TERRY GANEY of the Tribune’s staff Sunday, June 25, 2006 When University of Missouri system President Elson Floyd appeared before a legislative committee earlier this year, senators peppered him with questions from every direction. Why, Sen. Joan Bray wanted to know, was the level of financial support for the University of Missouri-St. Louis lower than that of other UM campuses? How, Sen. Luann Ridgeway asked, could a constituent apply for a soft drink vending contract at the University of Missouri-Kansas City? At one point, Bray, a University City Democrat, told Floyd, “We have been too easy on you.” “Senator,” Floyd replied, “I don‟t know that anyone has been easy on me since I arrived.” In his fourth year as president of the four-campus UM system, Floyd said in an interview, his time at the helm of the institution has been a learning experience. He found he cannot accomplish what he wants as fast as he would like, if at all. He has learned why Missouri is called the “Show Me” state. Early in his tenure, Floyd had grand visions. He suggested Northwest Missouri State University in Maryville become another UM campus. He recommended combining the system‟s administrative functions with those of the Columbia campus. The ideas failed to gain traction. You hear less from Floyd about bold plans these days. Instead he sometimes appears to be an answer man, a negotiator of minefields, one to put out fires. He‟s either busy appeasing political forces in Jefferson City or dealing with factions on the Board of Curators. He seems well suited for the job. Asked whether he was serious in his response to Bray, Floyd replied, “It has not been an easy time.” The past three-and-a-half years have been a lesson for Floyd. He said he has learned to be patient. And he explains his experiences with this maxim: “Culture eats strategy every time.” By that, Floyd means the culture of a state or institution will overcome a strategy for change. Floyd said the strategy for combining Northwest with UM could not overcome the culture in the Missouri General Assembly opposed to it. “This is a state that is slow to react to change,” said Floyd, who came to Missouri from Michigan in 2003. “It is a state with a very healthy suspicion of new ideas. It‟s a different approach. There is nothing wrong with that. It‟s a reality I have to deal with on a day-to-day basis. I now understand Missouri, and it will clearly serve to strengthen my presidency as we go forward.” Floyd‟s presidency has sometimes seemed like an exercise in crisis management. There was Ricky Clemons, a basketball player whose problems with the law embroiled Floyd because of taped jailhouse telephone conversations between Floyd‟s wife and Clemons. There was an attempt by Kansas City to grab the MU School of Medicine and another to sever the Kansas City campus from the system.


Budget troubles have been a constant plague. There was a dispute about using private funds to boost chancellors‟ salaries and a legislative battle about changing the name of the state‟s second-biggest university. More recently, Floyd has dealt with the messy firing of a basketball coach at MU. “He‟s weathered difficult times,” said Sterling Adams, a 1968 political science graduate from UMSL and immediate past president of the MU Alumni Alliance. “Not all of them are of his own making, but he‟s had to deal with them.” Floyd must juggle the interests of the Columbia, Rolla, Kansas City and St. Louis campuses. He answers to nine bosses — the Board of Curators, whose membership is sometimes divided along political lines. Finally, he has to keep 197 lawmakers happy and informed in the state capital, where a political power shift and term limits have eroded the UM system‟s traditional strengths. Earlier this year, for example, Floyd had to put out a fire in Jefferson City with an overheated senator who wanted to know whether the MU School of Journalism had a financial relationship with Al-Jazeera, the Arab cable network. If you think a job like this — which pays $350,000 a year with substantial benefits — would give a man headaches, you‟re right. Floyd sometimes suffers from debilitating migraines that have removed him from his job and put him flat on his back until they go away. “I tend to get about two per year,” Floyd said. “Millions of Americans get them.” Floyd, 50, was unable to testify at a March 10 hearing before the Missouri Higher Education Loan Authority because of a migraine. He missed a scheduled interview with a Kansas City television station on June 7 for the same reason. “They‟re awful,” Floyd said. “You have to lie down. It‟s difficult to concentrate. You want no light at all. Noise has to be at the lowest decibel.” It was February when Floyd responded to Bray‟s comment. That was a particularly bad month. In the midst of another MU Athletic Department crisis, Floyd was being pilloried on radio talk shows about the handling of the departure of men‟s basketball Coach Quin Snyder. Floyd couldn‟t understand why he was spending so much time on an issue that didn‟t directly involve him. “He took some hits when they were totally inappropriate since it was not his job to get that done,” said curators board President Angela Bennett of Kansas City. “I think in some circles he‟s gotten a bad rap.” “What I would like for your readers to understand is just how fortunate we are to have Elson Floyd as head of the university and that he provides extra value to us as a system as well as the state of Missouri.” MAN FOR THE SEASON If Floyd‟s job requires him to perform like a politician, he is particularly adept at the assignment. Last fall, the Mid-Missouri Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America gave him its Communicator of the Year Award, mostly because of his statewide tour to get feedback on a tuition freeze plan. Walter Pfeffer of Columbia, who nominated Floyd, said he had a way of projecting passion for higher education “in an eloquent, almost evangelical way.” Floyd can be a spellbinding in group settings and mesmerizing one-on-one. His style stands in stark contrast to the man he succeeded, Manual Pacheco, a retiring figure who avoided the limelight.


“I never met a man with more presence in a room,” said John Fraire, associate vice president for enrollment management at Truman State University. “He‟s very personable.” Fraire worked for Floyd as dean of admissions at Western Michigan University. Fraire said although other administrators did not know how to pronounce his name, Floyd dispatched someone to learn it (Fray-Vee) and to tell Floyd how to pronounce it. “That was very smart and respectful, and I appreciated it,” Fraire said. A former curator said Floyd “is a master at dealing with the curators one-on-one. “He is very good at keeping in constant contact,” the former curator said. “He is very good at communicating and very good at making you think you‟re the only one he talks to.” Floyd‟s staff said it‟s not unusual to start getting e-mails from him at 5 a.m. Floyd said he routinely works 12- and 14-hour days, soaking up everything he thinks he needs to know about university operations. He describes himself as an overachiever who has no margin for error. “There was an expectation for the president of the university to know everything that‟s going on at the institutions and have answers,” Floyd said. “I try to spend as much time as I can being fully apprised and updated on issues.” Dealing with the Board of Curators can be a high-wire act. Former Gov. Bob Holden, a Democrat, appointed six, and Republican Gov. Matt Blunt, Holden‟s successor, named three others. That 6-3 split sometimes manifests itself in board policy. “I think it‟s fair to say that I have three new curators who‟ve come to the board with a different perspective on any number of issues impacting the university,” Floyd said. “That‟s OK. It does reflect the diversity of thought for the governing board.” In December, the curators voted to give Floyd a pay raise — which he gave back to the system — and extended his contract by another two years until 2010. In the process, the board voted 6-3 to give him a “satisfactory” approval rating. The vote could mean three curators didn‟t believe Floyd‟s performance was satisfactory. The three curators said at the time, however, that their votes reflected disagreement about how the contract was extended and whether the decision should have been made in closed session. Floyd sent all the curators an e-mail demanding that if someone didn‟t like his performance to tell him about it. University officials have refused to disclose the contents of Floyd‟s e-mail, saying it is exempt from release under the state‟s Sunshine Law because it involves a personnel matter. Asked about the e-mail, Floyd said, “I‟m a workaholic, and I take my work very seriously, and if I have curators who have some concerns about my performance, I want to know what that is.” He said he never got a response. Bennett said that, though it is up to the board to cooperate and work together, Floyd has “great capacity” for finding middle ground on issues involving the board, legislators and community groups. “One of the things we wanted in the president was someone who could deal with people at all different levels,” said Bennett, who was on the board when it lured Floyd from his presidency of Western Michigan


University. “We wanted someone who could communicate with a parent as well as represent us in our issues with state and federal senators. He has really demonstrated that he has that capacity.” Curator Doug Russell of Lebanon, whom Blunt appointed, said though he and Floyd don‟t agree on everything they have a good working relationship. “The president of the university has a challenging job to work with all nine of us,” Russell said. “That‟s not an easy job to do. Then he turns around and works with four very good chancellors on four campuses who are carrying the message of those campuses. “Down in my part of the state, Missouri State University is highly visible,” Russell added. “It‟s good to have the president of the UM system to come to Lebanon, Springfield and Joplin to communicate all the things MU is doing.” Floyd has been criticized in some Columbia circles for not opposing fiercely enough Blunt‟s and the legislature‟s move last year to change the name of Southwest Missouri State University to Missouri State University. But Floyd said given the growing power of the Springfield area in the legislature and the fact that Blunt, who lived in Springfield, was also in favor, the outcome was inevitable. “The landscape had changed in a very significant way,” Floyd said. “I have to make sure I am making the best decisions for my university both in the short run and equally important in the long run.” He said limits were put on what advanced degree programs MSU could offer. MU and MSU are in the process of working out a cooperative agreement in which MSU students could get engineering degrees from the University of Missouri-Rolla. Floyd put his communication skills to work during the legislative session. After years of flat budgets and cuts, lawmakers and Gov. Blunt appropriated a 2 percent increase. “Given the state‟s fiscal crisis, I‟m really pleased overall with the financial support the university has received,” Floyd said. Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Chuck Gross, R-St. Charles, said Floyd has been effective. “I do know that he was here, and there were others who weren‟t, and I appreciated that very much,” Gross said. A political element that Floyd must deal with is the fact that three campuses — Columbia, St. Louis and Kansas City — are in areas where voters elect Democrats, but Republicans control both houses of the legislature and the governor‟s office. That split sometimes puts UM at a disadvantage. Still, Floyd and Blunt appear to be on good terms. One development in Floyd‟s tenure is the addition of a new mission for the university. “Economic development” has joined teaching and research as UM priorities. Blunt likes that mission. “Because of Elson Floyd, the university is less insulated and more engaged in economic development than it‟s been in the past,” Blunt said.


‘E-FLO’ From the beginning, Floyd knew the budget situation was his biggest obstacle. To make up for financial shortfalls, curators approved sharp increases in tuition and called for cuts in administrative expenses. Floyd tried to use private donations to supplement chancellors‟ salaries. But he found the culture of transparency — the fact people wanted to know where the money was coming from — overcame the strategy of paying chancellors with the help of anonymous donations. When he came to Columbia, the possibility that he might have to cut positions was on Floyd‟s mind. Shopping for a new suit at a downtown shop, Floyd said he didn‟t want something expensive. He said that his role might include cutting the budget and that some people might lose their jobs. “I can‟t do that in a thousand-dollar suit,” Floyd told the salesman. Since Floyd has become system president, he cannot name anyone who‟s lost his or her job because of the budget situation. Instead, he said, new positions have not been added and existing vacancies have not been filled. The scarcity of funds apparently hasn‟t hurt his reputation with faculty, staff or students. Last year, faculty members of the four campuses gave Floyd a vote of confidence. And although his position as system president would seem to distance him from students, Floyd is apparently well liked. This spring, he delayed implementing a plan to raze the Terrace Apartments on the MU campus to give student residents more time to find other housing. “Your swift and caring response was but the latest indicator of your continued vigilance regarding the welfare of UM students,” wrote Student Curator Maria Curtis in a letter to Floyd. Curtis attends UMSL. Earlier this year, lapel buttons sprouted on the four campuses saying, “I love E-Flo,” a nickname for the system president. Floyd said he‟s happy with the direction the university is taking. During his term, total enrollment has grown to 64,000 from 62,000, research dollars now top $300 million and after years of financial difficulties, University Health Care in Columbia has a balance of $33.6 million. “We‟ve made significant progress,” Floyd said. “I‟m very pleased where we‟ve been as an institution and optimistic as to where the university will go in the future.” But as for trying to implement any big changes, Floyd has learned he must bide his time. “I‟ve learned patience in this job,” Floyd said. “I am by my nature a very impatient person. I was trying to do a lot of things probably much faster than the culture would allow them to occur. My pace is not as rapid, but is as robust as it‟s ever been.”


Columbia Missourian Allen named to new UM System IT post The former MU chief information officer will oversee information technology. By NICK LEONARD Tuesday, June 27, 2006 MU‟s chief information officer was appointed by University of Missouri System President Elson Floyd as the UM vice president of information technology, combining the two positions to reduce costs. As MU‟s chief information officer, Gary Allen has “improved customer service, gotten the most out of limited IT resources and established sound relationships with faculty, staff and students,” Floyd said in a press release. As vice president of information technology, Allen will oversee information technology at the UM campuses, MU Health Care and statewide extension programs. He will also assume responsibility for MOREnet, a statewide research and education network, and MOBIUS, a statewide library service used by libraries and public schools, including colleges and universities. For his roles with the UM system and MU, Allen will be paid $185,000. By combining the UM position with the MU chief information officer position, the university will save $137,000, according to the release. Allen also serves as executive director of the University of Missouri Bioinformatics Consortium and as an associate vice president for information technology for the UM System. He previously served as the director of advanced computing environments in the Office of Information Access and Technology Services and director of information technology in the College of Veterinary Medicine at MU. Allen is a faculty member in the College of Veterinary Medicine‟s department of veterinary pathobiology.


Columbia Missourian Beth Fisher takes over as new executive director of MOBIUS By SARAH PHILLIPS Thursday, June 29, 2006 Beth Fisher is the new executive director of the Missouri Bibliographic Information User System, or MOBIUS, a collection of the academic libraries of 68 colleges and universities in Missouri. Fisher succeeds George Rickerson, who is now associate vice president for administrative applications for the University of Missouri System. Fisher‟s annual salary will be $110,800. Fisher came to MOBIUS from Virginia Polytechnic University, where she was the associate director for the information technology acquisitions department. The largest project for MOBIUS is the Common Library Platform, a virtual collection of about 14 million items from the institutions‟ libraries. The Common Library Platform allows faculty and students to request library items from any personal computer anywhere with Internet access. The materials are then delivered within one to two days.


The Kansas City Star Higher education: Missouri colleges to get more money Monday, June 26, 2006 Missouri colleges stand to get a $20 million funding boost for the 2006-2007 academic year. Gov. Matt Blunt on Friday authorized a bill that appropriates $876.7 million to higher education funding, a 2.3 percent increase from the current year. The majority of that money is slated for the University of Missouri four-campus system. Four-year public institutions are to get an increase of about $17 million, community colleges are to get a nearly $3 million increase. Officials said the increase is the first “significant” one for higher education in Missouri in the last six years. Columbia Missourian Bill increases funds for higher education Student financial aid is to receive more funds. By NICK LEONARD Sunday, June 25, 2006 Gov. Matt Blunt on Friday authorized a bill that appropriates $876.7 million to Missouri‟s higher education institutions for fiscal year 2007, a 2.3 percent increase, up from $856.7 million for the current year. Before a crowd of about 75 people at MU‟s Cornell Hall, Blunt announced the largest portion of the money allocated for higher education will go to the University of Missouri System. The system is set to receive $413.2 million, an increase of $10.8 million over the current year, said Blunt. At the signing, UM System President Elson Floyd said he appreciates the governor continuing to make higher education a priority. In January, Floyd testified before the House Education Appropriations Committee, requesting $466.5 million for the university system. Overall funding for public four-year colleges and universities will increase by $17.2 million, while funding for community colleges will increase by $2.7 million. Student financial aid will also see an increase, receiving $2.5 million more in funding than the current year. The nearly $20 million raise in higher education funding is the first significant increase in about six years, Floyd said. He said he believes there are “tangible signs” the economy is improving.


The Columbia Daily Tribune Funding hike for higher ed to boost MU Blunt coy about MOHELA release. By JASON ROSENBAUM of the Tribune’s staff Saturday, June 24, 2006 Gov. Matt Blunt yesterday signed into law the first increase in higher education spending in six years, but he remained coy about the prospect of selling off assets of the Missouri Higher Education Loan Authority by the end of the year. The $876.7 million appropriation includes a $20 million increase from fiscal 2006. The bill allocates an additional $17.2 million for four-year colleges, a $2.7 million boost for community colleges and $2.5 million more for student financial aid. "This is an important increase in budget for public colleges and universities in our state," Blunt said at a bill-signing ceremony in Cornell Hall at the University of Missouri-Columbia. About $10.8 million of the additional funds will go to the University of Missouri, which UM system President Elson Floyd said that, if not for the additional funds, a university-wide tuition hike for next year would be 7 percent instead of 5 percent. "We are very grateful for what‟s happened. It enables us to deliver the highest quality education we can at our institution while keeping down the cost of tuition," Floyd said. But Rep. Wes Shoemyer, D-Clarence, who did not attend the news conference, said the increase in funding hasn‟t done enough to fend off costly tuition hikes. "My daughter just graduated this year. I paid 44 percent more for her tuition than when she started in college" at the Columbia campus, Shoemyer said. "To add a tuition increase to that, I don‟t think the working families and students will call that a success." Although the governor was able to get the funding increase in higher education spending, the GOPcontrolled legislature did not approve the MOHELA sale, which would have sent additional millions of dollars toward capital improvements at public universities. Shortly after the legislative session lapsed, Blunt said he would work with MOHELA to sell its assets without legislative approval. Asked yesterday about the progress of that initiative, Blunt said all sides were still working to find a solution. "I believe there are ways we can do this," Blunt said. "This is important, a magnitude of importance that I believe smart people can get together and figure out how it can be done." Blunt was noncommittal when asked whether he could get the MOHELA money flowing to universities before the end of 2006. "I don‟t want to set an arbitrary date," Blunt said. "I think it‟s important for" the MOHELA board "to do it in an appropriate and responsible way." Rep. Ed Robb, R-Columbia, said he has high hopes that Blunt would succeed in convincing the board to sell off half the MOHELA assets.


"If not, we‟ll take it up first thing in January," Robb said. Shoemyer said he believes MOHELA‟s statute bars the governor from selling off assets without legislative approval. "The statute clearly lays out that the money can be laid out to improve access to higher education and to bring teachers, dentists, nurses to underserved areas," Shoemyer said. "The governor cannot change that without the legislature." Floyd and Provost Brian Foster heaped praise on the increased allocation after the ceremony, saying it was welcome relief after years of declining appropriations for higher education. "We‟ve been in adverse economic conditions in this state for a long time," Foster said. "Of course, everyone struggled to meet the various university and state agencies‟ needs, and this is a big step." Floyd said he‟s hopeful that lean years of appropriations might be over for the UM system. "There‟s tangible signs that the economy is improving in this state, and a reinvestment is being made in education generally and especially higher education," Floyd said.


Columbia Missourian Sickle cell trait testing considered An NCAA summit in 2007 will explore the link between the disorder and risk to athletes. By ALAN SCHER ZAGIER, Associated Press Wednesday, June 28, 2006 Nearly one year after the death of reserve linebacker Aaron O‟Neal, an MU football player whose death some medical experts partially attributed to a common blood disorder, college sports trainers and team doctors are again considering whether to require preseason tests of all athletes for sickle cell trait. Bob Blitz, one of two St. Louis attorneys for Lonnie O‟Neal, the former player‟s father, said testing for the trait is a nice idea but comes too late to help O‟Neal, 19, who collapsed at a voluntary practice July 12 and died after being taken to University Hospital in the back of a truck. “They‟re a little late, almost two years,” Blitz said. NCAA guidelines treat the hereditary condition found in an estimated 8 to 10 percent of the U.S. black population as a “benign condition” and ask members only to consider voluntary testing. Chad Moller, MU Athletic Department spokesman, said the university does not have plans to start testing for the condition. “We have not automatically tested for that in the past, and I don‟t know if that‟s going to change or not,” Moller said. A growing number of trainers and team physicians — particularly at other schools in the Southeast and the Sun Belt, where intense heat and dehydration can increase the risk of exercise-related injuries and deaths — are calling for mandatory sickle cell testing. “The more (athletes) understand about their personal health history, the better they can take care of themselves,” said Ron Courson, director of sports medicine at the University of Georgia. However, retired Army physician and researcher John Kark, whose extensive research on the sickle cell trait in the military helped prevent deaths at U.S. boot camps that used his safety guidelines, said testing isn‟t really necessary for athletes because methods to keep athletes healthy in the heat are the same for athletes regardless of whether they have the trait. “The preventative management of this risk is common sense methods to prevent the stress of exercise and heat exposure,” Kark said. Courson and other members of the National Athletic Trainers‟ Association, in conjunction with the NCAA, will hold a summit in early 2007 to explore the link between sickle cell trait and risk to athletes.


Should a consensus emerge at the meeting, the NCAA Committee on Competitive Safeguards and Medical Aspects of Sports could then amend its Sports Medicine Handbook, said David Klossner, the NCAA‟s associate director of education outreach. The medical handbook is a 115-page set of guidelines, not rules, he said. The goal would be for schools to more closely monitor athletes with the trait. Kark said that general preventative methods such as checking the heat index, making sure that athletes drink water on breaks, wearing light-weight clothing and immediately treating athletes who complain of heat-related dizziness or weakness is the best way to prevent sickle cell-related deaths. “It‟s something that everybody should be doing anyway,” Kark said. “I think you‟re wasting time and money testing people for (sickle cell) trait.” Individuals with sickle cell trait have one normal gene for hemoglobin, the protein in red blood cells, and one abnormal gene. Unlike normal, rounded red blood cells, the sickle-shaped cells carry less oxygen and can clog blood vessels that flow to the heart and other muscles. The trait is distinct from sickle cell disease, a condition that affects far fewer people and in which two abnormal genes are present. The official cause of death for Aaron O‟Neal was viral meningitis. But the chairman of MU‟s pathology department and several outside experts suggested that sickle cell trait was a contributing factor. O‟Neal collapsed on the field about 45 minutes into an hour-long voluntary workout last summer and died later that afternoon. An autopsy report and medical examiner investigation found he repeatedly lost his balance during a stretching exercise and complained of blurred vision. Blitz said the school “absolutely should have” tested O‟Neal and other athletes for the genetic disorder information because it could have made a difference in the treatment he received that day. “Had they known about it, and had they known the symptoms, he‟d be alive today,” Blitz said. Lonnie O‟Neal has filed suit against Missouri athletics director Mike Alden, head football coach Gary Pinkel, team medical director Rex Sharp and 11 trainers and strength coaches. Deborah O‟Neal, the player‟s mother, later joined the suit. The lawsuit accuses university officials of failing to recognize signs of medical distress that could have prevented O‟Neal‟s death. “These guys were obviously oblivious to the symptoms of sickle trait that he had,” Blitz said. Missourian reporter Darla Cameron contributed to this report.


The Columbia Daily Tribune Thefts at frat lead to arrest of ex-athlete By JACOB LUECKE of the Tribune’s staff Wednesday, June 28, 2006 A former University of Missouri-Columbia football player allegedly filled up his tank and ate at restaurants multiple times in April using credit and debit cards stolen during a party at a Columbia fraternity. A student also found a stolen debit card and IDs sitting inside an MU basketball player‟s SUV in a related incident, according to reports by the Columbia Police Department. Alex Woodley, 20, a former cornerback for the MU football team, is charged with fraudulent use of a credit device, a misdemeanor. Woodley surrendered Monday night at the Boone County Jail. He was released after posting a $500 bond. His first court appearance in the case is scheduled July 7. Early on April 14, Woodley and other MU athletes attended an "after-bar" party at the Alpha Tau Omega house, 909 Richmond Ave., according to police reports and witnesses at the fraternity. Between 1 and 1:30 a.m., one fraternity member allegedly saw Woodley in the fraternity basement parking garage, holding golf clubs belonging to a house resident, according to police reports. When the fraternity member asked what Woodley was doing, the suspect allegedly put down the clubs and got into an SUV driven by a man other witnesses identified as Kalen Grimes, a center on the MU basketball team. Later that morning, Alpha Tau Omega member Matt Budenholzer went to his car in the parking garage and discovered his wallet was missing. The next day, Budenholzer learned that other people at the fraternity also were missing property. "I‟m running around all day looking for my wallet, and there are about three or four other people running around looking for their things, and we‟re like, „Something‟s going on,‟ " said Budenholzer, 21, a senior banking finance and finance real estate major. Over the next few days, Budenholzer‟s check card and his dad‟s credit card were used at businesses around Columbia. On April 14, someone spent more than $100 at the Phillips 66 on Nifong Boulevard and bought nearly $40 in food from Buckingham Smokehouse Bar-B-Que. Days later, the person with Budenholzer‟s card again purchased gas and barbecue and used a card at a KFC restaurant, according to an incident report released by Columbia police. A surveillance tape from the Shell Station on Providence Road on April 14 depicts a man fueling a silver Nissan Maxima at about the time one of the stolen cards was used. A police officer later observed Woodley driving a silver Maxima. The tape also shows a man using one of the cards to fill two other automobiles. The man arrived at the station in a white Saturn Ion, which is the same kind of car driven by Woodley‟s girlfriend, police said. Later, Woodley told a police detective he made some of the purchases on Budenholzer‟s card. He also said he gave one of the cards to a female friend, who racked up about $44 in charges at Mily Nails and China Kitchen on Nifong Boulevard, according to police reports. However, Woodley said he did not steal cards, according to court documents.


Woodley has a history of credit card fraud. In 2004, he pleaded guilty to stealing and using a stolen credit card, both misdemeanors, and was placed on two years‟ probation. Woodley was actually kicked off the football team for violating rules before the 2005 season. He stayed in school and was allowed back on the team, MU Athletic Department spokesman Chad Moller said. But Woodley violated rules again and was once more kicked off the team this spring. Moller declined to specify what rules Woodley broke. The same night Budenholzer‟s wallet was stolen, MU student Erin Collins‟ purse also disappeared from the fraternity. A few days later, a student who knows Collins found her debit card and driver‟s license in the back of Grimes‟ SUV. Another student‟s ID, taken from a different party, was also in the back of Grimes‟ SUV, according to the incident report. Grimes has not been charged with a crime. "As far as I know, I don‟t know anything about that," Grimes told a reporter yesterday. Police and Assistant Prosecutor Steven Berry declined to say whether other charges are pending.


Columbia Missourian MU researcher is awarded Army contract Shubhra Gangopadhyay will work on developing new defense materials. The Army contract will allow her to develop new warheads and munitions. By NICK LEONARD and GREGORY PIETRAS Wednesday, June 28, 2006 Shubhra Gangopadhyay, an MU researcher, has been awarded a $4.79 million contract from the U.S. Army to use her expertise in nanotechnology in developing alternative fuel solutions for rockets. Gangopadhyay is a professor of electrical and computer engineering in MU‟s College of Engineering and serves as co-director of MU‟s International Center for Nano/Micro Systems and Nanotechnology. Nanotechnology involves the use of microscopic particles in the creation of electrical circuits or devices. “Our goal is to use microchip technology to make smaller and better- controlled warheads and munitions systems,” Gangopadhyay said in an MU press release. The contract she received is broken up into several projects to be completed over the next three years. Her first task is to create a materialbased propellant that produces more pressure and burns longer than rocket fuels currently in use. She has been working with the Army to develop the technology for the past four years, and the latest contract is to create a usable product. Though the agreement focuses primarily on defense-related devices, Gangopadhyay also plans to research possible uses of nanotechnology in the search for alternative energy solutions “for the betterment of mankind,” she said in the release. Gangopadhyay was selected to receive the contract because her research incorporates nanotechnology with microchip-based technology. The combination of the two technologies can generate a powerful reaction, producing millions of shock waves capable of detecting or initiating explosives, according to the release. However, Gangopadhyay said the technology is safe to work with. “We are doing nanotechnology, so we are using very minute quantities of material,” she said in a phone interview. “And because we are working with microchip technology, it‟s even smaller. Even if a microchip blows up, it‟s like a firecracker.” The U.S. Department of Defense currently has one of the largest research and development budgets in the U.S. government, said Jim Coleman, vice chancellor for research at MU. He said that although MU has not taken full advantage of Department of Defense funding in the past, Department of Defense grants and contracts to MU have become more frequent recently. The contract received by Gangopadhyay is “quite a large one,” Coleman said.


However, Gangopadhyay hopes that eventually her technology will have civilian applications as well. Her lab is working toward adapting the technology to produce power and possibly be used to image the body to search for diseases. “This nanotechnology is similar to explosives, and there is a lot of chemical energy in it,” she said. “We‟re trying to convert that into electrical energy that we can use for power generation.” As a prolific researcher, Gangopadhyay has her own lab filled with students, Coleman said. He said contracts such as this one give those students “unparalleled opportunities to work on applied research.” The research performed to develop the devices called for in the contract will also enhance the teaching ability of Gangopadhyay, as well as other researchers working with her, Coleman said. “They can take what they learn (from the research) into the classroom and keep students on the cutting edge,” Coleman said. Gangopadhyay‟s research may end up creating new energy sources. She said her new technology has benefits over traditional energy created by explosives. “If we can work toward making energy, while they could use four grams of explosive, we are using an amount 1,000 times smaller to get the same amount of energy out,” she said. “We call it power generation without detonation.” The Columbia Daily Tribune MU nanotech expert wins Army contract Tuesday, June 27, 2006 The Army has awarded a University of Missouri-Columbia professor a $4.79 million grant to craft miniature devices that could improve the performance of weapons systems. Shubhra Gangopadhyay, a professor of electrical and computer engineering at the MU College of Engineering and co-director of the International Center for Nano/Micro Systems and Nanotechnology, received the three-year agreement to develop energy systems to power warheads, rockets, missiles and guns. Each project will combine nano-energetic materials and a microchip, which makes it possible to create shock waves equal to a small explosion. Gangopadhyay‟s center will focus on systems that generate sufficient temperature, pressure and combustion to propel a rocket or warhead through a microchip. Other projects will deal with warhead thrust, missile target recognition and explosive sensory detonation and detection. Gangopadhyay said the contract would bring more visibility to her center and the university. "It‟s a lot of work, but it‟s very exciting," she said. In addition to serving national defense purposes, Gangopadhyay said her devices could also be an alternative power source or used for detecting cancer cells or kidney stones.


Columbia Missourian MU grad donates to School of Medicine The $1.1 million will fund cardiac research. By RON HINRICHS Thursday, June 29, 2006 A former cardiologist who graduated from MU in the 1950s is giving back to the School of Medicine. It was announced Wednesday that Gerald Lee and his wife, Marilyn, are donating $1.1 million to the cardiology division in the department of internal medicine. The money will be used to fund research related to Sudden Cardiac Death, or SCD, as well as clinical cardiology. The Lees said they hope their gift will help find a cure for SCD, which the American Heart Association describes as a sudden, abrupt loss of heart function that can occur in someone who may or may not be diagnosed with heart disease. According to the association, an estimated 335,000 Americans die each year of coronary heart disease without ever making it to the hospital, most from SCD. At a ceremony in the Reynolds Alumni Center, Gerald Lee reminisced about past characters and influences in his life and medical career. Among them was Selman Waksman, the 1952 Nobel Prize winner who conducted some of his research on streptomycin, the first antibiotic effective against tuberculosis, in Boone County using dirt from Sanborn Field. Kevin Dellsperger, chairman of MU‟s department of internal medicine, called the Lees‟ gift an “incredible and important investment ... in their support for MU.” Dellsperger said that because the money will provide for additional cardiovascular investigators, there will be new opportunities for cardiovascular research, which he described as one of MU‟s “most important lifesaving programs.” “We are now poised to enter a new era of cardiovascular research at MU,” he said. “With such support as the Lees‟ gift, we can further advance and support an already powerful and far-reaching cardiovascular research program.” Dellsperger said another potential area of use for the Lees‟ funds and other sources is electrophysiology, a sub-specialty of cardiology that focuses on heart rhythm disorder. “Additional faculty expertise in this field would be especially important in preventing and understanding causes of Sudden Cardiac Death,” he said. Lee — who, with his wife, founded the nonprofit Bridge Builders Senior Services in Independence — said that if breakthroughs occur in cardiovascular research, he hopes the money will then be used for funding research on stroke and Alzheimer‟s Disease. “We don‟t want to tie the hands of the university,” he said.


The Columbia Daily Tribune Physician gives a million in praise of med school By JASON ROSENBAUM of the Tribune’s staff Wednesday, June 28, 2006 A Kansas City physician has given the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Medicine a $1.1 million gift earmarked to fight sudden cardiac death. Gerald Lee, 74, and his wife, Marilyn, donated the money to endow a chair in cardiology. In addition to researching cures for the disease, the Lees‟ donation will go toward clinical cardiology diagnosis and therapy. "Dr. Lee speaks highly of his mentors in the School of Medicine and how much they cared about him as an individual," MU Chancellor Brady Deaton said in a news release. "Now, he and his wife are showing how much they care. The generous gift from the Lees creates incredible potential to save lives." Lee is certified in internal medicine and treatment of cardiovascular disease. He attended the MU School of Medicine from 1954 to 1958 and said he decided to make the donation because of his immense appreciation toward those who taught him. "To make a long story short, I got my foundation here, and I can never, never repay the University of Missouri-Columbia," Lee said in a telephone interview. "There‟s not enough money on planet Earth. I can never repay them for what they gave me." Lee said the personal mentoring he received from individuals at the medical school instilled a number of critical values throughout his career. "What I think is great about the University of Missouri-Columbia is the emphasis they base on how to take a history, to get the most out of the patient interviews, how to do a physical examination and how to handle difficult situations," Lee said. "I think that the teaching of physicians at UMC is superb." Kevin Dellsperger, chairman of the Department of Internal Medicine, said he hopes to use the donation to help the university recruit a physician-scientist who studies mechanisms responsible for sudden cardiac death. Sudden cardiac arrest, also known as sudden cardiac death, usually results from coronary heart disease, which is sparked by fatty buildups in arteries. About 350,000 people a year die without ever getting to the hospital. "This is just a piece of a puzzle," Dellsperger said. "It‟s a complex disease. They‟re people" who, "without any warning whatsoever or any symptoms that predate" their attack, "will have SCA and die." Lee and his wife have another form of philanthropy: They founded Bridge Builders Senior Services in Independence, a not-for-profit that aids the families of Alzheimer‟s disease patients. Lee said he hopes his donation will be the first of many from his graduating class. "I have confidence our medical school with the new, great leadership under Dean" William "Crist will become a mighty river of knowledge for attacking the problems of sudden cardiac death," Lee said.


Columbia Missourian MU grad, former Vox managing editor is killed By KIM ADAMS Tuesday, June 27, 2006 A 2005 graduate of MU was killed Friday when a car backed over him at his home in Sarasota, Fla. News stories from Sarasota reported that Troy Schnelle, 23, was sitting behind the car in his driveway at the time, and that the Sarasota Police Department is still investigating. No charges have been filed. The public information officer for the Sarasota Police Department could not be reached. The driver of the car lived in the same house as Schnelle, which is divided into separate apartments, but not with Schnelle and Ricci Shryock. Schnelle graduated from the MU School of Journalism in May 2005 and was initiated into Kappa Tau Alpha, a journalism honor society. He was the managing editor of Vox magazine and worked at the Missourian as an undergraduate. He was also a member of Alpha Gamma Rho fraternity. “One of his favorite things to do was find the little places in Columbia,” said Emily Burnham, a friend and former co-editor of Vox. “He would take stories just so he could go out to these tiny towns in Missouri to meet people.” Burnham said Schnelle had left a job at the Sarasota Observer to take a job at SRQ, an online magazine. “He couldn‟t have been happier in Florida,” said Tiesha Miller, a friend and co-editor at Vox with Schnelle. “He loved the ocean. He loved that he could walk to work and run into friends.” Burnham said reading and writing were Schnelle‟s passions. He loved Details magazine as well as The New Yorker, she said. Schnelle‟s friends have posted memories of him on Shyrock‟s MySpace page. “I know that when people die, you hear a lot that people are larger than life,” Miller said. “It‟s unfortunate it has become cliché because it‟s so true for him. He made friends with anybody around.” Services will be at 10:30 a.m. today at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Lockwood.


The Columbia Daily Tribune Reality-based learning aids MU students Medical school alters mode of teaching. By LIZ HEITZMAN of the Tribune’s staff Saturday, June 24, 2006 Solving real-world problems in a classroom setting could be a better way to learn than the traditional lecture model, a team of researchers from the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Medicine reported yesterday. Since the mid-1990s, the medical school has had a curriculum centered on so-called problem-based learning. Gone are classes on anatomy and physiology. Instead, students are given medical cases - often based on actual University Hospital patients - and work in small groups to diagnose and propose treatments for the patients. Problem-based learning has taken hold in medical schools across the country since it was developed in Canada in the 1960s. Although it‟s had wide adoption, the MU team said there hasn‟t been much research into how well it works. In an article published online yesterday in Academic Medicine, the scholarly journal of the Association of American Medical Colleges, five MU faculty reported the results of the first 10 years of MU‟s experiment in problem-based learning. The paper is a follow-up to a similar report looking at the first five years. The research team said the results, based on testing data and critiques from residency directors, show the model is working. "There‟s been a lot of discussion and debate among medical educators about the value of problembased learning," said Robert Blake, a professor emeritus of family and community medicine, one of the authors of the study. "What we found here is that this can be very successful." The study compared MU students before and after the implementation of problem-based learning by looking at results of medical licensing exams as well as performance evaluations by residency directors. The researchers found a "significant increase" in both measures. For example, in a standardized test of basic medical science knowledge, 5 percent of students scored in the 90th percentile in 1994. By 1998 - the year in which the first class exposed to the technique graduated - 18 percent had. According to the study, 80 percent of medical schools report the use of some problem-based learning techniques. However, Blake said MU has been a pioneer among American medical schools in that a student‟s entire first two years are problem-based. At MU, medical students don‟t take classes on aspects of medicine, such as pharmacology or psychology; everything is integrated. Debate has raged in the academic community for years about the wisdom of removing such traditional classes and lecture formats. Some in the academic medical community believe that introductory classes such as anatomy give students a baseline of knowledge and a common language to solve problems. But Michael Hosokawa, associate dean of curriculum for MU‟s medical school and an author of the study, said naysayers discount the value of learning by doing. "We‟ve found that students can learn without being taught," he said.


And the approach has another benefit, he said. "The students enjoy this form of learning much more," he said. "It‟s much more attractive to them to work in small groups and solve these problems versus sitting in course lectures 40 hours a week." Robert Rothbaum, who teaches first-year medical students at Washington University in St. Louis, said he believes there should be a balance between both approaches. "I don‟t think you‟re going to get anybody in this day and age to say we don‟t believe in this," he said. "The questions is, where is the balance? How are you going to start learning about what‟s in a broken arm if you don‟t know what‟s in the arm in the first place?" Mark Beard began attending MU‟s medical school in 2002 and graduated in May. He chose the medical school here, in part, because of the problem-based curriculum. Asked to explain the curriculum, Beard recalled being told about a 14-month-old girl who was not growing and then started vomiting. Working in a group of eight, the students generated hypotheses about what was wrong with the girl, investigated her history, proposed various tests and eventually arrived at the correct diagnosis: cystinosis. The case was presented during a section on physiology. "It became enjoyable for me as I got better at the process of asking questions," he said. In addition to Blake and Hosokawa, the study was authored by Kimberly Hoffman, Linda Headrick and Gina Johnson.


Columbia Missourian Big decisions MU offers tours in part to give prospective students information as they make their college choices By RON HINRICHS Friday, June 30, 2006 The sun beat down on Francis Quadrangle on a hot and sultry Thursday afternoon as a tour group of visitors and prospective students left the air-conditioned comfort of Jesse Hall and was introduced to MU. Group members listened to their guide, Tyler Foreman, as they strolled along the grassy commons of the quadrangle. Pausing near the College of Engineering‟s Lafferre Hall, originally built in 1892, Foreman acknowledged construction that has closed off the quadrangle‟s north end; the Reynolds Journalism Institute is being built as part of the MU School of Journalism. The tour was one of two or three offered daily at MU. Foreman said 150 to 200 such tours are given throughout the year. They are different than the Summer Welcome tours, ubiquitous this time of year as they introduce incoming freshmen and their parents to campus life. There was at least one prospective MU freshman in the tour. Christina McCauley recently graduated from Hazelwood Central High School in St. Louis and is considering attending MU. The MU tour was the first one for McCauley and her mother, Carol McCauley, in their quest to find the right situation for Christina. They have another tour scheduled for today at Central Missouri State University. Carol said her daughter has been accepted to three out-of-state universities, but as a family, they are considering having Christina remain in Missouri because of proximity. Having smaller classrooms and student-to-teacher ratios are important to Carol. She said even though MU is known for its large lecture classes, the school‟s offering of smaller classes and labs is a positive. At this point, options are still open for Christina. “We‟ll make a decision within the next week,” Carol said.


The Kansas City Star Deadline to vacate apartments has passed, but lawsuits have kept the demolition at bay Two tenants remain at Twin Oaks towers While the dispute makes its way through the courts, a resident deals with the loss of her son. By MARÁ ROSE WILLIAMS Friday, June 30, 2006 Legal maneuvers to evict two remaining tenants from the University of Missouri-Kansas City Twin Oaks apartments are under way, but it may be another month before they are removed. Meanwhile, on Tuesday Twin Oaks tenant Hans Fesenmeyer was found dead in his mother‟s apartment of what Kansas City police said may have been a self-inflicted knife wound. Fesenmeyer, 35, and legally blind, had lived across the hall from his mother, Paula Fesenmeyer, who now is one of the last two remaining tenants at Twin Oaks. On Thursday she was not available to talk about whether she will continue to fight her pending eviction from Twin Oaks. The Twin Oaks apartment towers were to be vacated last month for demolition, which university officials say will come later this year. A $25 million, 500-unit, multi-use student-housing complex is planned to replace it. All but three tenants had moved out of the two 11-story buildings by May 31 or a few days afterward, said Troy Lillebo, apartment life director for Twin Oaks. Paula Fesenmeyer, who owns a beauty salon in one of the towers at 5000 Oak St., her son, and Rawlings Hammet were the last holdouts. Hammet had lived at Twin Oaks since 1994. Lillebo said Hammet had started moving out but later decided he would stay, along with the Fesenmeyers. On June 7 the university filed a court action to inform Hammet that he had to move. Since January 2005, when the university announced it would close the towers and tear them down, the Fesenmeyers have refused to move. Paula Fesenmeyer claimed the building could not be destroyed because it is evidence in a federal lawsuit she filed in February against the University of Missouri Board of Curators. The lawsuit claimed the university allowed the property to become “blighted,” violating housing codes, standards and ordinances, as well as public health, housing laws and laws protecting the rights of disabled people. On Monday, legal actions filed by Fesenmeyer against university officials, including a request for an emergency injunction she filed May 31 to halt eviction, were denied by a federal judge.


Lillebo said that on June 20, Jackson County Circuit Court had ordered Fesenmeyer to pay any rent she owes and to “relinquish possession” of her apartment. He said the university must give her at least 10 days to comply before it goes back to court. Today is that deadline, but Lillebo said the university will wait before it makes its next move. “After we go back to court to say to them, „You told her to move but she has not,‟ then the process is out of our hands,” Lillebo said. Eighteen months ago, the university told the nearly 600 residents, 488 of them students, they had until midnight May 31 to move out. In June 2005, residents started getting payments, determined by how long they had lived in the towers, to help them relocate. Although the management office at Twin Oaks now is closed and furnishings have been removed, Lillebo said that as long as there are tenants in the buildings, “we cannot prevent their entry and exit, and we cannot turn off the utilities. We won‟t do that.”


The St. Louis Post – Dispatch Law officers lament loss of criminologist By ROBERT PATRICK Saturday, June 24, 2006 Scott Decker's idea of scholarly research included getting burglars to drive him around and explain their techniques. He well remembers one of them explaining he once picked a target because, "I just heard that house singing to me." There were interviews with female burglars who described flirting in bars in search of a braggart eager to impress a young woman with talk of his wealth and possessions. Decker engaged in countless conversations with gang members and criminals of all stripes in a 29-year quest to understand what drives them - and to apply it to the nationally ranked criminal justice department at the University of Missouri at St. Louis. That relationship ends Monday as Decker, chairman of the department for 15 years, leaves to head an expanded criminology program at Arizona State University, where he said there is a promise of better resources. The impact goes beyond academia, according to police officials and prosecutors in Missouri and Illinois who came to rely on Decker for analysis and advice. "He played such a dominant role ... for so many years," said St. Louis Police Chief Joe Mokwa, who described Decker as an "institution." "He was so intricately involved in so many aspects of the criminal justice system," Mokwa said. "He was just so immersed on a national level and on the local level that we really relied on a lot of his insights." Former U.S. Attorney Jim Martin joined the lament. "Isn't that sad?" Martin asked. "I think it's a very big loss." St. Louis Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce said Decker had "helped us focus our efforts very effectively on crime fighting." Decker moved away from direct contact with criminals in recent years, shifting to closer efforts with law enforcement that Mokwa described as "irreplaceable." His connections helped win or maintain grants for crime-fighting initiatives, Mokwa said. Decker provided insight when crime numbers jumped or tumbled. He could tell police, politicians and the public "what caused crime and what the crime numbers meant" and help differentiate the effects of law enforcement from the effects of social factors such as poverty. Martin said Decker's help with grants was critical. "But more important, he also gave an awful lot of his own time because he cared about law enforcement and the communities that have been riddled with crime," Martin added. "Just because he cared." Decker's work was not without criticism. A Post-Dispatch investigation in 2004 revealed that St. Louis police were writing off some calls for rapes and other crimes in informal memos, which were not counted in official statistics. Decker and some other people with financial ties to the police department were named to an official inquiry panel.


"Without that background ... I think it would have taken another criminologist a year to get up to speed," Decker suggested in a recent interview. The newspaper reported that the police department had paid Decker and UMSL $22,500 over five years to examine racial profiling, disciplinary practices and rape statistics. Later, Decker and UMSL researchers were paid $7,500 to analyze why St. Louis rape statistics were lower than other comparable cities. Panel members insisted there was no conflict. Decker insisted that, contracts notwithstanding, he is able to criticize the department and remain independent. "I'm certainly critical of them a lot. And they would be able to tell you that. Not all of them stand up and clap when they see me come into the building or the office. As often as not, evaluators deliver bad news," he said. Civil rights leader and city NAACP board member Norman Seay, who was identified by Decker as an occasional critic, said he is sad to see him go. Seay noted that he was disappointed that Decker did not include more blacks in the interpretation of data, particularly since police departments often have a poor reputation in the black community. Decker said he also has been criticized for spending too much time on work that doesn't lead to an academic paper or study. But he said his work in the community is valuable, helping "form and inform" his public policy research. Martin agreed. "Those who choose to study the problems and then articulate their thoughts on them bring much more value to the table when they stick themselves in the middle of it rather than look in from the outside. And he stuck himself right in the middle of it." With the exception of one year at Indiana University at Fort Wayne, after graduating with a doctorate in criminology from Florida State University, Decker, 55, has spent his whole career at UMSL. In that time, Decker is credited with bringing in more than $4.2 million in grant money and writing or co-writing over 100 articles and 11 books, with a 12th on the way. Those articles carry titles both provocative and evocative, such as "A woman's place is in the home," about the tactics of female burglars, and "My wife is married and so is my girlfriend" about the spread of AIDS in high-risk populations. In recent years Decker has moved away from the hands-on approach, leaving that to younger colleagues. His more recent articles lean toward the academic and analytic side. Under his watch, the UMSL program tied for fourth in a U.S. News & World Report magazine analysis in 2005 of doctoral programs in criminology. It has 14 full-time faculty members. Richard Wright replaces Decker as chairman. Ask Decker why he is leaving UMSL and he asks back, "Why not?" Elaborating, he said he was lured by a chance to build a new program at a university that told him, "We want to build a new school at Arizona State to be equal to or better than UMSL." Decker said he responded by pulling out a spreadsheet at a breakfast meeting and telling the Arizona dean and provost, "Here's what it'll take to have one of the best two or three programs in the country." He said they did not balk. "Unlike UMSL, there are resources," Decker said. He complained that financial support for UMSL's


program is not on par with the quality of faculty members and students. Competitors offer more money, health insurance and multiyear commitments for doctoral students, he said. "It's a real competitive disadvantage." Decker represents the latest example of the loss of faculty "stars" from Missouri's higher education institutions, said Betty Van Uum, a senior officer of UMSL. She does not dispute Decker's remark about financing. "In a general sense, I think that the University of Missouri has suffered from underfunding almost from its inception," Van Uum said, adding that the Legislature has recently begun to put money toward closing the gap. At Arizona State, the criminology department will become a college, adding a doctoral program and new bachelor's and master's degrees, Decker said. He said he will miss the St. Louis area as a research laboratory, since it offers a wide range of crimes and jurisdictions. In St. Louis County, he noted, the 60-plus different police agencies give researchers 60 different things to compare. St. Louis has 78 distinct neighborhoods for which socioeconomic and demographic information are available. Decker said he will remain available to law enforcement agencies in St. Louis and elsewhere, as he continues to consult around the world.


Columbia Missourian Expert assesses Rock Bridge’s stability Officials at Rock Bridge Memorial State Park have taken extra precautions since a stone slab fell June 9. By ALICE ROACH Wednesday, June 28, 2006 Shards of rock litter the ground and are strewn across a crushed boardwalk shaded by towering trees at Rock Bridge Memorial State Park. The debris, located below the opening of the natural rock bridge for which the park is named, is the result of a slab that fell from the side of the geologic formation earlier this month. The area from which the piece fell is noticeable. “You can kind of see that fresh scar on the rocks,” said Jan Weaver, president of the Friends of Rock Bridge Memorial State Park. Hikers must detour around this section of the trail‟s boardwalk, marked by orange fencing. On Tuesday, Derek Apel, assistant professor of mining engineering at the University of Missouri-Rolla, inspected the rock bridge to assess the potential for additional rock to fall. Park officials have been taking extra precautions since an outer piece of the rock bridge fell on June 9. Jim Gast, park superintendent, estimates the fallen rock to be 20 feet long, 10 feet wide and 1 foot thick. When the section fell, it landed on the boardwalk that leads under the rock bridge. A park visitor called Gast after hearing a noise in the park about 8 p.m. on June 9. Gast went out the next morning to find the fallen slab. The damage is extensive enough that the Rock Bridge park‟s construction crew can‟t fix the boardwalk. A crew from the Missouri Department of Natural Resources came earlier to evaluate the damage to the walkway but stopped after noticing that an additional slab appeared to be in danger of falling. “They were ready to repair it, but noticed the other piece in question and stopped,” Gast said. Apel and three DNR officials were at the site Tuesday collecting rock samples, measurements and photographs in an effort to develop recommendations for improving the safety of the area. Apel plans to study the materials and consult colleagues before releasing a report with safety suggestions. Rock has fallen from the natural bridge only twice in the past 14 years, Gast said. The other piece fell about seven years ago, Gast said, but it was much smaller. He said that he wasn‟t sure why the rock fell in early June, but that there could have been a crack that finally gave. Park naturalist Roxie Campbell said that water dissolving limestone along cracks and the effects of freezing and thawing probably caused the slab to fall. “It‟s kind of a standard, basic geological thing that happens,” Campbell said. “It‟s the kind of thing that‟s a rare occurrence, but it‟s difficult to predict.”


Weaver said the bridge was formed after the Ozark uplift 25 million years ago. As the swampy land in the area rose, the water table — the upper level of groundwater — dropped and streams started cutting through the rock. The water continued to flow and create a long sinkhole. The rock dropped out because of the sinkhole and formed the bridge. The same process that created the bridge is now eroding it. “The water just wears away at a crack in the rocks,” Weaver said. “It‟s slow, but it‟s a constant process.” Fred Hicks, DNR state parks risk management administrator, was on hand for the inspection. “From a risk management standpoint, we want to see that when things reopen, it will be safe for the public to come in,” Hicks said. The park‟s staff has posted information on the park bulletin board and on signs around the area to alert visitors to the detour. “It seems our visitors have taken it all in stride,” Campbell said. The Columbia Daily Tribune Team inspects fallen rock Rolla specialist checks geology of natural icon. By GREG MILLER of the Tribune’s staff Tuesday, June 27, 2006 With the pat, pat, pat of her tennis shoes quickly hitting the ascending wood stairs in Rock Bridge Memorial State Park, it was clear Jan Weaver had maneuvered the area before. "I think it‟s one of those things that people just take for granted," said Weaver, president of Friends of Rock Bridge Memorial State Park. "It‟s really spectacular." Today, a University of Missouri-Rolla mining engineer inspected the 2,273-acre park‟s namesake rock bridge to make sure it was safe for visitors after a chunk of it fell from the southwest face of the formation early this month, crushing the boardwalk. After nearly a hour of the inspection by UMR Associate Professor Derek Apel and three officials from the state Department of Natural Resources, Larry Larson of DNR said the findings of their examination would "take a few days" to complete. On June 9, a section of the rock bridge measuring about 20 feet long, 10 feet wide and as much as a foot thick fell. The rock closed the boardwalk around the bridge, said Jim Gast, the park superintendent. No one was hurt in the nighttime fall, but the event raised questions about another portion of the natural formation, which is near a park trailhead. Apel was called in to gauge the rock section‟s potential to fall.


"Essentially what you try to look at is the structural, geological meaning," he said this morning. "I basically will try and assess whether or not this piece of rock has the potential of falling down and hurting someone." To Weaver, the collapse is "nature at work." "The rock fall over there is just the most recent event," she said. "It‟s slow, but it‟s a constant process." Weaver said she hadn‟t been aware of the rock fall until she read about it in a newspaper. Then Weaver and fellow Friends member Nancy Boon went to investigate. "That‟s the same process that formed the rock bridge in the first place," Weaver said of the rock fall. "That‟s cool." Did they cross orange fencing that is a temporary barrier along the boardwalk? "Gosh, no," Weaver said. "That‟s a big no-no," Boon said. Although the women were able to fight the urge to explore, Gast said he knows it will be hard for others to control their curiosity about the closed trail. "As soon as we can get it open, we will get it open," he said.


The Rolla Daily News UMR receives ASEE membership award Wednesday, June 28, 2006 The American Society for Engineering Education presented the University of Missouri-Rolla with a membership award at the society‟s annual conference June 19 in Chicago. UMR was recognized for having the highest percentage of ASEE faculty membership in the society‟s Midwest section, which includes Missouri, Arkansas, Kansas, Nebraska and Oklahoma. Dr. Steve Watkins, professor of electrical and computer engineering at UMR and ASEE campus representative, accepted the award. The ASEE is a non-profit association of more than 12,000 engineering faculty members, U.S. colleges of engineering and engineering technology, corporations, and other organizations dedicated to promoting excellence in engineering and engineering technology education.


The Springfield Newsleader Two words offer easy fix for MSU Add ‘sexual orientation’ to anti-bias statement. Tuesday, June 27, 2006 Missouri State University's Board of Governors should not be wasting its time on a 20th century issue. That's one of the reasons why the university should move quickly to add the words "sexual orientation" to its nondiscrimination policy. Adding sexual orientation to the university's nondiscrimination policy is not a salvo in the culture war. It's a straightforward statement on how people should be treated. Not discriminating against people because of their sexual orientation is the policy at most corporate and government employers across this country. It's the policy at the University of Missouri-Columbia, Drury University, Central Missouri State University and Truman State University. It's also the policy at the University of Kentucky, where Missouri State University President Mike Nietzel worked prior to coming to Springfield. A major criticism of adding "sexual orientation" to the policy is that it will provide special rights for gays and lesbians. This is misguided. Former Missouri State President John Keiser repeatedly said that if the federal and state government did not require it, his preference would be for the nondiscrimination policy to simply say that the university does not discriminate. During Keiser's 12-year tenure, efforts to update the nondiscrimination policy failed five times. "Our policy emphasizes the dignity and equality common to all persons," he said. "This is a country based on individuals and freedom. We don't need to single out any group." That's an idealistic view. The problem is it doesn't match up with reality. That's why the federal and state government require a policy that states individuals will not be discriminated against on the basis of "race, color, religion, sex, national origin, ancestry, age, disability or veteran status." Discrimination may not be as blatant and obvious today as it once was decades ago for many minority groups, but it is still an incredibly important concern that institutions should guard against. And, while there are not reports of rampant discrimination at Missouri State, gays and lesbians would be less likely to even file such complaints without a policy that protects them. This is a simple matter for the Board of Governors to resolve when they meet in the fall. Add sexual orientation to the nondiscrimination policy and move on. The Springfield Newsleader MSU panel: Add sexual orientation to policy Advocates say addition would protect gays and lesbians from discrimination. By STEVE KOEHLER Saturday, June 24, 2006 A university committee on diversity has recommended that Missouri State University add the words "sexual orientation" to its nondiscrimination policy.


President Mike Nietzel, who created the commission last fall, wrote in an e-mail response to a News-Leader question that he is not ready to say where he stands on the issue: "I am not prepared to state an opinion on this specific matter until: 1. I give the campus ample opportunity for input/comment on the report. 2. I consult with a fully constituted Board about their collective and individual perspectives on the issue." If "sexual orientation" is added to the policy, it would end more than a decade of bitter clashes between gay and lesbian faculty and staff on one side and former President John Keiser and the board on the other. Those who have worked to have "sexual orientation" added to the nondiscrimination policy are doing so because they believe adding the words will give them the same protections and rights when it comes to discrimination as other groups listed in the policy. The commission's recommendation is one of many contained in its preliminary report, posted on its Web site and released to faculty and staff Friday morning. Nietzel said he will forward the commission's recommendations to the Board of Governors for consideration in the fall. Supporters believe they received a signal at last week's board meeting that members were more open than in the past to adding "sexual orientation" to the policy. The board at that meeting approved extending health services at Taylor Health Center to "household members" of faculty and staff. Gays and lesbians who work at MSU, along with university administrators, agree that the change will now allow domestic partners of faculty and staff to use Taylor with the board's blessing. Holly Baggett, a history professor and president of the Lambda Alliance, the gay and lesbian organization at MSU, said earlier this week that the change is "a big step forward" in getting gays more recognition on campus. But Nietzel said no one should connect the Taylor benefits change with the nondiscrimination policy. "I wouldn't read too much into that. (The Taylor change) is an attempt to make services available to individuals," he said. Jana Estergard, co-chair of the commission that was formed by Nietzel, said this time the attitudes and demeanor was vastly different from previous discussions. "I don't know what's changed," said Estergard, the university's equal opportunity officer. "Under Dr. Nietzel's leadership, we have had a diversity dialogue for some time. It's been a very civil dialogue. It's fabulous. There is a collegial way to disagree and not all agree with the change." Adding the words "came up consistently" in meetings the commission held among faculty, staff and the community. "We wanted to make a proactive effort to affirm the campus' commitment to diversity. Based on the dialogue among the commissioners, a vast majority favored adding sexual orientation," she said.


Baggett said Friday that she would have been shocked if the commission had done anything other than recommend the words be added. "It would have been too embarrassing for them to do otherwise," she said. "It's a nonissue on the academic and business world. They have moved on." Nietzel said he will take the recommendations when the final three seats on the board are filled by Gov. Matt Blunt. "It wouldn't be fair to not allow the full board to decide the issue," said Nietzel. In his cover letter accompanying the report, Nietzel writes: "This is an important document that contains many recommendations for the University to consider as it strives to do a better job of 1) fostering an open, encouraging environment for its students, faculty, and staff, and 2) promoting a curriculum that prepares graduates for the complexity of an increasingly diverse world." It has been two years since the issue was last before the board. It has failed five times in the past 12 years when Keiser, who vehemently opposed adding the wording, was president. Mary Shied, vice president of the board, wouldn't speculate on what the group would decide but is happy there'll be a "dialogue that makes sense" with a full board. "Everybody feels strongly no matter what side of the issue they're on. There haven't been any formal or informal discussions. ... We hope to have a reasonable discussion," she said. Baggett said the Taylor benefits change "is an example of Dr. Nietzel's willingness to cooperate." Nietzel and Don Aripoli, vice president for student affairs who recommended the change, said it was intended for more than just domestic partners who need medical assistance, which they will have to pay for like other dependents. "We have some capacity at Taylor and services which they can pay for. It includes homosexual couples and non-employees living in the house. We wanted to make the services available," Nietzel said. About 26,000 people use the center, including students and their spouses, which they pay for with a student fee. Faculty and staff pay a fee for each service, from $30 for an office call to about $20 for a shot. Aripoli said it was intended for those parents who find themselves with an adult child who has come to live with them and doesn't have insurance or a couple caring for an elderly parent. "This is a service to domestic partners that they didn't have before with board authority," he said.


St. Louis Post – Dispatch Variable rates for student loans are about to rise By GILLIAM GILLERS Friday, June 30, 2006 Phyllis Jourdan of Normandy began to worry last month when she saw the brochures at school urging her to consolidate her student loans. Interest rates on Stafford loans, the main federal loan for students, and PLUS loans, those borrowed by parents of students, are set to rise nearly 2 percentage points on Saturday. "I started wondering, 'Oh my God, am I going to be in trouble later?'" said Jourdan, a junior at the University of Missouri at St. Louis. The push for consolidation affects only those students who currently have loans. For students who take out new Stafford loans after July 1, the interest rate is 6.8 percent, as mandated by federal legislation that made interest rates fixed instead of variable. The interest rate on Stafford loans will increase to 6.54 percent from 4.7 percent for students still in school, one of the largest single-year increases in the history of the loan program. College graduates will see interest rates on their loans increase to 7.14 percent from 5.3 percent. Meanwhile, the interest rates on PLUS loans will increase to 7.94 percent from 6.1 percent. The increases reflect the recent interest rate hikes by the Federal Reserve. If students consolidate their loans by tonight at midnight, they can lock in lower interest rates for the life of the loan. That also goes for college graduates. Loan companies are bombarding students with brochures urging them to consolidate, and college financial aid offices are fielding constant calls from students seeking advice. Jourdan, 28, decided to consolidate her loans two weeks ago through the Missouri Higher Education Loan Authority in Chesterfield. She can now pay a 4.75 percent interest rate for the life of her $8,000 loan. The interest rate hike will affect millions of students. More than half of all undergraduates who received a degree in 2004 used Stafford loans to finance their education, said Mark Kantrowitz, publisher of FinAid, a Web site about student aid. About eight percent of parents of students graduating in 2004 borrowed PLUS loans, he said. Kantrowitz added that two-thirds of all students graduate with some federal debt, on average about $20,000. With interest rates on student loans reaching their highest level in five years, Kantrowitz said, there's only one reason not to consolidate: Students may lose the six-month grace period they would normally have after graduation before they must start repaying their loan. Because students can consolidate their loans with any provider, companies around the country are shouting, "Pick me!" The Missouri Higher Education Loan Authority, the twelfth largest student loan holder in the nation, has sent out 2.9 million brochures to students nationwide who are in debt. Bill Witbrodt, director of Student Financial Services at Washington University, said consolidation companies are being "very aggressive."


"There have been some charges that some companies weren't playing fairly and using scare tactics," he said. Witbrodt said his office now gets about 75 calls a day from students asking about loan consolidation. Many students have delayed their decisions because they were busy with finals, he said. Michael Kennedy of St. Peters was scheduled to visit the Missouri loan authority Thursday to find out more information. "I've been thinking about it and procrastinating," said Kennedy, 21, a senior at the University of Missouri at St. Louis. "It's been a last-minute deal for me." Ray Bayer, executive director of the Missouri loan authority, said applying for consolidation is fairly simple. Applications take less than 20 minutes to process, he said, and students can send them by fax or over the Internet. Effort to lower rates Proponents say the cap protects students from additional increases in variable interest rates. A handful of senators want to go further. Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., has co-sponsored legislation introduced this week by Sen. Edward Kennedy, DMass., to cut interest rates on student loans and boost student aid. The bill would cut the fixed rate on certain Stafford loans to 3.4 percent and halve interest rates on PLUS loans, which Congress has set at 8.5 percent beginning July 1. Other provisions in Kennedy's bill would increase the maximum Pell grant, the main federal grant for students, tie caps on monthly loan payments to the borrower's income and forgive student loans after 25 years. When the House passed a bill reauthorizing the Higher Education Act in March, it rejected an amendment that would have halved interest rates on Staffordloans. Durbin said student aid reform is vital. "If America is the land of opportunity, education is the pathway to that opportunity," he said. "We must make it a priority to ease the college debt squeeze on students." But for Phyllis Jourdan, loan repayment seems a long way off. She has other hurdles to clear. "My main focus is getting out of school," said Jourdan, who is majoring in social work. "I can't really worry about (debt) . . . I'll cross that bridge when I get to it." Columbia Missourian Deadline looms for student loan consolidation By RON HINRICHS Wednesday, June 28, 2006 Time is ticking away for those wanting to make the student loan consolidation deadline this Friday. Beginning Saturday, those who haven‟t consolidated will see an increase of slightly less than 2 percentage points in the interest rate on the loans they are accumulating or paying off.


The new rate will be 6.54 percent for students who are in school and for those in deferment or in the grace period. For those currently in repayment, the rate will be 7.14 percent. “The most important thing is that they do it,” said Mark Oleson, director of the Office of Financial Success at MU. “The primary benefit is just to lock in the rate.” Once consolidated, the interest rate will remain constant unless people decide to borrow again for school. Consolidation is not for everyone, Oleson said; in some cases, it may be a better option to wait or to opt out of consolidation altogether. He said there are three common reasons someone might choose not to consolidate:
  

If they have a certain type of federal loan and aren‟t eligible for consolidation. If they‟re in a situation in which the loan is forgivable. In that case, consolidation could result in a loss of key benefits promised under the original deal. If they think, for whatever reason, that the rates will decrease in the next year or two. However, Oleson said a drop in interest rates seems highly unlikely at this point. “That‟s not going to happen in the short term,” he said.

Also, students might not want to consolidate if they‟ve just graduated and don‟t want to start paying off their loans right away. Oleson said one of the most common misconceptions among students that have consolidated their loans is that they can‟t consolidate again. A good way for students to keep open the option of reconsolidating is to leave out one loan during the process. Oleson advised students seeking consolidation to proceed with caution, in particular if lenders offer to consolidate something other than student loan debts, such as credit cards. The focus at this point in time should be on specifically consolidating any student loans affected by the deadline. The Columbia Daily Tribune Students rushing to refinance loans before Saturday rate hike By DAVID A. LIEB, Associated Press Tuesday, June 27, 2006 JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) -- Thousands of procrastinating college students and parents are clogging phone lines and rushing to Internet sites as they scramble to refinance loans before a sharp interest rate increase takes effect Saturday. At Missouri's college loan authority, calls are coming at a clip of up to 15 a second, contributing to a tenfold increase in applications for student loan consolidations. Other quasi-governmental loan agencies also are experiencing high demand. And Sallie Mae, a for-profit company that is the nation's largest student loan holder, is on pace to meet or exceed last year's last-moment crush of student loan consolidations.


The motivation is an almost 2 percentage point interest rate increase that will kick in Saturday for federal student loans. Wait a day too long to refinance and it could cost thousands of additional dollars of interest during the decades after a student enters the work force. "As everyone is saying, there are very few situations in which it is not advisable for a student who has outstanding loans to consolidate, because they will lock in" relatively low interest rates, said Sandy Baum, an economics professor at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., and a financial aid analyst for the College Board education association that produces the SAT college entrance exam. The federal government adjusts interest rates on its student loans each July 1 based on a formula tied to the yield on short-term Treasury bills. The variable rate on a common Stafford loan dipped to as low as 2.77 percent for students in the 2004-2005 school year and 3.37 percent for graduates already making repayments. Those rates rose last year to 4.7 percent for students and 5.3 percent for graduates. As of Saturday, they will shoot up to 6.54 percent for students and 7.14 percent for graduates. Although the specific interest rates are different, they are rising by a similar margin for parents who take out loans to pay for their children's education. Students and parents can lock in rates near the current levels by refinancing before Saturday. Because of a federal law that took effect June 15, they also have more options when doing so - no longer having to turn first to their incumbent loan holder if all their debt is held by the same source. Mark Oleson, director of the Office for Financial Success at the University of Missouri-Columbia, is encouraging most people he counsels to act quickly to refinance. But it's not wise for everyone - especially if the loan consolidation could result in a loss of key benefits promised under the original deal, such as loan forgiveness by a future employer, he said. Students who consolidate their loans before graduating also could lose their grace period to start repaying the loans. Still, "the most important thing is just to do it. That's the overarching idea," Oleson said. Student loan companies such as Sallie Mae or the Missouri Higher Education Loan Authority have been aggressively marketing their refinancing options in light of the impending rate hike. Sallie Mae mailed out millions of promotional packets, sent a similar amount of e-mails, called current or potential customers, and hyped the rate changes at college campuses. Before last year's interest rate increase, Sallie Mae received 367,000 applications for consolidation loans in June alone and more than 42,000 on the final day - a monthly total equal to some previous annual figures and a daily total equal to a month's worth of applications, said Pat Scherschel, the company's vice president for loan consolidation. This year's applications appear likely to meet or exceed that, she said. "We have really been banging drums to get the word out that interest rates are rising. Avoid that interest rate increase by moving to consolidate, lock in your rates now," Scherschel said. The Missouri Higher Education Loan Authority, the nation's 12th largest student loan holder, typically receives 150-200 consolidation loan applications a day. But Monday, the agency received about 2,000 applications; on Sunday, it received about 2,300 - most over the Internet, said Raymond Bayer Jr., the agency's executive director.


"It's huge; it's unprecedented for sure," Bayer said. The Indiana Secondary Market for Education Loans began emphasizing its consolidation loans just last year and already has seen an 83 percent increase in applications this year, said Bob Zier, vice president for loan consolidation. Nonprofit student loan agencies in places such as Iowa, Ohio and Texas also have seen sizable increases in their applications as the interest rate increase approaches, said Alexa Marrero, a spokeswoman for the Education Finance Council, an association of nonprofit secondary student loan marketers. The Kansas City Star A higher price for higher learning Students face loan revisions, climbing interest rates By SEUNG MIN KIM Monday, June 26, 2006 ST. PAUL, Minn. Liz Haen doesn't want to think about it. The Hamline University (in St. Paul, Minn.) senior knows that dwelling on it won't make it any better. More than $35,000 in loans already awaits her. She'll undoubtedly borrow more to finance her last year. And the aspiring teacher likely won't earn much at her first job. "If I could sum it up in one word, it'd probably be despair," the English education student said. "I'm not feeling too good about it." But for the Eveleth, Minn. native and millions like her, the numbers keep piling up, boosting the price of higher education. With sweeping changes in student loans going into effect Saturday, financial aid officers in the Twin Cities are urging students to hammer out details with lenders soon and figure out the best payment options for their loans. Interest rates for Parent Loans of Undergraduate Students, or PLUS loans, issued after Saturday will be set at 8.5 percent. Rates for existing loans will jump to 7.94 percent. Meanwhile, students with Stafford loans will see hikes of nearly 2 percent, which means a new interest rate of 7.14 percent for those already paying off loans and 6.54 percent for students still in school or in a grace period. New Stafford loans will have fixed rates of 6.8 percent. "This is a unique situation for students and parents in that for the past few years, interest rates that have been going down have now started to rise," said Kris Wright, the director of the Office of Student Finance at the University of Minnesota.


Also among the revisions is a new stipulation that only graduates and others who are no longer in school can consolidate loans, which allows borrowers to combine several loans into one monthly payment and one fixed interest rate. The amount paid per month may be lower, and students will have more time to repay the loans. "The reality for many students out of college is that cash flow is king and every dollar they don't have to be spending for loan payments is essential," said Brenda Dillon, the senior product consumer manager of the Cleveland-based loan provider Key Education Resources. "But it's not a one-size-fits-all thing." If current students miss this Friday's deadline and decide later to consolidate, they might face higher fixed rates, officials said. Though rates for consolidated loans vary, most are now between 4.75 percent and 6.125 percent, according to student-loan company Sallie Mae. But the downside to consolidation is that students may ultimately spend more by taking longer to pay off debts, which would accumulate more interest, officials said. "The consolidation program was meant to be a refinancing tool," said Paula Benson, the assistant financial aid director at the University of St. Thomas. "You're not saving money by consolidating." If students decide to consolidate, officials warn that borrowers likely will lose the grace period they have before they need to start repaying loans. Students who previously qualified for loan-forgiveness programs also might lose that eligibility if they consolidate, officials said. Federal loans constitute nearly half of student aid, and the median debt for bachelor's degree recipients totals $15,500 to $24,600, according to a 2005 report from the College Board. After the 2004-05 school year, about 61 percent of University of Minnesota-Twin Cities undergraduates left school saddled with an average of $22,339 in loans. Similar data for other schools were not available. An estimated 8 million students nationwide will borrow more than $60 billion in federal loans during fiscal 2006, according to the U.S. Department of Education. Under the changes, parents who have children in graduate school now will be eligible to apply for PLUS loans. With about half of Hamline's students in graduate programs, this benefits a hefty chunk of the university, said Kelly Dunks, senior financial aid counselor at the school. Students who have loans from a single source now are not restricted to that lender if they want to consolidate. These changes add to the financial conundrum that Macalester College junior Eric Casanova said he will have to solve in coming weeks. The International Falls native has borrowed $30,000 so far. "I haven't looked into (consolidating), but I need to," he said. "I'll look into it in the next month or so."


Upon hearing that the Friday deadline was nearing, the theater student said: "Oh. I'll do it in that time." Seung Min Kim can be reached at or 651-228-5374. FYI Important facts about loan consolidation: • The deadline for current students to consolidate is this Friday. • Interest rates for current Stafford and PLUS loans will increase by 1.84 percent this Saturday. • Borrowers can consolidate even if they have just one loan. • Parents can consolidate their PLUS loans. • By law, lenders can't charge a fee for consolidating student loans. • Federal and private education loans cannot be consolidated together.


To top