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.
August 4, 2006
More UM parents to hear of alcohol-related offenses, 1
Opinion: MU curators go too far with reforms, 2
Ex-curator says politics stopped UM job, 3
Missouri public university presidents hold student aid meeting, 5
Former UM president takes New Mexico job, 7
MU success depends on strategy, 8
MU receives donation for business incubator, 9
MU programs hope to spark entrepreneurs, 11
University hospital offering high-end amenities, 14
University Hospital to examine tax credit proposal, 16
MU to get $6 million for research centers, 18
Accrediting agency to evaluate MU police, 21
MU to offer program on forest care, 23
MU professor comments on campaign fundraising, 25
MU student to participate in Missouri River 340, 27
New bus route geared towards MU students, 29
Private firm to build UMKC housing, 31
UMR student dies in Sullivan plane crash, 33
Governor‘s chief of staff takes MSU job, 37
High-tech shopping list for incoming students, 38
McClain to serve as interim commissioner for Coordinating Board for Higher Education, 40
Leaders plan biofuel initiative, 41
Schools strategizing for end of baby boomlet, 43
Colleges warn about networking sites, 46
NCAA officials target academic performance, 48
More UM parents hear of alcohol-related offenses
The increase reflects policies, not criminal behavior, says an official
By SARAH PHILLIPS
Thursday, August 3, 2006
The number of University of Missouri System parents who were notified about their child‘s first
serious offense involving alcohol nearly doubled in the 2005-06 academic year compared with the
previous year, according to a report given to the UM System Board of Curators at their July meeting.
―I don‘t think the increase is a reflection on criminal increase, but a reflection on our policies,‖ said
Kim Dude, assistant director of the Wellness Resource Center. ―The university has gotten more
accustomed to the policies.‖
A serious offense is an instance in which there is harm associated with another individual or damage to
property. The offense, one in a list of criteria for parent notification, experienced a jump from 15
notifications to 29, all of which were on the MU campus.
The list breaks down into three general categories: students under the influence of alcohol or other
drugs on campus, an initial serious violation, or a subsequent violation.
The numbers of parental notifications for other offenses, such as a second offense involving
controlled substances, rose slightly, while the numbers for drunken driving fell from 49 to 32.
In March 2001, the curators approved a controversial regulation which, among other things, allowed
schools to contact parents concerning student consumption of alcohol or illegal substances that met
certain criteria. The regulation was opposed by student groups but was approved by the board, which
maintained that notification would allow parents the opportunity to intervene with substance problems
before they hinder the student‘s success. This approach, called environmental management, calls for
many people to be part of the effort to decrease alcohol and other drug abuse.
―Parents are one of the most powerful prevention tools out there,‖ Dude said. ―If we can involve the
parents in addressing the issue, a partnership can be created to help the student get on the right track.‖
Student conduct code violations result in parent notification. Of the 1,513 student conduct code
violations concerning illegal drugs or alcohol across the four UM campuses, 1,318 were at MU.
Seventy four of the 1,513 violations resulted in parental notification.
Steve Lehmkuhle, UM senior vice president for academic affairs, said parent notification ―is part of a
longer-term effort working to curtail the harmful effects associated with alcohol and drug abuse.‖
He said students typically learn about substance abuse before coming to college.
―(Curtailing alcohol and other drug use) is probably not something we are going to achieve in the next
year, or 10 years,‖ Lehmkuhle said. ―I do know if we don‘t do anything, it will get much worse.‖
Opinion: MU curators go too far with reforms
By J. Karl Miller
Wednesday, August 2, 2006
―If you like the modus operandi of the St. Louis School Board, you are going to love the UM System Board
of Curators‘ usurping control of the contractual hiring and firing of the University of Missouri‘s athletic
coaching staff‖ was my initial reaction to the idea of adding cooks to the athletic department‘s kitchen. I
understand the necessity of oversight; however, this strikes me as inordinately meddlesome, dangerously
akin to overhauling the engine when the problem‘s solution calls for no more than replacing the spark
The misgivings generated by this decision stem from a long institutional experience that government by
committee is a recipe for mediocrity if not utter failure. The nearest corollary I find to this situation is John
Godfrey Saxe‘s poem ―The Blind Men and the Elephant,‖ in which six sightless men are asked to describe
the animal merely by feel. I fear the result of their inexpert interpretation may well be duplicated in a well-
meaning but ill-informed effort by the curators to add a layer of control over a program in which they have
little experience or insight.
That there have been both mistakes and misconduct in the athletic program, some serious and some
exaggerated, is undeniable, primarily in the area of basketball. The most embarrassing was the infinitely
avoidable circumstance surrounding the recruitment and eligibility of point guard Ricky Clemons, who we
and the NCAA were expected to believe acquired 24 college credit hours in one summer school session. It
would strain the imagination to conclude Albert Einstein could manage that feat.
The implied stain on the athletic department in the flap over the naming of the sports arena was largely due
to overactive searching for a nonexistent scandal. The cause celebre, however, was the resignation/sacking
of the basketball coach – long overdue in the minds of most – and is indisputably the catalyst for this idea
of added scrutiny. I doubt anyone needs this circumstance rehashed or believes the situation could not have
been handled with both more dignity and professionalism.
Nevertheless, Athletic Director Mike Alden deserves the benefit of the doubt in this discussion. Faced with
an uncooperative and insubordinate Quin Snyder, the coach of an under-achieving basketball team who had
long since worn out his welcome, Alden appears to have made an honest effort at sparing the university
embarrassment by employing and emissary in a sort of ―shuttle diplomacy‖ to reach a mutual understanding
between coach and director. That this did not come to pass should not surprise anyone, as it is always a
failure of both judgment and leadership when the boss does not assume personal responsibility.
To pass judgment on the athletic director for an act of failed leadership for his honest intent in attempting
to seek an amenable solution to a long-festering problem is neither reasonable nor just. The imposition of a
―zero defects‖ policy at any level not only impedes growth but also stifles initiative, the absence of which
equals no progress. One would expect Alden to be judged on the overall and considerable success of the
entire athletic program rather than that of one sport, and that he will have profited from this hands-on
learning experience in the principles of leadership.
I don‘t intend to disparage the qualifications or question the intentions of the curators, as they are obviously
a distinguished and multi-talented group of men and women who hold the university‘s best interests in high
regard and would not have been selected for the office had that not been the case. However, I believe the
chancellor and the athletic director are more than capable of correcting the deficiencies identified and of
professionally managing the university‘s athletic future.
If one first identifies the nature and scope of the abuse before acting, one can avoid attacking an insect with
a sledgehammer when a flyswatter will do.
The Columbia Daily Tribune
Ex-curator says politics killed UM job
By TERRY GANEY of the Tribune’s staff
Sunday, July 30, 2006
An untold story of Elson Floyd‘s tenure as University of Missouri system president is how partisan
politics foiled Floyd‘s attempt to bring a former curator into his inner circle.
For months before the expiration of his term as a member of the UM Board of Curators, Sean
McGinnis discussed with Floyd an offer to become a special counsel or adviser. The discussions were
so serious that before the end of his board tenure in February 2005, McGinnis told his law partners in
Springfield that he was ending his legal practice there.
But McGinnis‘ grasp of the job and Floyd‘s hopes of appointing him to it evaporated in spring 2005.
State Sen. Jason Crowell, R-Cape Girardeau, introduced legislation prohibiting former curators and
lawmakers from accepting university jobs for four years after leaving office. While that bill did not
pass, the curators later voted 5-4 to adopt their own two-year policy that effectively kept McGinnis
from getting the job.
McGinnis, 47, blames political interference. He was appointed a curator in 1999 by then-Gov. Mel
Carnahan, a Democrat. McGinnis contributed to the U.S. Senate campaigns of Carnahan and his
widow, Jean, as well as the U.S. House campaign by their son, Russ.
After Republican Matt Blunt was elected governor in 2004, he appointed Republican State Committee
Chairman Doug Russell of Lebanon to the curators board. McGinnis said Russell was a major factor in
blocking his appointment.
"It appears the most fundamental presidential responsibilities, the selection of administrators, was
usurped for partisan political reasons," McGinnis said. "This establishes a dangerous precedent by
allowing politicians to set the agenda for university governance."
McGinnis said he had not sought the job but that Floyd offered it to him. McGinnis, who got his law
degree from the University of Missouri-Columbia in 1984, said the university was established in the
Missouri Constitution to be separate from the governor‘s office and the General Assembly.
He said the issue was not whether he got the job but "the constitutional autonomy of the university."
Russell said that while he supported the policy the curators approved, he was "absolutely not"
motivated to support it to block McGinnis.
"This policy isn‘t directed at any one individual or any group of individuals," Russell said. "This relates
to anybody who served on the Board of Curators. This policy didn‘t have anything to do with Sean
McGinnis. This policy is good policy for any public board."
Russell said the policy had bipartisan support on the board.
While Russell said he had "heard rumors" Floyd might appoint McGinnis, the former curator said he
told Russell about it in a face-to-face meeting when Russell questioned him at an MU basketball game
on Feb. 22, 2005.
"Floyd told me that Russell confronted him the next day and began efforts to prevent my
appointment," McGinnis said. "Floyd stated to me that opposition stemmed from the fact that I am a
Democrat and was close to Mel Carnahan and the Carnahan family."
Floyd chose his words carefully when asked what happened to McGinnis.
"At one point, I thought Sean McGinnis would have been able to have joined the university as a
member of my staff," Floyd said. "In the end, that arrangement was simply not possible."
Floyd said the policy the board adopted in July 2005 kept him from bringing McGinnis on board. He
said the policy developed in response to Crowell‘s legislation.
However, Floyd could have appointed McGinnis earlier.
Asked whether he had discussed McGinnis‘ appointment with Russell, Floyd said, "I think I had any
number of conversations with most of the members of the board regarding Sean‘s possible work at the
Floyd added that he did not know whether Russell was upset about McGinnis‘ possible appointment.
Paul Combs of Kennett, who is a former curator and Republican, said he discussed McGinnis‘ possible
appointment with Floyd early in 2005.
"Elson was getting pressure from new and old curators not to do it," said Combs, now a board
member of the Federal Reserve Bank in St. Louis. "Elson did not say existing curators. Elson
specifically mentioned new curators."
Lowell Mohler, a Republican from Jefferson City and a member of the Missouri Conservation
Commission, said he talked to Floyd in support of McGinnis.
Mohler said that at the time, a new crop of state senators had come into office. "There was a world of
folks who wanted to nail every Democrat that they spied," Mohler said. "Sean was identified as a
"I kept encouraging not only Elson, I even called Jason Crowell and said this is a grand opportunity to
get a guy with experience," Mohler said. "It was pretty obvious to me at that point that there was a lot
of opposition. I was pretty well convinced it didn‘t make any difference what Elson wanted. It wasn‘t
going to happen."
Both Mohler and Combs said they believed McGinnis‘ background could have helped Floyd, especially
in rural Missouri.
"He had something to offer," Combs said. "I think politics played a role in it."
The Columbia Daily Tribune
Student aid issue spurs conference
By TERRY GANEY of the Tribune’s staff
Saturday, July 29, 2006
The presidents of Missouri‘s public universities have begun a series of meetings to find ways of
increasing funding for student aid directed mostly at those with financial need.
The meetings, the first of which was held Wednesday in Columbia, are partly a response to legislation
approved in the state House last session that would have offered a $1,000 "Access Missouri"
scholarship to most college-bound freshmen. The legislation did not reach the desk of Gov. Matt
Truman State University President Barbara Dixon, Missouri State University President Michael Nietzel
and Southeast Missouri State University President Kenneth Dobbins huddled Wednesday with
University of Missouri system President Elson Floyd. Other university presidents participated by
conference call, and representatives of other schools were also on hand.
"We recognize that more base aid is needed," Dixon said.
Before making a recommendation, the university presidents want to see a report from a task force of
financial aid officers from public and private institutions. The task force members have been looking at
ways of combining and simplifying Missouri‘s student financial aid programs.
Leroy Wade, a state Department of Higher Education official who has been working with the task
force, said a recommendation will be made this fall.
"We are trying to come up with what a single need-based program should look like," Wade said.
Floyd made a presentation Monday with Dixon in Kirksville, trying to bolster public support for
higher education. During that session, Floyd and Dixon criticized the bill that died in the last stages of
the legislative session.
The bill would have shifted some state funds for colleges from direct appropriations into scholarships,
including the "Access Missouri" program.
State Rep. Carl Bearden, R-St. Charles and sponsor of the bill, said university officials should not
mischaracterize his bill by saying it would have capped tuition. He said the final version did not do
Bearden said the bill in its final form "was a win-win for everyone.
"The institutions would have received more direct funding, and students would have received
additional aid, which would have gone to the institutions," Bearden said. "And public institutions get
53 percent of all scholarship money."
Bearden said Floyd told him about two weeks ago he would discuss the concepts of the legislation with
other public university presidents.
State Rep. Kathy Chinn, R-Clarence, was on hand in Kirksville for Floyd‘s and Dixon‘s presentation.
She said their performance did not change her position and that if given the opportunity, she would
vote again for Bearden‘s bill.
"Tuition is too high, and we all know that," Chinn said. "I see no reason why we shouldn‘t have
scholarships. You will spend it where you wish to spend it."
The Columbia Daily Tribune
Former UM president takes New Mexico job
Friday, July 28, 2006
Manuel Pacheco, who retired as president of the University of Missouri system in 2003, has been
named interim president of New Mexico Highlands University, an institution in Las Vegas, N.M.,
where Pacheco received his bachelor‘s degree.
Highlands University‘s Board of Regents voted unanimously to appoint Pacheco, 65. He succeeds
Manny Aragon, who sometimes had a stormy relationship with board members and faculty, according
to published reports.
The school has an enrollment of about 34,000 students seeking graduate and undergraduate degrees in
arts, sciences, business, education and social work. Javier Gonzales, board chairman, said Pacheco‘s
expertise and extensive background in academia would provide a valuable resource for Highlands
Pacheco will receive $12,000 a month as interim president along with $3,000 month in lieu of medical
benefits, a campus spokesman said. Pacheco was president of the four-campus UM system from 1997
to 2003. Before that, he was president of the University of Arizona, the University of Houston-
Downtown and Laredo State University.
Pacheco lives in Phoenix, but he‘ll live in the president‘s house on the Higlands campus while
Columbia Business Times
MU’s success depends on strategy focused on distinctive strengths
By JOHN GARDNER
Monday, July 31, 2006
As we continue to define economic development as a vital mission for the University of Missouri, I
receive frequent inquiries regarding our new technology park, Discovery Ridge, and how we‘ve
changed the patent process. Though real estate and royalty income remain a significant part of our
mission, to fully realize the value of our role as an economic force in the city, state, nation and world,
the university will require a bolder and more innovative strategy.
Consider the thinking of mid-Missourians as they competed to host the University of Missouri back in
the 1800s. Jefferson City already had landed the much-desired capital and penitentiary. Knowing the
value that higher education would bring to the area, the people of Boone County formed a calculated
and visionary strategy. They established Columbia (Christian) College to set the stage and rallied
contributions to offer a bid of $117,921. These efforts, combined with strengths such as location,
brought the university to Columbia.
Moving into the 21st century, our challenge now is to determine the best way to improve the quality
and impact of the university on our economy. Our success again depends on a focused strategy that
plays to our distinctive strengths.
The university and the state have arrived at a plan that leverages our research capabilities and existing
businesses. A major element of that plan focuses on the human, food and environmental sciences of
biology — what we collectively call the life sciences. As a state, we dedicate nearly 80 percent of our
research effort in these areas. Missouri has an abundance of businesses that are national and global
leaders in the life sciences. We hope to create a culture of start-ups and innovative small firms
Our new strategy also must look beyond traditional boundaries. The university‘s economic impact
should be relevant not only locally but also regionally, statewide, nationally and globally. We must
move beyond the old patterns of our past industrial age to a new economy that recognizes that what
benefits one community benefits us all. It should not and cannot be a zero sum game in which, if one
player wins, another must lose.
Innovative regional businesses founded on university research are springing up across the state, such as
those in the Ozarks and along the big rivers. Beyond Missouri, however, the university‘s students,
alumni and colleagues from around the world represent a network for economic development that we
have yet to seriously explore.
Looking back to the contribution drive of 1839 in Boone County, for all that has changed, much
remains the same. A group of five community leaders shared a vision, and their passion spread to
nearly 900 citizens from all parts of the county to produce the winning bid. We still need convincing
leaders. We still need a goal worth following. We still need to apply new strategies to existing strengths
and resources. Consider doing what you can to help the university chart its course for both the short
term and the long term.
The Columbia Daily Tribune
Incubator lures new investor
University officials silent about donor.
By KEVIN COLEMAN of the Tribune’s staff
Wednesday, August 2, 2006
Money is in the bag for the $8.7 million Mid-Missouri Technology Business Incubator, University of
Missouri-Columbia officials told diners last night at the annual Regional Economic Development Inc.
"We‘ve had more than a dose of the summer doldrums," Jake Halliday, president and CEO of the
Missouri Innovation Center, said of the incubator fundraising effort. "But there is a very, very fresh
Halliday said a corporate donor had recently stepped forward with a $2 million commitment, enough
to start construction on the 33,000-square-foot facility slated for a 2.5-acre site off Providence Road
near the MU Research Reactor.
"With this gift, we‘ve got full momentum in the project," Halliday said this morning.
While Halliday hedged a bit last night about the timing of the gift and other details, colleague John
Gardner was more emphatic.
Gardner, vice president for economic development at the University of Missouri system, said
groundbreaking would likely happen this fall.
"Some good friends are going to make that happen," Gardner said.
Halliday and Gardner declined today to elaborate.
"We‘re at a critical stage with that donor right now, and I would hate to jeopardize that," Gardner said
in a recorded phone message.
State leadership has linked economic growth with life science research in areas such as
pharmaceuticals, agriculture, health care and food science.
Incubator proponents say that ideas would flow from MU research laboratories into the incubator and
spawn companies that would graduate to the planned Discovery Ridge Research Park south of
Halliday has pitched the incubator to local government and to the business community since he signed
on with the project about two years ago. Before last night‘s announcement, contributions for the
project stood at about $6.4 million - some $2 million shy of the required amount - with $5.6 million of
contributions coming from the federal government and MU.
The campaign fundraising goal was to raise $800,000 from public and private sources.
Project fundraising sputtered after news broke early this year that proceeds from the sale of a portion
of assets of the Missouri Higher Education Loan Authority, or MOHELA, would fund university
projects, including the incubator. But the MOHELA sale became mired in political debate, and
donations for the incubator languished.
Halliday said project fundraising would continue even with the $2 million shot in the arm.
"I would feel a lot better with a larger commitment on the table than what we have, and we‘re still
shooting for that," he said. "We‘ve always wanted to have a partnership in which the contribution by
the university is matched by the contribution from the community. We‘re not there yet."
MU programs hope to spark entrepreneurs
The effort comes as students seek greater control of their own careers.
By NICK LEONARD
Wednesday, August 3, 2006
For some, the freedom that college life affords — being able to set one‘s own schedule, choose what
to be involved in and so on — doesn‘t end after graduation caps are tossed.
Across the nation, interest in entrepreneurship has risen and is beginning to see recognition at
institutes of higher education. Among these is MU, which offers numerous opportunities for students
with dreams of running their own business and answering to no one but themselves.
One opportunity for innovators at MU is the Flegel-Source Interlink Academy for Aspiring
Entrepreneurs. The academy was created last school year, first as a pilot program. It also hosted the
first MU Ventures Idea Competition, which will now be an annual event.
―The biggest intent of the academy is to take 20 College of Business students and expose them more
to successful entrepreneurs at all levels,‖ said Greg Bier, co-director of the program and an MU
―We hope to get students talking to local entrepreneurs,‖ he said.
―And get them talking to each other as well,‖ added Alan Skouby, the academy‘s other co-director.
Last year, students involved in the pilot program got to sit down with academy sponsors Leslie Flegel,
an MU alumnus and founder of Source Interlink Cos., a leading magazine distributor, and his wife,
Elynor. ―It‘s not often a 20-year-old can sit down and drink a Diet Coke — if you will — with
someone like Leslie Flegel and his wife,‖ Bier said.
Michael Hutchison, an MU senior studying business management, said that as a member of the
academy, he ―look(s) forward to meeting people who‘ve been there and done it ... find out how they
did it from the bottom up, learn from them and learn from their mistakes.‖
The 20 undergraduates accepted into the program will receive a renewable scholarship of $1,000.
Requirements include committing to eight to 10 hours of entrepreneurial coursework — for example,
an entrepreneurship Freshman Interest Group.
The academy is just one aspect of the focus on entrepreneurship that‘s emerged in the Business School
in recent years. Other initiatives include classes at both the undergraduate and graduate levels that aim
to teach students how to develop a business plan and find capital, such as ―Launching a High-Growth
Venture — The Business Plan.‖ The class, a graduate course taught by Jake Halliday, chief executive
officer of the Missouri Innovation Center, was introduced last semester.
Halliday said the course is designed to give students a hands-on experience in developing a viable
business plan and then presenting that plan to a panel of investors.
Going it alone
Emerging trends of entrepreneurial thinking are not, however, restricted to the realm of business
education; in all areas of study there has been a shift toward the idea of working for oneself, rather
than within a company.
―The entire university is recognizing that students want some training in entrepreneurship,‖ said
Skouby, who has worked with a faculty group to devise interdisciplinary, cooperative efforts to teach
A prominent example of entrepreneurship outside of the Business School can be found in the College
of Engineering, where the University Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship opened in March.
The center, sponsored jointly with MU Extension, aims to help faculty researchers and central
Missouri businesses commercialize new products.
Being an entrepreneur requires a certain mindset, Bier said. To be successful, an entrepreneur has to be
thoroughly willing to take risks; starting off with just an idea and a plan of action provides no real
stability or security. Success, therefore, rests solely on one‘s own shoulders. It is also important, Bier
said, for entrepreneurs to have a broad understanding of all aspects of business, because in starting a
company they will find themselves responsible for just about everything.
A rising pique
Interest at MU seems to have started four or five years ago, Skouby said, citing the 2002 creation of
EMILE, or Entrepreneurial Manufacturing Innovation Laboratory Experience, a joint venture between
the colleges of Business and Engineering that offers a series of three classes in entrepreneurship.
At the Missouri Innovation Center, increased interest in new business ventures has resulted in a
―dramatic increase‖ in the caseload, Halliday said. Half of the clients are MU faculty and students, he
―In the last few years here at MU,‖ Halliday said, ―we‘ve seen a wildfire of entrepreneurship from
students, from faculty, from staff.‖
Though the most obvious entrepreneurs may be successful business people like Donald Trump or Bill
Gates, entrepreneurship is not exclusive to the corporate world nor is it just about making money, Bier
As an example, he said the first MU Ventures Idea Competition — in which business students come
up with business plans for judging — had as many entries in the not-for-profit category as in the for-
profit category. One not-for-profit idea, Bier said, was a plan for a fashion show to benefit victims of
Shifts toward entrepreneurial thinking, Bier and Skouby agreed, represents a generational change.
Halliday said a departure from the idea of working for one company for one‘s entire career and being
witness to parents being laid off or downsizedmight play a role. Seeing this sort of career instability, he
said, leads to people desiring to take control of their futures and thus becoming more enterprising.
These changes in thought among today‘s youth have led to the introduction of entrepreneur-focused
teaching at universities across the nation, notably at Babson College in Mass., Stanford University in
Calif., and the University of Pennsylvania, according to U.S. News & World Report. Skouby and Bier
agreed that these shifts at the university-level have been the direct result of demand.
―Students are driving the push towards entrepreneurship at all schools,‖ Bier said.
For Hutchison, entrepreneurship is enticing because it fulfills a desire to feel more connected to the
business for which he‘s working. In a large company, he said, you don‘t get the same sense of
importance and contribution as you might in a small business, not to mention the increase in personal
interaction in a small business environment that he finds especially rewarding.
Hutchison currently runs MH Auto Detail in St. Charles, a business he started with a friend five years
ago when Hutchison was a junior in high school. Recently, the business expanded to include boat
detailing. Because of his school obligations, he worked on only a few cars by request during the school
year and then a couple cars a month during the summer.
This year, he and his roommate are working on starting a power-washing business.
―Our main focus is to make money during the school year,‖ he said, ―But hopefully we can grow the
business enough to continue to run it after graduation or sell it.‖
The Columbia Daily Tribune
University, Columbia Regional health institutions offering high-end amenities.
By LIZ HEITZMAN of the Tribune’s staff
Tuesday, August 1, 2006
Among the amenities you‘ll find in this 617-bed system is valet service, room service and - coming
soon - concierge service.
But you can leave the formal wear at home; this is no high-end hotel.
In an effort to attract consumers and keep them returning, University of Missouri Health Care is test
piloting a number of services traditionally found in the hospitality industry.
University Hospital yesterday began offering valet service through Massachusetts-based Curbside. The
service is free for the handicapped and $2 for all others.
Beginning July 17, Columbia Regional Hospital unrolled its in-room dining service, which allows
patients to order food at will - within doctor‘s orders - from 6:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. On the menu,
diners will find traditional hospital fare, from chicken strips to a cottage cheese plate, but you‘ll also
find a raspberry glazed pork loin and build-your-own quesadillas.
And in the coming months, the hospital system will introduce a concierge service, said Jim Steele, MU
Health‘s director of support services. Steele said the new services are an attempt to improve the overall
patient experience. Excellent patient care is the most important piece to keep hospital rooms full, he
said, but hospitality services are another way to meet patients‘ needs.
"We‘re trying to go the extra step," Steele said.
Richard Royer, CEO of the Columbia-based health-care consulting firm Primaris, said such hospitality
services have been gaining traction in the hospital industry for the past decade.
"Clearly there is a trend toward consumer attention as far as amenities, design and features within the
hospital industry," Royer said. "It makes people feel a little more - if you will - pampered or special."
Royer said the trend is driven largely by hospitals trying to differentiate themselves within the market,
although Jim Ross, CEO of MU Health, said that‘s not his primary motivation.
"What we‘re looking at is what is going to be the best from the patient‘s point of view," he said. "I
think patients today expect a lot more out of us in every aspect."
Llona Weiss, a member of the Boone Hospital Center board of trustees, said Boone already offers a
shuttle service to get patients from their vehicles to the hospital. She doesn‘t believe valet service is
needed. Also, she said, although patients can‘t order food any time of day, they do get to select from
daily menu options.
"If you‘re coming to a hospital, it‘s health related or illness related," she said. "You‘re not coming to
stay for a long time like you would a hotel."
Although Boone isn‘t offering such hospitality services, both hospitals have made strides through the
years to cater to consumer demands, from giving birthing suites modern makeovers to adding coffee
kiosks to their hospital lobbies.
Royer said hospitality services likely won‘t hike prices much; the real costs come from new
"There is no doubt that we‘re seeing a building boom in the industry, which is ultimately going to drive
costs up," he said.
Both local hospital systems are looking at multi-million dollar expansions and renovations.
In fact, MU Health‘s valet service is part of a plan to deal with upcoming construction of a new
surgery tower - which will replace its existing parking garage - and a new parking garage located across
the street from the hospital. Ross said he hopes the valet service will help patients from Columbia and
surrounding areas find their way more easily.
The Columbia Daily Tribune
Tax credit would help rural clinics
Hallsville closing prompts proposal.
By JASON ROSENBAUM of the Tribune’s staff
Thursday, August 3, 2006
HALLSVILLE - Spurred to action by the proposed closure of a Hallsville health clinic, Rep. Steve
Hobbs, R-Mexico, unveiled legislation yesterday to establish a partnership between state government
and rural health clinics.
The plan allows health-care clinics in predominantly rural areas to establish the Rural Missouri
Healthcare Access fund for contributions. Periodically, clinics could use these funds to reimburse
operating expenses, equipment purchases or facility expansions or renovations. Donors then would
receive a state tax credit for 50 percent of the gift that could be taken against fees such as the income
tax, the corporate franchise tax and the insurance premium tax. The state would then annually match
up to $5 million of funds given to the health centers.
Hobbs, who introduced the plan outside the Hallsville clinic, said he was convinced the issue needed
to be addressed after receiving constituents‘ input. Last week, he lobbied to keep the clinic open, as did
state Sen. Chuck Graham, D-Columbia, and Northern Boone County Commissioner Skip Elkin - who
wants the clinic to stay open but not through Hobbs‘ plan.
Last month, University of Missouri Health Care said it would close the Hallsville clinic in October but
decided to keep it open an extra year after residents and politicians opposed the plan.
"When I first got contacted about the clinic here possibly closing, I thought to myself, ‗This is a bad
deal for Hallsville,‘ " Hobbs said. "Then after I received literally hundreds and hundreds of e-mails and
phone calls, I realized, ‗It‘s a catastrophe for Hallsville.‘ "
Hobbs said the state government should recognize a town‘s population that wants a clinic to stay in a
community. MU Health spokeswoman Mary Jenkins said she would need time to examine the
"We will work with Rep. Hobbs and our elected officials," Jenkins said. "We support measures that
would improve access to health care in rural areas."
Nancy Franklin, president of the Hallsville Chamber of Commerce, said she still needs to look over the
details of Hobbs‘ plan but seemed receptive to many of the ideas. "This is something that is possible
for a community like this," she said. But, she said, "I think we should also talk about some alternatives
in case this doesn‘t pass or doesn‘t pass in time."
Elkin, who is running against Hobbs in November, blasted the proposal, calling it "too little, too late"
after voting to cut health-care coverage in the General Assembly.
"He spent the last four years cutting health-care access to Missourians, and now all of a sudden he
wants to improve health-care access? I don‘t think so," Elkin said. "He‘s playing political football with
the citizens of Hallsville."
Elkin also questioned where Hobbs would find the money, wondering if it would lead to increased
taxes or reduction in other programs. Hobbs said it‘s hard for Elkin to make broad statements because
he hasn‘t been in Jefferson City the past four years and experienced creating a budget.
"We have been struggling for the last year trying to find ways to create better access," Hobbs said.
"And I was fortunate because the people of Hallsville, between their hard work and the situation here,
brought the idea forward and gave us an opportunity to try and make some changes."
The Columbia Daily Tribune
MU to get $6 million for centers
Geospatial, ‘nano’ programs benefit.
By JASON ROSENBAUM of the Tribune’s staff
Sunday, July 30, 2006
U.S. Sen. Kit Bond, R-Mo., yesterday announced additional funds for two University of Missouri-
Columbia programs that he said would produce technology-boosting national defenses and improve
the quality of life.
Bond visited the Engineering Building to tout $6 million in new funds he secured in the fiscal 2007
defense spending bill.
About $2.5 million will flow to the Center for Geospatial Intelligence, while another $3.5 million will
go to the Center for Micro/Nano Systems Technology.
Earlier in the year, Bond announced he procured $1.75 million for the geospatial center and $2.1
million for the micro/nano center.
"These programs are at the core of the scientific frontier that government needs to explore," Bond
The geospatial center‘s program is led by Curt Davis, a professor in electrical and computer
Using satellite technology, geospatial intelligence provides pinpoint pictures of enemy movements.
Bond said the center could be a tremendous boon to national security officials seeking information on
"I‘ve had the opportunity to go to the classified facilities where they gather all the information, and I
was amazed," Bond said. "I was amazed at how many haystacks of information they brought in. But
the good news is Dr. Davis and his team are developing ways to find needles in those haystacks."
Bond also lavished praise on the "nano" program run by Subhra Gangopadhyay, a professor in
electrical and computer engineering, for its ability to detect potentially deadly weapons that could be
used against U.S. military forces.
While touring Gangopadhyay‘s facilities, Bond viewed a presentation that showed how the center‘s
technology could be used to detect biological weapons and improvised explosive devices.
It‘s an issue that‘s personal to Bond because he said his son Sam, who served a tour of duty in Iraq as a
Marine, had a military companion seriously injured by an IED.
"We know that there are evil forces working on" chemical and biological weapons, Bond said.
"But the IEDs are one of the most deadly weapons that our men and women in the field face."
In addition to defensive purposes of nanotechnology, Bond said the systems could be transferred into
the public sector to create "smart glasses, smart shoes and smart watches."
UM system President Elson Floyd said he believes such innovations are putting Missouri on the
cutting edge of producing 21st century research.
"As an institution, we are fortunate that" Bond "has continued to embrace the work that occurs here at
the University of Missouri-Columbia," Floyd said.
Gangopadhyay said the money she receives from Bond‘s work is helping her complete her work
"I really want to thank you for believing in my very aggressive agenda," Gangopadhyay said. "I‘m only
here for three years, and I wanted to establish something very fast for this institution. And we are
MU research groups await funding for nanotechnology
By JENNIFER AMUR
Sunday, July 30, 2006
Within minutes of entering MU‘s Engineering Building West, U.S. Sen. Kit Bond made his way
through the crowd of press, university officials and College of Engineering faculty to greet MU
engineering professor Shubhra Gangopadhyay.
―When the Pentagon recognizes what you‘re doing, it makes it a lot easier for us,‖ Bond told
Gangopadhyay before a news conference Saturday morning.
Bond later announced that two MU research centers are expected to receive $6 million in federal
funding if the proposed defense spending bill is passed for fiscal year 2007. The Center for
Micro/Nano Systems Technology will receive $3.5 million, and MU‘s Center for Geospatial
Intelligence will receive $2.5 million.
The bill passed the Senate Appropriations Committee and must pass the full Senate and conference
with the House of Representatives before the funding amounts are finalized.
The Center for Micro/Nano Systems Technology, of which Gangopadhyay is co-director, researches
and develops products that incorporate microchip and nanotechnology. The military can utilize the
products to power weapons, but the products can also be used commercially to enhance existing
technology, including computers and cameras.
―I‘m very proud to be a cheerleader, and I hope an effective salesman, for what you‘re doing,‖ Bond
The Center for Geospatial Intelligence uses automated technology to detect and classify data from
various sources, such as satellites and airborne video surveillance. Director Curt Davis said much of
what the center does is ―develop automated means for processing data.‖
The center works in conjunction with the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency.
―The work you‘re doing here will make it easier to detect chemical and biological threats,‖ Bond said.
―It will help to detect threats to America‘s homeland when there‘s still time to do something about
In fiscal year 2006, the Center for Micro/Nano Systems Technology received $2.1 million, and the
Center for Geospatial Intelligence received $1.75 million. Gangopadhyay also received a $4.79 million
U.S. Army contract to build devices specifically for the military.
―The new science of this society will make an indelible imprint on what happens here within this
institution,‖ UM system President Elson Floyd said. ―And a translation of that research will not only
be known to Missourians but to all Americans.‖
During a tour of her laboratories after the news conference, Gangopadhyay mentioned the need for
more clean room facilities, which allow researchers to experiment with sensitive materials.
―You have funded us with equipment,‖ Gangopadhyay said, ―but where do we put it?‖
―How much do you need?‖ Bond asked.
―Twenty million,‖ Gangopadhyay replied.
―I don‘t take ‗no‘ for an answer,‖ she said.
The Columbia Daily Tribune
Accrediting group to review MU police
Tuesday, August 1, 2006
A team of officials in town this week to examine the University of Missouri-Columbia Police
Department is seeking public comment.
Assessors from the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies Inc. will arrive
Saturday to examine department policies, procedures, management, operations and support service.
As part of the assessment, the community is invited to offer comments at a public information session
at 7 p.m. Monday in MU‘s Reynolds Alumni Center, 704 Conley Ave.
Anyone who wants to make comments but is unable to attend can phone in their remarks from 8:30 to
11 a.m. next Tuesday at (573) 882-5926. Comments are limited to 10 minutes each. Written comments
can be mailed to: Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies Inc., 10302 Eaton
Place, Suite 100, Fairfax, Va., 22030-2215.
Accrediting agency to evaluate MU police
By RYAN HAAS
Tuesday, August 1, 2006
What: Community forum on the performance of the MU Police Department
When: 7 p.m. Aug. 7
Where: Reynolds Alumni Center, 704 Conley Ave.
Other comments may be made by phone from 8:30 to 11 a.m. Aug. 8 at 882-5926; address written
comments to the Commission on Accreditation of Law Enforcement Agencies Inc., 10302 Eaton
Place, Suite 100, Fairfax, VA 22030.
An international accrediting commission will moderate a public forum next week on the performance
of the MU Police Department.
The forum is part of a review of the department by the Commission on Accreditation for Law
Enforcement Agencies, which will be in Columbia from Saturday through Aug. 9.
The commission‘s reviewers will have access to the department‘s files and will conduct interviews with
department staff. They will also mediate the community forum Monday night, guiding citizen
complaints toward a discussion of how the department can better meet its standards.
―It‘s easy to step back and say, ‗We‘re doing a great job,‘ but it‘s better to have an outside assessment
of what you‘re doing,‖ said MU police Capt. Brian Weimer.
Weimer also has overseen the department‘s two previous successful bids for accreditation, in 2001 and
―It helps with liability and personnel issues. For instance, if we were to go to court on a use-of-force
issue, we would have proof that we were following the standards,‖ Weimer said.
The commission was formed in 1979 by a coalition of four law enforcement agencies. Its purpose is to
standardize the quality of law enforcement throughout the world and encourage police departments to
demonstrate voluntarily that they are following commission standards, according to its Web site.
For example, the commission doesn‘t set policy about when to use force but it does set requirements
for documenting what happened in those instances.
MU to offer program on forest care
Landowners learn how to manage their land and improve wildlife habitat.
By RON HINRICHS
Wednesday, August 2, 2006
Missouri Woodland Steward Programs will be held in several communities throughout the state. For
information, call Hank Stelzer at 882-4444.
Hank Stelzer, a forester with MU Extension, offers this analogy when trying to explain why it‘s
important to manage forested land:
―Just think about a garden and what happens if you do not weed and thin out the weaker plants,‖
Stelzer said. ―Same principle in the forest.‖
Beginning this month, MU will offer its Missouri Woodland Steward Program to landowners across
―We see both big and small landowners, but to be truly effective and to qualify for various state and
federal programs, you should have at least 10 acres of woodlands,‖ said Stelzer, the coordinator of this
Workshops will be held around the state. The Columbia workshop will take place on Sept. 11 at the
MU Extension Center. The course will consist of DVD-based presentations and a field trip to Lick
Creek Conservation Area and a large property near Harrisburg.
―The objective of the field trip is to reinforce the indoor sessions and let landowners see the results of
various land management practices,‖ Stelzer said.
During the program, landowners will learn about practices and methods to manage their acreages and
provide a better habitat for wildlife. Information will range from how to assess the condition of their
forest to how to care for a woodland garden.
Woodland Steward is targeted at landowners who have never managed their property for any reason,
―And with over 90 percent of Missouri‘s private woodlands not under management, that is a very large
audience,‖ he said.
The U.S. Forestry Service has found that Missouri is among the worst states when it comes to rough
and rotten woods that result from not managing forests, Stelzer said.
Stelzer said there are other benefits as well. Healthier forests translate into more abundant wildlife, he
―Healthier forests mean more ... acorn-producing trees that can support more deer, turkey and
squirrels,‖ Stelzer said. ―Healthier forest edge, where the woods meet the field, means better habitat
for quail, rabbits and songbirds.‖
Other than wildlife, there are also many incentives for humans. Stelzer said better-managed woodlands
result in cleaner water because of the ecosystem‘s increased ability to filter out pollutants. Stelzer said
healthy forest growth slows down the runoff of sediment into streams. As in farming, roots have the
potential to absorb pesticides and excess fertilizer, he said.
Healthy forests mean higher-quality wood products that maintain and grow rural economies that
depend on Missouri‘s forests for their economic livelihood, he said.
The Columbia Daily Tribune
Campaign tills fuel tight races
Challengers overcome incumbency with cash.
By JASON ROSENBAUM of the Tribune’s staff
Monday, July 31, 2006
Although November elections might seem like an eternity away in the stifling heat of late July,
fundraising at this point of the campaign cycle could provide a discernable glimpse into the future.
James Endersby, an associate professor of political science at the University of Missouri-Columbia,
said a candidate that garners a lot of campaign dollars early in the election cycle usually dissuades
strong challengers from putting up a fight.
"For incumbents, if they can accumulate a large war chest, they can discourage even strong candidates
from mounting a strong campaign because it will difficult to beat them in the election," Endersby said.
But Endersby said that robust fundraising totals aren‘t always a reliable indicator of election results.
"The key is getting your partisans out," Endersby said. "That doesn‘t necessarily require a lot of
money. A lot of it is getting out the vote - that‘s particularly true in an off-year election."
For Sid Sullivan, getting out his core supporters will be crucial on Aug. 8. The retired businessman is
running against former Columbia Public Schools Superintendent Jim Ritter in the 24th District state
representative Democratic primary.
Although the April to July fundraising numbers show Ritter out-raising him by more than $55,000,
Sullivan isn‘t letting up on getting the word out about his candidacy.
"I‘ve been working hard to meet voters and get my issues out and try to raise the issues that matter to
voters," Sullivan said Saturday morning at the Boone County Fair ham breakfast.
He said it‘s going to take "energy" to get his supporters to the polls next Tuesday.
"My message has to resonate with them enough to come out and vote and say, ‗This race does matter,‘
" Sullivan said.
For his part, Ritter‘s not taking anything for granted.
"We‘re at this point doing a lot of door-to-door, meeting a lot of new people," Ritter said, also at the
ham breakfast. "It‘s been a real interesting campaign at this point."
Endersby said candidates who are behind their opponents in campaign funding face a steep climb to
"If a candidate has a large budget to both advertise and to mount bigger get-out-the-vote efforts, it
puts them at a distinct advantage," he said. "The advantage is going to go to the candidate who‘s raised
more money, but it‘s possible to defeat a candidate with more money. Not likely, but possible."
Meanwhile, Rep. Ed Robb, R-Columbia, and Rep. Steve Hobbs, R-Mexico, are bracing for the
possibility of facing two well-financed challengers in the fall. If Ritter wins in the primary, Robb said, it
could be one of the most expensive state representative races in Missouri‘s history.
But he said last week that Ritter‘s $63,000 in money raised - and nearly $33,000 spent - is hardly
"We expected him to raise that much money," said Robb, who has raised about $50,000 for his
campaign. "I don‘t have a primary. We don‘t have the same schedule of expenses if they did have a
Hobbs, who is running against Northern Boone County Commissioner Skip Elkin in November, said
his responsibility to his farm makes it a challenge to charge straight into an election campaign.
"When you‘re a family farmer, it makes it a little bit difficult," Hobbs said at the ham breakfast.
"Because you come out of session in May and June, that‘s when I spend all my time on a tractor. And
so, that‘s prime-time fundraising time that‘s hard to do because I‘ve got to get my crops planted, and in
the fall of the year I‘ve got to take those crops out. It makes it very interesting."
Still, Hobbs has been able to gather roughly $47,000 in the election cycle, a bit more than the $41,000
Elkin has raised since he announced his candidacy.
Endersby said a challenger who brings in a lot of money this early in the campaign could prepare an
incumbent to battle later into the campaign season.
"Once you know that you do have a viable challenge, the incumbent and the party of the incumbent is
able to respond to that," Endersby said. "Certainly at an early stage like this, never count an incumbent
Endersby said it‘s important to remember that it‘s still early in the campaign season.
"Anything can happen," he said.
Long-distance contest floats student’s boat
MU’s Katie Pfefferkorn will paddle across the state in a kayak.
By MEGAN HAM
Tuesday, August 1, 2006
On Wednesday, Katie Pfefferkorn, a fourth year MU student, will set out from Kansas City on what
she said promises to be one of the biggest adventures of her life.
Little did she know that showing up at a float trip last summer with friends with an inflatable kayak
would lead her to participate in the Missouri River 340.
The event, a 340-mile canoe and kayak race across the state on the Missouri River, begins at 8 a.m.
Wednesday at Kaw Point Park and ends at noon Sunday in St. Charles. There are 22 participants in 16
boats set to make the journey. Three are from Columbia, making two teams of paddlers. Pfefferkorn is
―I think of it as an advanced float trip,‖ Pfefferkorn said. ―I call that playing with my youth card.‖
Pfefferkorn isn‘t taking her inflatable kayak on this trip, though.
Scott Mansker, the Missouri River 340 Coordinator, spotted her kayaking in a downtown Kansas City
creek a couple weeks ago and pitched the idea of the kayaking the Missouri 340 to her.
―He said I could borrow his kayak,‖ she said. ―It was really all by chance.‖
And since then, Pfefferkorn, a chemical engineering major who is interning this summer in Kansas
City at Midcontinental Chemical Company in Overland Park, Kans., has been hitting the gym lifting
weights to increase her upper body strength.
―I really don‘t think I‘ll ever understand what it means to kayak 340 miles until after I‘ve done it,‖
Pfefferkorn said. ―So right now it‘s just a number. My only frame of reference is the time when I rode
my mountain bike 200 miles to Memphis.‖
Five years ago, Pfefferkorn and her older sister Jeanne decided on a whim to jump on their bikes and
ride to Tennessee to visit their brother. It was an example of the way
Pfefferkorn, 21, said likes to live her life. She said she knows there will come a day when she will not
be able to do things at the spur of the moment.
―If my friends know me at all, they know that this is pretty typical for me to take on an escapade like
this,‖ Pfefferkorn said. ―They laugh and shake their heads when they find out.
Mansker said the event was made for people like
Pfefferkorn. He says the event‘s main appeal is people‘s need for adventure.
―That‘s what attracts people,‖ he said. ―Years ago, it was an adventure to survive the frontier. In this
day and age, we have to manufacture our adventures.‖
Challenges certainly seem to thrill Pfefferkorn.
―I love activities like this, and I love new experiences. In all honesty, this is really me just playing
adventure girl, camping out, living on what I can carry, hanging out on the river,‖ she said. ―I know I
can always go home afterward, but until then, I‘m going to have a good time. I also like experiences
that make me appreciate what I do have in life.‖
Pfefferkorn said she expects to do well and her main goal is to have fun and finish in St. Charles.
―I think I am pretty good physical condition,‖ Pfefferkorn said. ―I‘m not out to prove anything, I just
want to enjoy myself, get to know some other people, learn about kayaking. I have a lot of patience
with myself as far as not trying to do more than I can handle. I do not see myself quitting because that
would actually create more problems than I care to deal with right now. If I get tired, I‘ll rest and
Pfefferkorn said she will probably enjoy a big dish from Olive Garden on Tuesday night to load up on
carbohydrates and said she is ready for the steamy hot days, the lonely nights and pushing herself
physically to the extreme.
―I know I come out of it with a great experience even if bad things happen and that itself is very
motivating,‖ she said. ―I am a rather positive person, too. I‘ll probably be so tickled to just be able to
have this experience.‖
Joining Pfefferkorn as a solo paddler in the race is West Hansen, 44, a canoe marathon veteran from
Austin, Texas, who has run the winding 260-mile Texas Water Safari 14 times.
―I‘m looking forward to the Missouri race because it‘s straight paddling,‖ he said. ―I‘ll start out fast and
hard before I get tired. When I get tired, I‘ll drink some coffee.
―I‘ll be done in between 40 and 48 hours. The longest I‘ve ever paddled nonstop is 54 hours.‖
The racers won‘t be left entirely on their own.
They will have spotlights on their boats, which will be equipped with cell phones. Ground crews will
meet them at regular intervals on the route, and Mansker and a partner will monitor the race from
―We‘ll keep track of where everybody is,‖ Mansker said. ―It‘s the ground crew‘s responsibility to say,
‘Hey, you need to rest,‘ or ‘Let‘s pull you out for a couple hours.‘‖
— Associated Press contributed to this report
The Columbia Daily Tribune
In crowded market, landlords dangle new lure
By ANNIE NELSON of the Tribune’s staff
Thursday, August 3, 2006
Stiff competition among Columbia‘s student apartment complexes is helping Columbia Transit add a
new bus route.
The Gold route begins Aug. 16, the week fall registration begins
at the University of Missouri-Columbia. It‘s available to anyone, Commuter route
but it was designed to run past several south Columbia student- The city bus system‘s new Gold
housing complexes. route, which is geared toward
student commuters, begins Aug.
The apartment complexes aren‘t just contributing the riders. 16. Buses will run hourly, and the
They‘re paying about half the $50,000 annual cost of operating route will operate only on
the new route, said Mark Grindstaff, the city‘s public works weekdays during fall and winter
In exchange, residents of those apartment complexes will be
able to ride the bus for free. Other students along the route will
get a 25-cent discount off the general public fare of 50 cents.
Education Realty Trust Inc., which owns The Reserve
Apartments on Old 63, is contributing $5,000 to $10,000.
Spokesman Bob Hetherington said it‘s worth the investment
because the convenience of hourly, dependable transportation
will make the Reserve more attractive to student renters.
"The bigger picture here is there are lots of choices in the"
housing "marketplace there for Mizzou," he said. "A number of
new communities have opened."
Source: City of Columbia
The Gold route will operate Monday through Friday starting at
Campus View Apartments on South Providence Road, heading Lora England graphic
south to Grindstone Parkway, then east to Old 63 and north
back to MU.
"It won‘t run during the summer or semester breaks," said Lee Radtke, marketing specialist with
The route will run from 6:15 a.m. to about 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and only during fall and
winter semesters, Radtke said. The route will leave Campus View at the top of each hour and arrive at
MU‘s Brady Commons 20 minutes before the end of the hour, giving students enough time to walk to
class, Radtke said. The last bus will leave Brady Commons at 4:35 p.m.
Columbia Transit also adjusted the Purple Route, or movie theater route, because of low ridership and
customer requests, Radtke said. "We dropped the Thursday night bus because no one was riding it,"
she said. And to make the route more accessible, it now includes a stop at Wabash Station.
Meanwhile, Columbia Transit installed eight benches and seven shelters this summer, the final
installation of a five-year project, Grindstaff said. The system now has 36 benches and 22 shelters.
Students also will be getting a better deal on their weekly bus pass. The old pass, which was printed
every week and laminated, expired every Saturday, no matter what day it was purchased. The new
seven-day Student FASTPass activates only after the first use and prints the expiration date on the
back of the card, she said, so students will get a full seven days instead of six or fewer.
New magnetic card readers and fare boxes installed in the buses last month made the change possible,
The Kansas City Star
Private firms to build UMKC housing
The $55 million complex will replace Twin Oaks towers.
By KEVIN COLLISON
Wednesday, August 2, 2006
The University of Missouri-Kansas City is turning to private developers to build a $55 million
apartment-style housing complex for students on land now occupied by the Twin Oaks Apartments.
Construction of the 514-bed Oak Street West development is scheduled to begin in October, and the
units are expected to be ready for the fall 2008 semester.
This is the first time UMKC has turned to a private developer to build housing, and only the second
time this has been done in the University of Missouri system.
―Private developers have the ability to bring more alternative financing mechanisms than public
institutions,‖ said Bob Simmons, UMKC director of campus facilities management. ―They‘re also open
to take on more risk.‖
The co-developers of the project are the nonprofit Provident Group of Baton Rouge, La., and Place
Properties of Atlanta. The agreement calls for UMKC to lease the property for 38 years and pay an
up-front development fee that is being negotiated. In return, the developers will build, lease and
manage the housing at no cost to the university.
The tax-exempt revenue bonds for the deal are expected to be sold by the Industrial Development
Authority of Kansas City. The construction of the new housing is expected to be the final chapter on
the university‘s controversial ownership of the 50-year-old Twin Oaks buildings at Oak Street and
Volker Boulevard. UMKC acquired the two 11-story towers for $7.8 million through eminent domain
The original plan was to renovate the buildings, but the up-front cost proved too expensive. The
school informed residents in January 2005 they would have to leave and contracted with the city to
handle relocation arrangements for 62 nonstudent tenants. Some of the longtime residents balked, and
the last two were not evicted until last week.
Meanwhile, UMKC decided to seek a private developer for the replacement housing project after
deciding the job was too expensive to tackle with its own resources. The cost of demolishing the Twin
Oaks alone is estimated at $4 million.
Steve E. Hicks, chairman and CEO of the Provident Group, said his firm developed its first student
housing project at Northwestern State University in Louisiana, and the UMKC project would be its
The demolition of Twin Oaks is expected to begin by Labor Day. Hicks said an implosion is being
considered as the fastest way to raze the buildings, but the final decision is up to the contractor, J.E.
Dunn Construction Co.
The new development will consist of three buildings: two four-story residence buildings with a four- to
five-story garage between them. The configuration calls for a mix of four- and six-bedroom suites
including a kitchen, a dining room and a common area. Each bedroom will have a private bathroom.
―The project looks more toward upper-division students and graduate students,‖ Simmons said. ―It
provides that last segment of housing type students are looking for — apartment-type housing with
modern amenities and secure parking.‖
UMKC already has more traditional dormitories on campus for 800 students, all developed by the
The average monthly rent per student in the new development is expected to be $580. That will
include all utilities, cable television and Internet access. There will be additional study and computer
rooms on each floor, and a separate security staff to supplement the UMKC campus police.
An additional 10,000 to 12,000 square feet in the project will be reserved for retail. A coffee shop and
small book and school supply store is expected to be located there, Hicks said. The architects for the
housing project are Gould Evans Associates of Kansas City and Niles Bolton Associates of
Even though the project is being built to be UMKC student and staff housing, Hicks said, the
agreement will allow his company to rent to students from other colleges if there is less than 90
percent occupancy by UMKC. The agreement also calls for UMKC to share in any excess revenues
generated beyond what it costs to operate the development.
The Kansas City Business Journal
UMKC residential project will offer choice, privacy
By JIM DAVIS
Tuesday, August 1, 2006
The University of Missouri-Kansas City will replace the Twin Oaks Apartments at 50th and Oak
streets with a $58 million project scheduled to open for the fall 2008 semester, a UMKC official said.
"It's an integral part of our plan to provide a diversity of (housing) choices," said Bob Simmons,
UMKC's director-campus facilities management.
The Rolla Daily News
Survivor’s family says Cook died a hero
Wednesday, August 3, 2006
(AP) Robert Cook died a hero protecting a fellow passenger, the survivor's family said Wednesday.
Australian tourist Kimberley Dear, 21, was one of only two survivors when a DeHavilland DHC-6 Twin
Otter nosedived shortly after taking off Saturday from Sullivan airport in eastern Missouri.
Her father, Bill Dear, said 22-year-old skydiving instructor Robert Cook, of Rolla, Mo., positioned his body
to protect Kimberley from the impact.
"He's a hero. There's no other way I can describe it," Bill Dear told Nine Network Australian television
from his daughter's St. Louis hospital bedside. "It was utterly amazing."
Dear said Cook realized the plane would crash and calmly told his daughter what to expect.
Cook attached himself to the woman with a harness they were to use in a tandem jump and pulled her close
as the plane plummeted.
"He said to her: 'As the plane is about to hit the ground, make sure you're on top of me so that I'll take the
force of the impact,'" Dear said.
"The plane actually hit, they believe, a power pole or a power line and it went into a vertical situation, and
she became a little bit disoriented, but she felt Robert actually twist his body around until Kim was on top
of him and when the plane hit the ground, he took the full force of the impact," Dear said.
Kimberley Dear suffered muscle tears around her spine, a broken pelvis and collar bone, cuts, concussion
and severe bruising, her father said. The second survivor was also hospitalized with serious injuries.
Kimberley's sister Tracey said Cook must have known he was giving his life for someone else.
"The only thing I can think of is saying: Thank you so much," Tracey told Nine in the southern city of
Melbourne. "I would do that for her but I can't believe that a stranger who just met her would knowingly
give up his life for her. I just want his family to know we appreciate that from the bottom of our heart."
Kimberley is not expected to return to Australia for 10 weeks, her sister said.
The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the crash and believes it may have resulted from
The Rolla Daily News
UMR student dies in Sullivan plane crash
By JAIME BARANYAI
Tuesday, August 1, 2006
SULLIVAN -- A University of Missouri-Rolla student was killed when the plane he was on with seven
other skydivers crashed near a house shortly after takeoff from the Sullivan Regional Airport Saturday
Robert Blake Cook, 22, of Rolla, a senior majoring in civil engineering at UMR, was one of six people killed
when a DeHavilland DHC-6 Twin Otter aircraft experienced engine trouble that caused the plane to
nosedive just feet from homes near the airport.
The victims include Scott Cowan, who along with his brother, Jim, co-owned Quantum Leap Skydiving
Inc., the Sullivan-based company whose plane took off about 2 p.m. Saturday and crashed just minutes
later. Cowan was piloting the plane, Franklin County Medical Examiner Michael Copeland said Sunday.
Cowan was from Sullivan. The other victims were Melissa Berridge, 38, of St. Louis; Robert Walsh, 44, of
Webster Groves; Victoria Delacroix, 22, of Dittmer, and David Paternoster, 35, of Claycomo. Cowan,
Cook, Berridge and Walsh died at the scene. Delacroix and Paternoster died later Saturday at St. John‘s
Mercy Medical Center in Creve Couer, where two of the plane‘s other passengers are still hospitalized. Steve
Parrella, 46, of St. Louis, remains in critical condition. The other injured passenger, Kimberly Ellen Dear,
21, of Dittmer, is in serious condition.
There are still a lot of questions surrounding the cause of the crash and Federal Aviation Administration
(FAA) and National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) officials are conducting an investigation. Ed
Malinowski, an air safety investigator from NTSB, said a witness at the Sullivan airport saw the plane‘s right
engine burst into flames shortly after it took off. Malinowski said a preliminary report on the crash is not
yet available and a final report won‘t be finished for at least six months. Franklin County Sheriff Gary
Toelke said the plane apparently struck a utility pole, then landed nose-first into a tree less than 50 feet from
a house. No one on the ground was hurt.
Kelly Hinson, 34, of St. Claire, who was working at Quantum Leap at the time of the crash, said he did not
see the plane hit the ground but was one of the first people to rush to the scene.
―At this point a lot of it‘s still speculation. The only thing we know is that the plane did have a right engine
failure, but anything beyond that right now is still speculation. The FAA and the NTSB are out here
investigating,‖ Hinson said.
While the investigation continues, families and friends of the victims are mourning the loss of their loved
ones and praying for the recovery of those who were injured.
Students and faculty at UMR were shocked and sadden to learn of Cook‘s death.
―Everyone in the department was sad to hear of our loss,‖ Dr. Joel Burkin, associate professor of civil
engineering at UMR and Cook‘s academic advisor, said. ―He was a good student, but I don‘t remember him
for that. I remember him for the vibrant person that he was. He was very personable.‖
Burkin remembers Cook always asked the most interesting questions during his Introduction to
Environmental Engineering class.
―He was always the one to ask interesting questions,‖ Burkin said. ―He just had a real interest in life and he
was always happy.‖
But Cook didn‘t always like to stick to engineering topics, Burkin recalls, but would frequently talk about
skydiving before and after class.
―He would always hang around after class and talk about it and show me pictures,‖ Burkin said. ―He loved
skydiving and he was putting himself through college by being a skydiving instructor. He lived to skydive --
that was his passion in life.‖
Burkin said Cook was proud of the fact his skydiving was helping him pay for school.
―As much as he loved skydiving, he wasn‘t planning to make it a career or a profession,‖ Burkin said. ―So
he was getting an education and hoping to get into a profession that would allow him a lot of time to
skydive on the side.‖
Hinson, who has been skydiving at Quantum Leap since it opened 14 years ago and is also an instructor,
said Cook was incredibly enthusiastic about skydiving.
―Robert had been an instructor with us for two years; this is what he did for a living while he was going to
school at UMR,‖ Hinson said. ―He was the most excited person about skydiving that you‘d ever want to
meet. He didn‘t care if he was doing a 30-way formation, a solo dive or a tandem jump -- he just wanted to
It was hard for Hinson to find the words to describe his best friend, Cowan.
―Scottie was my best friend in the world,‖ he said. ―When he opened the drop zone 14 years I ago I was
one of his first students and we‘ve been best friends ever since. He was the greatest person in the world. He
Cowan also loved to fly planes and skydive. Cowan and his brother Jim had been involved in skydiving
since childhood when their family owned Ripcord West Parachute Center in suburban St. Louis in the
1970s and 1980s. Cowan and his brother started skydiving at the age of 16 and have more than 13,000
jumps between them. The two were expert skydivers and instructors. They were also members of the
United States Parachute Team, and won four world championships and several national skydiving
championships since 1990.
―I started skydiving when I was 16 (although now you have to be 18 years old), and I‘ve been in the air ever
since,‖ Cowan told the Rolla Daily News in an interview last year.
But skydiving wasn‘t the only time Cowan was in the air. In addition to owning and running Quantum
Leap, he was also a commercial airline pilot for American Airlines.
―I absolutely love being in the air,‖ he said during the interview. ―I‘m in the air 365 days of the year whether
it‘s to skydive or fly a plane.‖
Hinson went on to remember his fellow Quantum Leap instructor Paternoster.
―Dave had almost 2,000 skydives and this was his first year as an instructor with us,‖ he said. ―He was a big
man, but he was a phenomenal skydiver. He was a natural in the air.‖
Walsh was another long-time skydiver at Quantum Leap who served as the company‘s video and camera
―Rob has been our main skydiver videographer for 14 years,‖ Hinson said. ―He was one of the greatest guys
you could meet. He was a guy who would literally take the shirt off his back and put it on you if you needed
it. There was nothing the man wouldn‘t do for his friends.‖
While some people on board were experience skydivers, others were making a jump for the first time.
―[Victoria] Delacroix and Kimberly Dear were making their first tandem skydives,‖ Hinson said. ―Kimberly
survived, but Victoria didn‘t. Kimberly has multiple broken bones, but she should make a full recovery.‖
Berridge was the other young woman who died in the crash. Hinson said she had recently received her
Accelerated Freefall (AFF) training.
―Melissa was new to skydiving, but she had a huge enthusiasm for the sport,‖ he said. ―She had a rough
time as a student, but she never gave up. She wanted to skydive.‖
Hinson said Parrella, who is still fighting for his life, was one of Quantum Leap‘s best skydiving instructors.
―He‘s been an instructor with us for about two years and he‘s probably got about 1,500 skydives,‖ he said.
―He‘s probably the best skydiving instructor that we have. If you want to learn how to skydive, Steve is the
man to teach you how to jump out of a plane. He‘s also a video guy and that‘s what he was doing on this
jump for the two girls.‖
The only word Hinson could use to describe the tragedy that took the lives of his best friends was
―horrible.‖ The accident was not only tragic for Quantum Leap families and friends, but to skydivers
―This was such a tragic event to hear about,‖ Michael Dancer, a UMR student who skydives at Archway
Skydiving Center in Vandalia, Ill., said. ―It is times like this that remind us all of the inherent danger
involved with skydiving. My thoughts and prayers go out to everyone at Quantum Leap, especially to the
family of those who were lost and to those who were injured.‖
Springfield Business Journal
Governor’s chief of staff takes MSU job
By SBJ STAFF
Monday, July 31, 2006
Missouri Gov. Matt Blunt‘s right-hand man has joined the administrative staff at Missouri State
University, bringing with him nearly 33 years of experience in the public sector.
Ken McClure was named associate vice president for administrative services at MSU and will begin
Aug. 28. Blunt on Friday accepted McClure‘s resignation as his chief of staff, a position McClure held
since Blunt took office in January 2005.
McClure, 55, will replace Fred Marty, who retired in March.
With a salary of $95,000, McClure will be responsible for four major areas under administrative and
information services: environmental management, facilities management, safety and transportation and
―All of us were impressed with Ken‘s background in these areas,‖ said Greg Burris, vice president for
administrative and information services at MSU, in a news release. ―Add to that his knowledge of the
Springfield community, state government (and) federal government, and you have an enviable
McClure also will be involved in the planning of JQH Arena, the Jordan Valley Innovation Center,
MSU‘s contract with the Springfield Police Substation and ongoing partnerships with neighborhoods
Before joining Blunt‘s staff, McClure held positions with City Utilities, the Missouri Public Service
Commission, the Missouri Department of Economic Development and the Missouri Senate
McClure, who retained a Springfield residence while working in Jefferson City, holds a bachelor‘s
degree in history from MSU and a master‘s degree in history from the University of Missouri.
The Kansas City Star
A word to the wired
A high-tech shopping list for students
By DAVID HAYES
Sunday, July 30, 2006
What a difference a generation makes.
When I went off to the University of Missouri in some undisclosed year in the past, the only electronics
that arrived with me were an electric typewriter and a cassette player.
The class of 2010 — about 1.5 million strong — will check into dorms and campuses lugging enough
electronics to choke a power plant.
Here‘s some of the gear on college must-have and wish lists.
Freshmen heading off to Northwest Missouri State University this fall are being handed a university-
provided Gateway laptop. Not all universities are that generous.
That means your largest back to school purchase this year may be a computer.
There used to be a debate about which was better — laptop or desktop. Laptops were too expensive and
didn‘t offer enough power and bells and whistles to satisfy some students.
Debate over. The price gap between laptops and desktops has almost disappeared. New laptops rival
desktops in both power and features.
Prices still are all over the field — local retailers have advertised laptops for under $400 and over $2,400.
Sizes vary, too, from ultraportables with 12-inch screens that weigh less than 4 pounds to desktop
replacements that weigh in at 8 pounds or more and have 17-inch widescreen monitors.
Consider how it will be used before buying. First off, do the college and your student favor Microsoft or
Will it be carried to classes and the library on a regular basis? Look for small and light, such as the HP
Pavilion dv1000, which weighs in a little more than 5 pounds but costs less than $800. HP also is trying to
lure buyers with a 15 percent student discount. The 13-inch, $1,700 Apple MacBook has features found in
more expensive machines and weighs 5 pounds.
Looking for a desktop replacement for a student who wants power for graphics or computer gaming more
than portability? Check out desktop replacements such as the Toshiba Qosmio and the 17-inch Apple
MacBook Pro. Both have a price of more than $2,000.
Whatever you buy, don‘t forget about security. Laptop theft is a serious problem on most college campuses.
There are a lot of cable locks that fit through slots on laptops. The cables can be used to lock the computer
to a chair or desk. At $30, it‘s a cheap investment.
The best of the bunch may be the Kensington MicroSaver Alarmed Lock, a cable lock that includes an
alarm if the cable is cut. It sells for about $50.
It‘s not so much about the printer in a college dorm room, it‘s about space.
Check out the HP PSC 1510, which does quadruple duty as printer, copier, scanner and fax. It takes about
a little over a square foot of desk space and sells for under $100.
TV or not TV
Eventually, most parents lose this one. While most dorm floors have a community television set, most
dorm rooms end up with a TV.
When buying a computer, you may be able to save some shopping time and space by choosing a laptop
with a built-in TV tuner card. It can do triple-duty as TV, DVD player and computer.
If you‘re going the TV route, consider buying a set with a built-in DVD player. Chances are the room will
need one, and a built-in takes up less space.
The Toshiba MW14F51 is a traditional 14-inch CRT television with built-in VHS and DVD players. It sells
for under $200. If space is an issue, and budget isn‘t, check out the Toshiba 15DLV76. The 15-inch LCD
thin-screen TV has a built-in DVD player and sells for under $450.
If your student doesn‘t have one yet, this will almost certainly be on her Christmas list.
Think Apple iPod Nano. There are other MP3 players out there that do the job as well or better, but
Apple has the cachet and owns this market. Don‘t even fight it.
Consider security. Anything small enough to fit in a shirt pocket is easy to steal.
The Targus iPod Mobile Security Lock features a compact case that houses a retractable cable and
combination lock. The device attaches to any iPod, and a cable can be looped through a strap on a
backpack, a handle on a briefcase or around and through any other object. It sells for about $40.
When my daughter went off to Lake Forest College a couple of years ago, there were a lot of upset
parents on campus during orientation weekend.
Before they hit campus, many parents had signed their students up, or added them on, as Verizon Wireless
customers. When they arrived on campus, they found Verizon service there was pretty much nonexistent.
Assume a cell phone is just as important as a computer. Some colleges have even removed in-dorm phones.
Before you buy, ask college housing officials and current students which service works best on campus.
The Columbia Daily Tribune
McClain to the rescue, again
Friday, July 28, 2006
The state of Missouri has the perfect interim commissioner for the Coordinating Board for Higher
Education to replace Gregory Fitch, who leaves to take a similar job in Alabama.
Charles McClain will serve until a permanent replacement is found. During that period, the board will
not miss a lick.
As president, McClain led Northeast Missouri State University during its momentous transition from a
nondescript regional school to a nationally recognized public liberal arts college. I‘m no historian of
Missouri higher education, but I daresay no institution in the state ever has benefited from such a
reformation, at least in modern times. The school now known as Truman State University remains
widely recognized as one of the best education values in America, as able successors carry on the
After retiring from the Truman job, McClain served a successful term as permanent coordinating
board commissioner, accomplishing about as much as the restraints of that job allow.
Since his "retirement," McClain has become the utility infielder of Missouri education, stepping into
several challenging positions, including oversight of the troubled Kansas City School District, a job
sure to torment the most patient practitioner. The rest of his résumé defies detailed documentation
here. If you want to know the whole story, settle down for a longish period of study.
Let us simply say he‘s the perfect interim director for the coordinating board, and Missouri is lucky he
The St. Louis Post – Dispatch
Leaders plan biofuel initiative
By RACHEL MELCER
Wednesday, August 2, 2006
St. Louis is ready to make its "moon shot" in biofuels, say local business, civic and science leaders.
Turning plants into a renewable energy source for transportation may not be as dramatic as meeting the
1960s goal of putting a man on the moon. But some of the elements are the same: a presidential challenge,
daunting scientific barriers, a national security need and the potential for great economic return.
In a few weeks, the local consortium will unveil a think tank and research initiative aimed at reaching the
biofuel stars. It links local strengths in science, policy and industry - from Washington University and the
Donald Danforth Plant Science Center to national commodity groups, DuPont and Monsanto.
The U.S. Department of Energy could become a potentially huge source of funds. The department
announced Wednesday it will spend $250 million to establish two bioenergy research centers, and St. Louis'
biofuel leaders say they will submit a proposal.
"The goal is good and the goal is big," said Dr. Ganesh Kishore, chief biotechnology officer for DuPont,
who works at its soybean-processing business unit, St. Louis-based Solae LLC.
Kishore heads a working group of the St. Louis Regional Chamber & Growth Association that for three
years has been studying local biofuel assets. The group came up with a long list of potential contributors to
what would become a biofuel research center.
"I look at this as a fantastic opportunity," Kishore said. "This is a global objective, and one I hope we
The Energy Department invited universities, national laboratories, nonprofit agencies and private firms to
submit proposals early next year for grants that will be awarded in late summer.
Washington University will make a bid, most likely in collaboration with other regional partners, said
Chancellor Mark Wrighton. Washington University also is actively recruiting academic stars to build on
already significant local strengths.
"It's hard to find an area as prepared as St. Louis" with its scientific institutions, agribusinesses and
surrounding farm production, Wrighton said. "We have all the essential assets that would be required to
make a major contribution."
St. Louis received an early positive review from an Energy Department official.
"The Monsanto and other programs that you have in St. Louis are world-leading in the genetic modification
of plants," said Raymond Orbach, undersecretary for science.
But other regions also have relevant strengths and "they all will be judged equally on their merits," he said.
The Bioenergy Research Centers will be aimed at making breakthroughs to develop biofuel production of
the future, rather than simply modifying today's corn-to-ethanol and soybean-to-biodiesel processes,
Orbach said. One goal is to find the holy grail of bioenergy: A way to convert abundant, fibrous plant
material such as corn stalks, trees or grasses into material that can be fermented into liquid fuel suitable for
cars. It would be like turning the oceans into potable water.
Doing so is key to meeting the national goal of replacing 30 percent of transportation fuels with biofuels by
2030, Orbach said. Scientists agree the process will involve cutting-edge science and knowledge of how
genes and proteins work, in order to genetically modify both the plants to be processed and the enzymes
used in fermenting them.
The St. Louis effort involves creating a national nonprofit think tank to act as a biofuel information
clearinghouse, organizers said.
"By looking at all opportunities, all constraints and all responsibilities in a group of scientists and
economists, policy makers and industrialists and so forth, we will have a better vision of what the central
theme of the St. Louis region can be, more than just a desire to do research," said Roger Beachy, president
of the Danforth Plant Science Center in Creve Coeur.
James McLaren, founder of StrathKirn Inc., a Chesterfield science and business consulting firm, drafted a
regional biofuels road map for the Plant Science Center and the RCGA. He recommended taking a
approach, rather than joining a national rush of regions seeking grant money and acclaim in specific
The local institute would combine science, policy and marketing approaches to create biofuels that can be
efficiently produced, distributed and sold. Most of its data would be made public.
In addition, local organizers want to add players who haven't participated in the region's biotech push:
energy companies; national commodity groups with local headquarters, such as the National Corn Growers
and American Soybean associations; and big corporations with specific expertise, such as Anheuser-Busch
Cos. with its knowledge of fermentation, or turning plant matter into alcohol.
The pleas to most of those groups have not yet gone out, Kishore said.
The result could be a national center for excellence in biofuels, where the best and brightest join to power
cars with a source that is renewable, doesn't contribute to global warming or require government subsidies,
and isn't reliant on unstable governments in remote corners of the world.
Outside of St. Louis, there is skepticism.
"I very much doubt St. Louis will be the only center of this kind of technology" in the country, said C. Ford
Runge, director of the Center for International Food and Agriculture Policy and the McNight professor of
applied economics and law at the University of Minnesota. Most other regions are trying technology-
specific approaches, however, and "it's better to try to think of this technology broadly than it is to burrow
in on very specific, silver-bullet kinds of approaches," he said.
Scientific and economic returns also won't come immediately.
"There will be, in this arena, important technological advances that will spur major interest on the economic
development side," Wrighton said. "And we're going to have a comprehensive approach to this. It's not
without its challenges - but here is a national challenge that St. Louis can help to meet. It's very exciting."
The Kansas City Star
College ‘bubble’ is about to burst
The 1980s-1990s baby boomlet will have degrees by 2009. Schools are strategizing now.
By PATRICK KERKSTRA, The Philadelphia Inquirer
Tuesday, August 1, 2006
These are bountiful days for colleges and universities, inundated as they are with more and better
applicants than ever.
Schools that less than a decade ago were eagerly accepting any remotely qualified student have the
luxury of turning away even standouts, confident in the knowledge that plenty of stronger candidates
are lined up to pay tuition.
But it won't last much longer.
Fueling the current college admissions frenzy are the "baby boomletters" born in the late 1980s and
early '90s. By 2009, the last of them will reach college age, heralding the first sustained decline in the
number of graduating high school students in nearly two decades.
The drop is expected to be about 4 percent nationwide, but far sharper in the Northeast, according to
the U.S. Department of Education. In Pennsylvania, a 10 percent decline is predicted. New Jersey's
larger, and growing, Latino and Asian student populations mean that state probably will fare better
than most, with an anticipated drop of just 2 percent.
The fall-off everywhere will be particularly steep among white students, who historically have been
more likely than minority students to attend college.
All of which suggests that considerably fewer students will be vying for entry to Philadelphia-area
colleges. Good news, perhaps, for the applicants - but not for the schools.
"Some institutions are going to struggle to find students," said Brian Prescott, a researcher for the
Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education, a policy organization created by the legislatures
of 15 states. It has projected the number of high school graduates nationwide since the 1960s.
Traditionally, public institutions and elite private universities have so many more applicants than
available seats that they should be able to weather the downturn without much trouble. Harvard,
Prescott said, will still be Harvard.
"But an average private college in Pennsylvania may not be able to maintain the same level and quality
of students, while their competitors in the Southeast or the West may be OK," Prescott said.
Administrators at local private institutions as diverse as Chestnut Hill College, Drexel University, St.
Joseph's University, and two-year Harcum College in Bryn Mawr say they already are preparing for the
coming shortage. In an effort to maintain the dramatic enrollment gains they've made, many are
extending their recruiting efforts to faster-growing states, as well as adopting new academic programs
to appeal to a wider pool of students.
"The nice thing is, you can pretty well predict when someone's going to turn 18, so we've been able to
systematically look at this and find a way to sustain our numbers beginning in 2009," said Barbara
Elliott, director of enrollment management at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia.
The school has done well by the baby boomlet, boosting enrollment by more than 60 percent since
1997 to the nearly 2,300 students expected this fall. According to Elliott, full-time recruiters have been
hired in California and Florida, two states where the supply of high school students will grow or at
least remain steady.
"It's not clear that a school in the cold Northeast can attract a large number of students from sunny
states 2,000 miles away," Prescott said.
Nonetheless, Elliott said, another University of the Arts recruiter is being contemplated for Texas.
Drexel also has aggressively reinvented itself as a university with national reach, creating such a large
pool of applicants that its leaders are confident they will hardly feel the pop when the enrollment
"We knew there would be a bubble, so the strategy was to increase our applications so much that even
if we have a drop there will still be many students for us to choose from," Drexel president
Constantine Papadakis said. He said Drexel got about 18,500 applications this year for 2,300 spots.
For schools whose very existence had once been threatened by low enrollments, the bubble has
provided a grace period during which to retool their academic offerings.
In 2002, Harcum's incoming fall class was a paltry 198 students. This fall the school expects more than
400, many of whom are enrolling in programs established in the last four years.
Chestnut Hill College went much further, converting itself into a coeducational institution in 2003.
That move, paired with the boomlet, has helped nearly triple the number of students at the once-ailing
school, to about 1,000 in the last academic year.
There are factors that could mitigate the effects of the bursting bubble on schools like Chestnut Hill.
The share of high school graduates who go on to higher education has been steadily increasing in
recent years. If that continues, the number of total applications could slope gently downward instead
There also is an opportunity to recruit students from the nation's rapidly growing supply of Latino
high school graduates, which Prescott's organization predicts will rise by 14 percent in Pennsylvania
and 16 percent in New Jersey by the 2013-14 school year.
"The hope and the plan is that everything we've done will be able to offset the decline we all know is
coming," Elliott said. "We'll find out soon."
The Columbia Daily Tribune & MSNBC.com
Colleges warn about networking sites
By JUSTIN POPE, AP Education Writer
Wednesday, August 2, 2006
Incoming college students are hearing the usual warnings this summer about the dangers of everything
from alcohol to credit card debt. But many are also getting lectured on a new topic - the risks of
Internet postings, particularly on popular social networking sites such as Facebook.
From large public schools such as Western Kentucky to smaller private ones like Birmingham-
Southern and Smith, colleges around the country have revamped their orientation talks to students and
parents to include online behavior. Others, Susquehanna University and Washington University in St.
Louis among them, have new role-playing skits on the topic that students will watch and then break
into smaller groups to discuss.
Facebook, geared toward college students and boasting 7.5 million registered users, is a particular
focus. But students are also hearing stories about those who came to regret postings to other online
venues, from party photos on sites such as Webshots.com to comments about professors in blogs.
"The particular focus is the public nature of this," said Tracy Tyree, Susquehanna's dean of student life.
"That seems to be what surprises students most. They think of it as part of their own little world, not a
bigger electronic world."
The attention colleges are devoting to the topic is testimony both to the exploding popularity of online
networking on campus, and to the time and energy administrators have spent dealing with the fallout
when students post things that become more public than they intended.
Northwestern temporarily suspended its women's soccer program last spring after hazing photos
surfaced online, while athletes at Elon College, Catholic University, Wake Forest and the University of
Iowa were also disciplined or investigated. At least one school, Kent State in Ohio, banned athletes
from using Facebook.com, and other coaches have reportedly done the same.
Non-athletes at numerous schools from North Carolina State to Northern Kentucky have been busted
for alcohol violations based on digital photographs. Students at Penn State were punished for rushing
the field at a football game. A University of Oklahoma freshman's joke in Facebook about
assassinating President Bush prompted a visit from the Secret Service.
"I think they don't realize that others have" so much access, said Aaron Laushway, associate dean of
students at the University of Virginia, which first incorporated the topic into orientation a year ago.
Many colleges tell students they won't actively patrol online profiles to look for evidence of
wrongdoing - but they are obliged to respond to complaints (at Susquehanna, Tyree says, rival
fraternities like to rat each other out by pointing out photos involving alcohol to administrators).
The real concern, they are trying to persuade students, is the unintended off-campus audience.
Facebook users need a ".edu" e-mail address and can view complete profiles only of users at their
colleges unless identified as a "friend" by the profile's owner. So most students feel confident they are
addressing an audience of peers. Maybe they shouldn't be so sure.
Police are increasingly monitoring the sites. And it's not hard for prospective employers to get a ".edu"
e-mail address from an alumnus or an intern, and recruiters are increasingly trolling the Internet to
scope out prospective hires.
"They may be looking at these sites wondering if there's a personality fit with their company culture,"
said Tim Luzader, director of Purdue's center for career opportunities. A recent survey there found
that a third of employers recruiting there ran job applicants' names through search engines, and 12
percent said they looked at social networking sites.
News reports of online stalkers warn there are potential personal safety issues, too. Tara Redmon, who
oversees the orientation program and transition program at Western Kentucky, said one inspiration for
adding the topic this year was talking to a student who had put her dorm address and room number on
a posted profile, never considering the risk.
College administrators say they can't - and wouldn't want to - keep students off sites such as Facebook.
Many welcome the kind of community-building the sites facilitate, and they recognize they have
become an important, and usually harmless, venue for the kind of identity formation and presentation
that's an important part of the college experience.
The sites actually help with one of the major goals of orientation: bonding. At Birmingham Southern,
dozens of members of the incoming class of about 350 had already formed a Class of 2010 Facebook
group long before the start of school.
"That's great," said Renie Moss, the school's dean of students. "That's what should be happening,
forming that camaraderie. But we're hoping to just maybe give the students a moment to pause and
make sure they put out something they can be proud of."
The Chronicle of Higher Education
NCAA Officials Establish New Penalties for Teams With Consistently Poor Academic
By SARA LIPKA
Friday, August 4, 2006
College teams whose players struggle academically year after year will soon be subject to more-severe
penalties from the National Collegiate Athletic Association.
On Thursday the NCAA's Division I Board of Directors announced a new structure for "historical"
penalties, which are imposed if a team's academic performance lags consistently over a four-year
period. Performance is measured by an "academic-progress rate," scored on a scale of 1 to 1,000, and
based on whether athletes stay enrolled and make adequate progress toward their degrees.
Teams that have had academic-progress rates below 900 -- the score that corresponds to about a 50-
percent graduation rate -- for the past four years would receive a public warning the next spring and be
subject to penalties, beginning in the 2007-8 academic year. Among possible penalties would be further
reducing scholarships and recruiting privileges, or, in extreme cases, banning postseason play and
revoking NCAA membership.
"These are the most severe penalties that institutions and teams can incur. These are penalties for the
worst of the worst," Walter Harrison, president of the University of Hartford and chairman of the
NCAA's Committee on Academic Progress, said during a news conference on Thursday.
The first four-year period measured would be from 2003-4 to 2006-7, and NCAA officials estimate
that approximately 300 teams could be in the danger zone.
Currently, in what the NCAA calls "contemporaneous" penalties, teams with academic progress rates
below 925 in any one year can lose up to 10 percent of the scholarships they are normally allowed to
"As with each stage of our academic reforms -- from enhanced eligibility standards to sharper
measurements of progress toward degree -- the goal is to help teams and student athletes improve, not
to penalize," Myles Brand, president of the NCAA, said in a written statement. "The historically based
phase of reform ... accurately identifies those teams that are consistently underperforming and prompts
them to attain a higher level of academic achievement."
A team subject to "historical" penalties may escape them if its academic-progress rate seems to be
improving, if its academic performance compares favorably to that of other students at the same
institution, or if its institution's per-capita educational expenses are significantly lower than those of
other institutions in Division I.
The NCAA made a few other announcements on Thursday, after meetings of its presidential and
executive committees. They include the following:
The association's Executive Committee has denied the appeals of both the College of William
and Mary and McMurry University to continue using American Indian symbols in athletic
competition. Teams from those institutions "will only be invited to participate in NCAA
championships if they elect to do so without Native American references on their uniforms,"
said Mr. Harrison, who added that the symbols "could lead to hostile or abusive
environments." (William and Mary's nickname is the Tribe and McMurry's is the Lady
Two proposals for Division I are subject to overrides by member institutions in the coming
months. One is a new rule that would permit a graduate of one institution who had remaining
athletic eligibility to play for another institution as a graduate student. Another measure
subject to override is the defeat of a proposal to allow 12-game football seasons for teams in
Division II has signed a three-year agreement with College Sports Television, or CSTV, its
first network contract for the broadcast of regular-season games. Division II also proposed
creating two separate football championships for teams offering varying numbers of athletics
scholarships. That championship structure, if approved, would take effect in the 2009 season.
The Division III Presidents Council has recommended that the division continue its current
membership moratorium until January 2008. The council is now weighing various proposals
on the issue of capping membership, and those proposals will be up for a vote at the NCAA
Convention in January. Division III also plans to implement a two-year pilot program for drug
education and testing in 2007.