UM System audit reveals millions in ‘inappropriate’ payments

“Inappropriate” bonus payments to university employees — totaling over $2 million — were sometimes marked as incentives but had no specific criteria, according to the Missouri state auditor in a report released Monday.

Funds were also dispersed for luxury vehicle allowances, even though a mileage reimbursement system might have been more efficient.

Read the full story from the Columbia Missourian, KOMU 8 News and the Columbia Daily Tribune.

Sen. Blunt relocates Columbia office

Paying a visit to Republican Sen. Roy Blunt’s Columbia office this week?

Don’t head downtown — it isn’t there.

Read the story from KOMU 8 News here.

Revisiting Columbia’s shantytown legacy

The University of Missouri has a long history of protests.

In 2015, a group of students under the banner of “Concerned Student 1950” camped out on the Carnahan Quadrangle to protest racism at the school’s flagship Columbia campus, confronting what they saw as an inappropriate silence from university officials.

Jonathan Butler, a graduate student and leader of the movement, staged a week-long hunger strike. This triggered support from the football team, which began a boycott of all sports-related activity to undergird Butler’s effort.

The national news media caught the story. Soon, the entire country had its eyes on MU.

Continue reading “Revisiting Columbia’s shantytown legacy”

Missouri’s new first lady

Who is Missouri’s new first lady?

Besides holding degrees from Harvard, Stanford and Oxford, Sheena Greitens also teaches political science at the University of Missouri.

An excellent article in this morning’s Columbia Missourian tells her story.

 

UM System gets new president

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Dr. Mun Y. Choi will serve as the 24th president of the four-campus University of Missouri System, officially stepping into the role and replacing Interim President Mike Middleton next spring.

The UM Board of Curators announced their new hire during a news conference in Jefferson City Wednesday morning. During the event, Choi spoke to the press and answered questions from reporters.

Choi will replace former system president Tim Wolfe, whose resignation was triggered by racially-charged protests at the university system’s flagship campus in Columbia last fall. The protests, which earned national media attention, also resulted in the resignation of R. Bowen Loftin, the chancellor heading the main campus.

The UM Board of Curators released a statement Monday signaling the end of their nearly year-long search for a new president. At the time, Choi was speculated as the pick, but was not officially confirmed until days later.

 

MU enrollment drops

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Student enrollment at the University of Missouri has declined by over 2,000, according to preliminary totals the school released Monday.

The decrease was expected, but still presents a problem: Fewer students means less tuition revenue.

Some believe last year’s racially-charged protests, which resulted in the resignations of UM System President Tim Wolfe and MU Chancellor R. Bowen Loftin, had an effect on enrollment totals. Others point to changing high school demographics and competition from colleges in neighboring states.

Even with the budget shortfall, there is still room for hope. According to the university, the newest freshman class boasts record-setting ACT scores.

Read KOMU’s coverage of the story here and the Missourian’s coverage here.

Sen. Schaefer followed by protestors after meet and greet venue change

A meet and greet with Sen. Kurt Schaefer, R-Columbia, was cancelled at the last minute on Friday, then suddenly changed to a different venue.

The event, a private meeting between Schaefer and the Mizzou College Republicans, was originally meant to be held at the Heidelberg in downtown Columbia. Fearing the ire of protestors, Schaefer’s campaign changed the location to an upstairs meeting room at the MU Student Center.

The protestors weren’t fooled, however. As Schaefer calmly spoke to the Mizzou College Republicans inside the closed room, dozens gathered outside in protest. Chants of “shame on Schaefer” could be heard through the doors.

Schaefer is currently running for state attorney general.

Read the Missourian’s coverage of the event here.

[Editor’s Note: This post has been updated to include events following the meeting’s change of venue.]