Nixon appoints two new UM System curators

Wednesday, July 8, 2009 | 12:01 a.m. CDT

COLUMBIA — The new appointees to the University of Missouri System Board of Curators say their business backgrounds will help them navigate the university system's finances.

On Tuesday, Gov. Jay Nixon appointed media owner David Bradley of St. Joseph and former state legislator Wayne Goode of St. Louis to the board, which governs the four-campus system. 

"The governor is very pleased that both these gentlemen have accepted his appointment," said Scott Holste, a spokesman for Nixon. "He looks forward to them taking the UM System in a progressive direction."

The two appointees take over immediately for outgoing curators Cheryl Walker of St. Louis and Don Walsworth of Marceline, Holste said. But the two appointees still have to be confirmed in a hearing before the Missouri Senate next session.

“We appreciate the service and leadership of Cheryl Walker and Don Walsworth,” UM System President Gary Forsee said in a statement. “We look forward to working with David Bradley and Wayne Goode as we continue to make the University of Missouri a world-class public research university.”

Bradley, 59, is the longtime president of the News-Press & Gazette Co. He has also served as editor and publisher of the St. Joseph News-Press.

Bradley, who has bachelor's degrees in journalism and political science from Syracuse University, said the appointment was unexpected.

"I’m very flattered that the governor has the confidence in me to give me this appointment to the university," said Bradley, a Republican. "I hope to make a contribution to the system to keep it on the leading edge."

Bradley said he wants to capitalize on the system's research capabilities.

"Missouri needs jobs. It (UM) does a lot of research that helps the state," he said.

Bradley said that finances in the wake of the recession are at the front of his mind, and that he thinks his background can help the UM System.

"We’re going to be going through some pretty tight economic times with the budget being constrained," Bradley said. "I hope to bring a business background so taxpayers can get the biggest bang for their buck. We need to make sure the university gets funded properly and tuition doesn’t get out of reach for students."

Goode, 71, is a former Democratic state legislator who served as a representative from 1963 to 1985 and as a senator from 1985 to 2005. Goode said he was excited to be appointed because he has close ties with the UM System. He, his wife and his son graduated from MU.

"I’ve always been involved in higher education issues," Goode said. "In 1963, I sponsored legislation that started what ended up being the University of Missouri-St. Louis.”

Goode said financial stability and the UM System budget are priorities for him.

"I’ve spent my adult lifetime dealing with budget issues. It’s at the heart of everything," he said.

Goode said the decision by Forsee and Nixon not to increase tuition was one reason he was confident that the system is headed in the right direction.

Goode said his time in the legislature will help him as a curator. For now, however, he's taking things slow. First, he said, "I need to get reacquainted with the university. I need to get to know all the curators."

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