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A look back at Forsee's three years as UM System president

Friday, January 7, 2011 | 3:57 p.m. CST

The major events in Gary Forsee's tenure as the UM System president:

Feb. 18, 2008 — Gary Forsee assumes presidency of the University of Missouri system.

March 2008 — The House Budget Committee Chairman Rep. Allen Icet, R-St. Louis County, announces state funds might be reduced by more than $17 million.

April 2008 — At a meeting in Rolla, the UM System Board of Curators unanimously approves a 4.1 percent tuition increase.

  • In his first State of the University report, Forsee presents data from the 2008 U.S. News and World Report ranking of colleges and universities.  MU dropped from 88th in 2007 to 91st.

June 2008 — UM receives a 4.2 percent increase in the fiscal year 2009 operating budget from the legislature. The amount is less than the state's 2001 level due to a string of state budget cuts that began in 2001. Missouri ranks No. 47 in per-capita state spending on higher education.

June 2008 — The UM System Board of Curators extend Forsee’s contract from three to five years. The extension defers the performance-based part of his salary for a full five-year term before payment would occur. His initial contract set his salary at $400,000 per year, plus up to $100,000 in annual incentive pay.

August 2008 — Forsee and MU Chancellor Brady Deaton announce a reorganization of  MU's medical operations.  University Health Care services and the UM System's medical schools are to be consolidated under a new health science center, headed by a new vice-chancellor for health sciences.

September 2008 — Forsee describes the completion of the new Analytical Bio-Chemistry Laboratories facility at MU's Discovery Ridge Research Park as an accomplishment for the community, as well as a statement about MU's commitment to economic development.

October 2008 — UM System President Gary Forsee and his wife donate $1 million for the installation of Cisco TelePresence videoconferencing system.  Another $1 million for the system is donated by Cisco Systems and AT&T.

November 2008 — Forsee announces a system-wide hiring freeze for most positions.

December 2008 — He reports possible budget reductions of up to 25 percent for fiscal year 2010 and meets with UM System Intercampus Faculty Council to discuss options.

January 2009 — Forsee asks faculty and staff on all four campuses to cut expenses in 14 specified areas.

  • He issues statement supporting Gov. Jay Nixon’s proposal to maintain current funding levels in exchange for no tuition increases.

February 2009 — Forsee asks the Board of Curators to grant him authority to institute furloughs and recommends that employees contribute to the system's retirement plan.  In addition, he announces he will recommend there be no pay raises.

May 2009 — Forsee announces the elimination of 22 UM system positions in an effort to cut costs and introduces restrictions on travel and training, among other cost-cutting measures.  He also strikes a deal with Gov. Jay Nixon for a tuition freeze for the second consecutive year.

September 2009 — Forsee announces a collaboration between MU and Cerner Corp. to form the Tiger Institute for Health Innovation.  The institute would develop an online database of a patient’s entire medical history.

November 2009 — Forsee declares the higher education funding model “broken.”

December 2009 — Forsee announces that the troubled economy and reduced state funding will force the four-campus system to consider cost-cutting approaches.  Possibilities, he states, include 3-year degrees and partnerships with local governments and developers on building projects

February 2010 — The UM System rolls out a three-year accountability measurement system, with 5 themes:  teaching and learning, research and discovery, community service and engagement, economic development and developing and managing human, financial and physical resources.  Chancellors of each campus  would be held accountable and would have to speak with Forsee if performance in these areas did not meet expectations.

May 2010 — The UM president meets with community leaders for their assistance in helping MU explore ways to fund a performing arts center in Columbia.  The proposed center would also house MU’s School of Music.

Fall 2010 — Forsee notifies the Board of Curators that a request to increase tuition will be forthcoming; also that an in-state tuition freeze agreement between the governor and the university was not likely to continue into a third year.

December 2010 ­­­­­— Forsee tells the UM Board of Curators he will be taking an extended leave due to his wife’s recent diagnosis of cancer.

Jan. 7, 2011 — He announces he will step down as president of the UM System.


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