Nixon nomination to UM System curators in jeopardy

Monday, January 23, 2012 | 7:18 a.m. CST; updated 9:20 a.m. CST, Monday, January 23, 2012

JEFFERSON CITY — The nomination of a Columbia attorney to the University of Missouri System Board of Curators remains uncertain as state lawmakers continue to question his gubernatorial appointment.

The Columbia Daily Tribune reports that a Senate committee has pulled Craig Van Matre from its latest list of nominees facing confirmation by the full Senate.

Van Matre was appointed in January 2011 but had to temporarily step down after the Senate didn't take up his nomination last year. Gov. Jay Nixon then reappointed him over the summer, but the curator again had to leave the board when no Senate confirmation occurred during the 2011 special legislative session.

Van Matre, a Democrat, will have to permanently step down if his nomination isn't approved by early February.

Another curator, Judith Haggard, resigned from the board last week.

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Ellis Smith January 23, 2012 | 2:26 p.m.

There are other ways to come up with curator candidates. For example, forget party affiliation and let alumni associations of the four campuses come up with candidates.

For a nine (9) member board I'd suggest:

Always four (4) board members from MU, no more and no less.

Two board members each, but never less than one or more than three, from UMKC and UMSL.

One member, but always one member, from MS&T.

That takes into account the relative campus enrollments, and it would guarantee that no proposal could be approved unless board members from more than one campus favored it. Actually, as it now is there are few proposals that aren't passed unanimously.

Given the university system's financial situation, this obsessing with political parties is similar to WORRYING ABOUT HOW THE DINNER TABLE IS SET WHILE THE HOUSE IS BURNING DOWN.

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