The next time the three new curators hear the word “foggy,” they might remember their first day as official members of the University of Missouri System Board of Curators.
Doug Russell, John Carnahan III and David Wasinger drove through thick fog Thursday morning to reach University Hall on the MU campus for their orientation. After four hours reviewing 165 years of general policy and duties of the board, the weather might not have been the only thing clouding their minds.
The news that the three had been unanimously approved as curators by the Missouri Senate came an hour and a half into their orientation. The news was greeted with applause by present curators and administrators.
The morning consisted of different MU administrators, such as Bunky Wright, general counsel, and Nikki Krawitz, vice president for finance and administration, outlining some of the common procedures and expectations for curators.
“You have the power to govern this institution by the constitution,” Wright said.
During orientation, UM System President Elson Floyd mentioned seeking guidance from the board about the proposed name change for Southwest Missouri State University.
“I wanted to lay out the parameters of discussion,” Floyd said. “I want to reaffirm our land-grant status, make sure we do not engage in program duplication and ensure that any percentage increase that occurs in funding is the same relative percentage for the University of Missouri.”
At 2:30 p.m., the new curators were sworn in and began their duties as standing committee members. The five standing committees voted on their recommendations to the full board, which will vote on Friday. Among the recommendations, the 3.5 percent tuition increase sparked conversation among the board members.
Floyd asked chancellors from MU, the University of Missouri-St. Louis and the University of Missouri-Rolla to speak before the board.
“I don’t think that there’s anything more important facing students than tuition and fees,” Floyd said.
For the new curators, their first meeting was more than a “foggy” experience. Carnahan said he was overwhelmed at first, but the orientation was a good opportunity to learn.
“I’m looking forward to (being on the board),” Carnahan said. “Unfortunately, it appears that these funding issues are going to be difficult to deal with.”
— Laura Hammagren contributed to this report.