A new University of Missouri System student curator has been selected by the governor’s office, although his appointment may be for just one semester.
Tony Luetkemeyer, a law student at MU, was chosen from a pool of applicants by the Intercampus Student Council to be nominated for the position.
Gov. Matt Blunt’s office, where the final decision is made, notified Luetkemeyer on Tuesday that he had been chosen.
Luetkemeyer said he was surprised and excited. “I felt really satisfied,” he said. “I’ve been waiting for months to hear if I got it. It felt great.”
The student curator is supposed to serve a term of four semesters. Luetkemeyer is slated to serve only one, although he is not sure why.
He speculates that in the past a curator either overstayed his or her term or left early, throwing off the system. Luetkemeyer said he will contact the governor’s office to see if he can reapply after the semester or have his term extended to the normal two-year period.
Rich Chrismer, a spokesman for the governor's office, said, "It is our intention that Tony will have the opportunity to serve for the full two years."
Luetkemeyer will succeed Maria Curtis Kerford. She represented the UM system for only five months before she was told by Blunt’s office that she would not be reappointed.
Kerford was involved in the selection process for the new curator, and said Leutkemyer’s application definitely stood out.
“In his interview he was very confident, well-spoken, well-rounded,” she said. “And it was a very competitive process.”
The position rotates between the Columbia campus, Rolla, Kansas City and St. Louis. The student curator sits in on board meetings, but has no vote, though attempts have been made to change that.
Leutkemeyer said he will pursue getting a vote on the board, and until he can get one will try his best to make students’ voices heard. One of his biggest concerns is tuition.
“Right now, the only things students know is that their tuition is going up,” he said. “They don’t know why. I want to change that, and of course do all I can to make sure tuition remains affordable.”
Luetkemeyer, who was student body president as an undergraduate at MU, said he has wanted to be student curator “for quite a while.” He plans to visit each UM campus and meet with student senates to discuss what issues students are concerned about, as well as attend the curators’ annual retreat.
“I plan to conduct myself in a professional manner, to do research,” he said. “I take this position very seriously.”