Since the Fall of 2015, I have had many of you from my district contact me about your frustrations with the leadership at the University of Missouri and how they have chosen to operate the campus. Recent audits of the university shows hidden bonuses and other compensation. Many of you are employees, donors, alumni, or have your children attending Mizzou and I share your dissatisfaction with the situation. You have called for a change and in my opinion that change is on its way.
The University of Missouri Board of Curators has the constitutional authority to oversee the operation of the four-campus University of Missouri System. Among other things, the board sets fees, determines admissions requirements, grants degrees, enters into contracts, approves all property transactions, issues bonds, and hires the president of the university. The Board of Curators has nine voting members on it, one from each congressional district and a member at large. Currently, the board has three vacant positions and two members have expired terms. It has to be hard to bring change to the university with only two-thirds of a board, which lacks true representation of Missourians from all corners of our state. In fact, no one new has been appointed to the board since the disturbances on campus began.
|That should all change very soon. This week I had the pleasure of meeting with three new appointments to the University of Missouri Board of Curators: Darryl M. Chatman, Jamie L. Farmer and Jeffrey L. Layman
Mr. Chatman, a Foristell attorney, once worked as the deputy director for the Department of Agriculture. Both his bachelors and masters degrees in agriculture and law degree were obtained at the University of Missouri.
Ms. Farmer, a Jefferson City native, is a businesswoman with a bachelor’s degree from the University of Missouri and a master’s degree from Washington University.
Mr. Layman is a Springfield businessman with a bachelor’s degree from Missouri State University.
I had the opportunity to meet one-on-one with each of these appointees over the past two weeks and helped review them during public testimony conducted in the Gubernatorial Appointments Committee on March 8th. They all shared the same goal, which was to restore pride and respect for the University of Missouri, so that all Missourians held a high opinion of the state’s largest university. Their vision and energy for bringing change to the University of Missouri was refreshing to hear. I am confident in their abilities and I look forward to their leadership and positive input they will have for the University of Missouri System. All three will have full six-year terms through Jan. 1, 2023, if confirmed by the entire Missouri Senate in the weeks to come.
Missouri has more than 200 public boards and commissions. From advocating on behalf of our children and seniors, to managing our universities, the citizens who serve on these boards and commissions are essential to the numerous functions of state government.
Once the governor has made an appointment to a board or commission, the appointee answers questions before the Senate’s 11-member Gubernatorial Appointments Committee. After the committee gives preliminary confirmation to the appointee, the matter goes before the Senate for final confirmation.
During the 2015 legislative session, the Senate approved nearly 100 of the then governor’s appointees to serve on one of Missouri’s more than 200 public boards and commissions. There are still hundreds of openings still available due to vacancies or expired terms.
If you are interested in serving our state, go to the Missouri Boards and Commissions website at www.boards.mo.gov, find a board or position you are interested in, and submit an application to the governor’s office. It is important to encourage those who you believe would provide valuable service to the state to do the same.
It’s critical that Missouri citizens find opportunities to volunteer, the governor makes timely appointments and the Senate ensures those appointed individuals are qualified for the position before granting final approval. This allows for important oversight of various state functions to occur without delay.
It is an honor to be your State Senator and my door is always open to your concerns, questions or comments. Please feel free to contact me at (573) 751-2757 or visit my web page at www.senate.mo.gov/riddle.