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January 23, 2015

Public hearings continue for Missouri's new higher education plan

The Missouri Coordinating Board for Higher Education will hold its next public hearing for the development of a new coordinated plan for the state’s higher education system Jan. 29 in Jefferson City.

The hearing will be held from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Harry S Truman State Office Building, Room HST 490-492.

The focus of the January hearing will be “State government and higher education: Issues and remedies.” Speakers will include members of the Missouri General Assembly and directors of the state departments of Elementary and Secondary Education, Economic Development, Health, Social Services and Corrections.

The public is invited to offer testimony from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. Testimony also can be submitted on the Department of Higher Education’s website at dhe.mo.gov/blueprintcomments.php.

A statewide steering committee of members representing business and industry, education and government are working with the Department of Higher Education to develop the plan. Nine public hearings are being held throughout the state to gather input from Missourians about the state’s higher education system.

 “We look forward to hearing from business leaders, elected officials, educators and the public as we develop a blueprint that supports higher education opportunities in Missouri,” said Betty Sims, chair of the coordinating board. “Higher education is essential if our young people are to have ample opportunities to succeed in life.”

The plan will be presented to the coordinating board for approval in December 2015.

State law calls for the coordinating board to create a plan based on a number of factors that impact the state’s colleges and universities including population and enrollment trends, workforce development, the delivery of effective and efficient education programs and collaboration among institutions. The last coordinated plan was adopted in 2008.

The first two public hearings were held in December in O’Fallon and St. Louis.

Additional public meetings are planned for:

February – Columbia

March – Kirksville

April – St. Joseph and Kansas City

June – Springfield and Cape Girardeau

More information about the development of the plan and the hearings is available at dhe.mo.gov/blueprint.php.