Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Dispute Settled over Degree Offerings from Missouri State and the University of Missouri

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Dispute Settled over Degree Offerings from Missouri State and the University of Missouri

Article excerpt

ST. LOUIS * A recent task force report tells all of Missouri's public universities and community colleges to stay in their own lanes when it comes to what degrees each type of institution can grant unless they have a very good reason to stray.

The task force, comprising 16 Missouri higher education leaders, was asked to address the issue by Missouri House leaders after a dispute between the University of Missouri System and the up-and- coming Missouri State University.

Leaders from Missouri State were hoping to change a statute that controls which doctoral programs the Springfield university can grant and prohibits it from offering professional degrees such as law and medical.

The law was created in 2005 when the school went through a name change from Southwest Missouri State University to Missouri State University. In addition to stipulations on degrees, the statute also limits the school from seeking the same research and land grant designation as the University of Missouri.

Bills were introduced in the Missouri House and Senate during last session that would change that particular statute. Both bills died in committee.

"The consensus at the end of the legislative session is that this is a matter better addressed by the higher education community," Zora Mulligan, state Department of Higher Education commissioner, told the Post-Dispatch.

The task force's report seeks to provide closure on the issue.

The report largely states that every institution stays in their own lane, meaning research and professional degrees are exclusively the role of the four University of Missouri schools clarity for which the university system leaders are grateful.

It also states that Missouri's 12 community colleges should stick to granting associate degrees and certificates a directive given amid increased interest among some schools to also offer bachelor's degrees. …

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