LU Curators approve helping Missouri A+ students

Winston Rutledge elected board president

For 20 years, Missouri has helped students attend two-year community colleges if they participated in the A+ program at their high school.

This year, Lincoln University will join two other Missouri four-year schools in offering a tuition break to graduates of Missouri A+ schools.

LU curators voted 7-0 Thursday afternoon, during a telephone conference call, to offer the incentive.

“As we’re continuously finding ways to attract students to Lincoln, we’ve identified that the A+ program is one of those programs that Lincoln is not very competitive with,” Chief of Staff Jerome Offord told the board. “We want to start a matching of the A+ in hopes of attracting more of our Mid-Missouri students — or any students in the state in an A+ program.

“It’s a $1,000 match.”

A memo to the board said some students now pay room and board at State Fair Community College, Sedalia, to take advantage of their A+ scholarship award, but end up paying “more for room and board than they would pay in tuition to stay home and attend Lincoln University.”

The seven-member board elected former Jefferson City Public Schools administrator Winston Rutledge as the new curators president.

And former president Greg Gaffke is the board’s new secretary.

Kansas City lawyer Herbert Hardwick, who served as the board’s president in 2013, now will be vice president. And Don Cook of St. Louis is the board’s treasurer.

Curators agreed to modify their “Curators’ Distinguished Professor” awards, launched several years ago to recognize outstanding LU teachers and give them a chance to focus on special projects.

The award goes to full professors who have taught at Lincoln at least 20 years and been a full professor for at least 10 years.

They are allowed to cut their teaching load in half, so they can devote half of their work “to research, and the production of research findings.” But the board voted Thursday to limit that assignment to five years for any professor given the honor since Jan. 1.

“When the position was created, it had no expiration date,” Ruthi Sturdevant, LU’s interim vice president for academic affairs, explained. “So, theoretically, someone could become a Curators’ Distinguished Professor and be paid full-load for half-time work for the rest of his or her days.”

The board also decided to limit to the number of Distinguished Professors to five — two more than LU currently has.

Curators also approved changing the distribution plan for funds received for “facilities and administrative costs” when faculty or staff work on special projects.

“At one point in time, there was a large percentage of funds going to Dr. (Jim) Rooney’s Department of Defense program,” Sturdevant told the board. “That program is no longer in existence, and the idea of the change is to move that money so that it would support other areas of the university.”

Half the money will go to the unit sponsoring the project, 20 percent to the Office of Sponsored Programs and Grant Accounting, and 30 percent to the university’s infrastructure development program, at the LU president’s discretion.

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