Missouri State University
Springfield - 91.1
Branson - 90.5
West Plains - 90.3
Mountain Grove - 88.7
Joplin - 98.9
Neosho - 103.7
Share |

It look's like you don't have Adobe Flash Player installed. Get it now.

New Commissioner of Higher Education

In January, Gregory Fitch will take over as the commissioner of the Missouri Department of Higher Education. The Missouri Cooardinating Board for Higher Education chose Fitch after a five-month nationwide search. KSMU's Missy Shelton reports.

GREGORY FITCH IS A MISSOURI NATIVE BUT HE SPENT MUCH OF HIS PROFESSIONAL CAREER IN UTAH, SERVING MOST RECENTLY AS THE FOUNDING PRESIDENT O FTHE UTAH COLLEGE OF APPLIED TECHNOLOGY.

BEFORE THAT, HE WAS THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE IDAHO STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION, A JOB THAT HE SAYS WAS SIMILAR TO HIS NEW JOB IN MISSOURI.

AS THE NEW COMMISSIONER OF HIGHER EDUCATION, FITCH SAYS ONE OF HIS MAIN CONCERNS WILL BE FUNDING FOR THE STATE'S COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES.

WHILE FITCH WILL SPEND MUCH OF HIS TIME WORKING WITH THE GOVERNOR AND LAWMAKERS ON ISSUES RELATED TO HIGHER EDUCATION, HE SAYS HIS PRIMARY CONSTITUENCY IS THE PUBLIC.

ONE OF THE HIGHER EDUCATION ISSUES OF PARTICULAR INTEREST TO MANY PEOPLE IN THE OZARKS IS THE PROPOSED NAME CHANGE FOR SOUTHWEST MISSOURI STATE UNIVERSITY.

THE NAME CHANGE PROPOSAL HAS DRAWN SHARP CRITICISM FROM MANY ALUMNI OF THE UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI-COLUMBIA.

FITCH SAYS HE HASN'T TAKEN A POSITION ON THE S-M-S NAME CHANGE BECAUSE HE HASN'T HAD TIME TO STUDY THE ISSUE.

BUT HE SAYS HE WILL BE FOLLOWING THE ISSUE CLOSELY.

SEVERAL YEARS AGO, THE COORDINATING BOARD FOR HIGHER EDUCATION OPPOSED THE NAME CHANGE, STATING IT HAD TO GAIN BOARD APPROVAL BEFORE GAINING LEGISLATIVE APPROVAL.

BUT NOW, THE BOARD HAS NO POSITION ON THE S-M-S NAME CHANGE.

FITCH BEGINS WORKING AS COMMISSIONER OF HIGHER EDUCATION IN JANUARY.

FITCH REPLACES QUENTIN WILSON, WHO HAD SERVED AS COMMISSIONER SINCE SEPTEMBER, 2002.