For Release:
February 18, 2010

Contact: Kathy Love — 573.522.1463

Jefferson City — Governor Jay Nixon today appointed Craig A. Van Matre of Columbia to the Coordinating Board for Higher Education. If confirmed by the Senate, Van Matre will replace Helen Washburn, also of Columbia, whose term on the board expired.

Van Matre, 64, is an attorney and president of Van Matre, Harrison, Hollis, Pitzer & Taylor. He grew up in Mexico, Mo., and obtained a B.A. in English from the University of Missouri-Columbia. He graduated from MU's School of Law and obtained a master's of law in taxation from New York University School of Law in 1974. He served a four-year term of duty in the U.S. Air Force.

Van Matre says he has been engaged in higher education issues as a member of the board of trustees of Stephens College, and closely follows board activities of the University of Missouri and Columbia College.

"I spent seven years on the receiving end of higher education as a student at the University of Missouri-Columbia," Van Matre said. "I see higher education as an investment in future prosperity — both for individuals and the state. As a coordinating board member, I'll be looking for ways to allocate more resources to students and institutions during very difficult economic conditions."

Commissioner of Higher Education Robert B. Stein said he welcomes the caliber of Van Matre's background and experience. "He will be an outstanding advocate for higher education in the state," Stein said. "Strong members help achieve the coordinating board's goals of increasing college attainment and producing a globally competitive workforce.