(JEFFERSON CITY, Mo.) - The Coordinating Board for Higher Education (CBHE) met on April 12, 2007, on the campus of Stephens College in Columbia. Presidents and chancellors representing Missouri's postsecondary institutions were present to engage in active conversation about issues affecting higher education throughout the state.

Missouri students have been profoundly impacted by tuition increases as state funds available to public institutions of higher education remain below the national average. The CBHE is committed to developing a new funding formula that will provide a unified voice from the higher education community to legislators and also provide accountability for resources to policy makers and Missouri citizens. At the meeting, the board directed the Commissioner of Higher Education to appoint a statewide task force for developing a new policy-based funding formula that would best serve the state's students and constituents. The task force will have representation from the Governor's office, the Missouri Legislature, public two- and four-year higher education institutions, and Missouri Department of Higher Education (MDHE) staff. It will be authorized to elicit external facilitation consultation and will provide updates at each CBHE meeting until its task is completed. The collaborative, systematic approach will yield an agreed-upon framework of goals, objectives, principles, and expectations when determining requests for state support of public higher education institutions.

The board also recognized and added its support for the decision of the St. Louis Community College Board of Trustees to add a fourth campus to the St. Louis Community College system. St. Louis Community College - Wildwood has expressed interest in an Associate of Arts degree for transfer students, a business administration program, a certificate in general education, as well as continuing education courses as its first offerings.

Additionally, dates were identified for separate joint meetings with the State Board of Education and the Missouri Higher Education Loan Authority (MOHELA). The CBHE will meet with the State Board of Education on September 6 and MOHELA on December 6.