MOHELA Plan Changes Again

9 years 9 months 1 day ago March 08, 2007 Mar 8, 2007 Thursday, March 08 2007 Thursday, March 08, 2007 11:17:40 PM CST in News

At the University of Missouri-Columbia campus, only one project remains, a $32 million expansion of the Ellis Fischel Cancer Hospital.

$85 million for a Columbia Life Sciences Center is gone and MU's total expected funds dropped from $94 to $52 million.

"People want to see us try and cure cancer, not just treat cancer, and this university needs to stop cow towing to the governor because they're scared of him and stand up for progress and research and science," said Sen. Chuck Graham, (D) Columbia.

Graham says the MOHELA plan has changed too much, and not for the better.

"It was about science and research and progress. I supported the government vision 15 months ago," Graham said. "There's none of that left in this bill at this point."

MU System spokesperson Scott Charton said the decreased funding is still good for the MU System.

"There is a reduction for part of the proposed facility for Columbia however Ellis Fischel Cancer Center would receive $31 million of that original amount," he said. "That is good news for Missourians and Missourians who are battling cancer."

"We'll just have to be thinking about other ways, it's not that we've abandoned plans to build a research building for biomedical sciences that's still really important, but that we'll have to pursue in other ways," said UMC Provost Dr. Brian Foster.

Republicans like Sen. Gary Nodler (R) Joplin. say the new plan is realistic.

"If the project list is altered somewhat because of the political realities that exist in order to obtain passage, that's the democratic process, which I hope you would embrace," he said.

Nodler plans to introduce the revised plan next Monday. Under the original plan, MU would have received $94 million. MU will now receive $52.2 million. The difference is around $42 million.

The UMSL campus expected $23.5 million. It would now receive $28.5 million, an increase in $5 million.

The UMKC campus funding will stay exactly the same $18.4 million.

The UMR campus will receive an increase of $4 million going from $11 to $15 million.

The total changes mean the UM system will be receiving $32 million less than originally planned.

MU says what it still receives will remain important for the university, but the school will have to look elsewhere for more funding.

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