Lost congressional district for Missouri to affect UM system governance

Missouri state law states that one member of the Board of Curators should come from each congressional district.

Following the 2010 United States Census, Missouri will lose one of its nine seats in the House of Representatives, which will reduce the number of districts in the state and, as a result, change the way the UM system is governed by the Board of Curators.

According to Missouri state law, no more than one of the nine members on the UM Board of Curators can be appointed from the same congressional district. But with only eight districts and nine curator positions, the state finds itself in an interesting situation.

Filling the ninth spot with a voting student curator would be one solution to the problem. A non-voting student representative already sits on the board, but, in 2008, then Gov. Matt Blunt vetoed legislation which would have given a vote to that student.

Gov. Jay Nixon, who appoints the curators, has not said how he will address the issue.

“It’s too early to speculate on how soon that change may be made legislatively,” Nixon’s spokesman Scott Holste said.

The Republican Party majority will have an opportunity to redraw district lines in the coming year. History indicates majority parties often use this power to create districts which give them the greatest demographic advantage over the minority party.

"While our growth rate of 7 percent over the past 10 years far exceeds the growth rate across the Midwest, we unfortunately fell short of the benchmark for keeping nine seats in the U.S. House of Representatives. In the coming months, the General Assembly will begin the important process of redrawing congressional district lines, and that process must move forward openly, transparently and fairly," Nixon said in a statement.

As a result of the census, Texas gained four congressional seats after gaining four million new residents, making them the biggest winner. Both New York and Ohio lost two congressional seats, but Michigan was the only state to actually lose population, losing one seat.

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