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Issue: 1215 Date: 12/5/2013
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St. Louis Public Radio, St. Louis Beacon Merger Approved By UM System Curators

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        (November 22, 2013) During the University of Missouri Board of Curators' two-day meeting at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, the board unanimously approved the merger of the non-profit news organizations St. Louis Public Radio and the St. Louis Beacon, which is expected to be completed next month.

        Leadership at both organizations has been planning the merger for more than a year.

        St. Louis Public Radios license is held by the University of Missouri Curators, and the merger required the boards approval.

        UM System president Tim Wolfe said the merger will allow for UMSL to build stronger ties to the journalism school on the Columbia campus and further research into non-profit media.

        "This is an opportunity for us to come up with a model thats integrated with the community and has support from the community, that will allow us to strengthen democracy through more informed citizenry," Wolfe said.

        The new merged organization will have about 60 employees and an annual budget of roughly $7 million.

        Read a letter on the merger from St. Louis Beacon editor Margie Freivogel

        Read a blog post on the merger from St. Louis Public Radios General Manager Tim Eby

        For more on how this fits into the media landscape, see this report from J-Lab.

        Enrollment Numbers

        Total enrollment for the University of Missouri System hit an all-time high this fall.

        For the second year in a row more than 75,000 students are enrolled at one of the four campuses that make up the state-wide university system.

        UM System President, Tim Wolfe, said overall enrollment up by more than 21 percent over the past ten years.

        "We are especially seeing significant increases in our international, out of state and minority student enrollments," Wolfe said. "We also show significant increases in graduate and professional degree enrollment, as well as increases in six year graduation rates, indicating that more students are reaching degree completion."

        The board of curators is also considering raising tuition by 1.7 percent for the fall of 2014. The tuition hike would match the projected increase in the Consumer Price Index, which is mandated by state law, and average $9,464.

        The board could approve the new tuition rates in January.

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