Look for a proposal in the legislature next year pattered after the federal Base Realignment and Closure Commission—the commission that recommends whether military units and bases should continue to exist. But the proposal will not look at military issues.

It will look at Missouri’s colleges and universities.

he Senate next week will pass a proposed constitutional amendment merging the state’s two education department into one. The proposal says the merger would create a seamless, more efficient education system. If the House approves, the proposal goes before voters in November.

Cape Girardeau Senator Jason Crowell zeroes in on the “efficiency” part of the proposal. He will introduce a bill next year to set up a special commission to look into closing degree programs or buildings or facilities at higher education institutions, or whether there might be efficiencies through consolidation of institutions.

One senator showing support for the idea suggests the commission might decide some programs need to be scattered among more schools…..while other programs such as engineering should be centralized, perhaps in Rolla.

Crowell says higher education needs to do what Missouri’s biggest public school districts are doing—determine if some programs are worth keeping, even whether some schools should be kept open.

Listen to the debate that includes Crowell’s ideas 56:21 mp3