Nixon signs bill enabling Harris-Stowe to seek graduate programs
By: REBECCA RIVERS
For the first time in its 158-year history, Harris-Stowe State University is now able to offer graduate degrees.
On Wednesday, July 15, Gov. Jay Nixon signed Senate Bill 334, which allows St. Louis’ only Historically Black College and University to offer a range of graduate degree programs as well as more undergraduate degree offerings. The bill takes effect August 28.
“Allowing Harris-Stowe to offer graduate degrees and expand its undergraduate degree offerings will create greater opportunities for students in the St. Louis region for generations to come,” Nixon said.
Dwaun J. Warmack, president of Harris-Stowe State University, led the effort to seek graduate degree programs. Harris-Stowe is currently the only state university among 13 in the system not allowed to offer graduate degrees because of how the state law was written. SB 334 modifies provisions relating to the boards of regents of state colleges and universities and expands graduate degree-granting authority to Harris-Stowe.
“We believed that Gov. Nixon would sign into law the opportunity for Harris-Stowe to achieve parity with Missouri’s other 12 state universities,” Warmack said. “We’ve been hoping for this favorable outcome and will now begin the process to offer graduate programs as soon as feasible.”
The bill was sponsored by state Sen. Jamilah Nasheed, D-St. Louis, a longtime champion of the university.