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Spot that pizza MSU champs pg. 6 Both men and women’s basketball take win against Eastern New Mexico. College hangout offers new pizza crust to attract more customers. wichitan ht e Wednesday February 29, 2012 pg. 8 your campus/ your news Thornberr y prods students to balance budget Trimming financial flab stumps participants BRITTNEY COTTINGHAM MANAGING EDITOR Last Wednesday, MSU students had some very important decisions to make. They were charged with the task of balancing the federal budget. Their choices: eliminate the dollar bill, increase the gas tax by 25 cents or repeal the 2010 health care reform legislation. U.S. Rep. Mac Thornberry, along with the Concord Coalition, led 38 students through an interactive exercise designed to fix the nation’s monetray problems. The Concord Coalition, a national, grassroots organization, conducts more than 60 exercises a year with both democratic and republican politicians. After being broken up into special committees, students were able to craft their own version of the federal budget. The goal was to reduce the projected 10-year federal deficit. “The exercise asked if we wanted to take away money from the safety of Amtrak,” senior history major Sierra Trenhaile said. “I never thought that Amtrak was a federal issue. I assumed it just involved the state. Our committee decided to take money away from Amtrak.”  Each point was discussed and decided by majority rule. The committees also had to consider economics, public policy and politics. Senior nursing major Zach Davis was chosen as chairperson for his committee and said he had no idea how multifaceted the budgeting process was.  “I think it’s great that the congressman wants to hear students’ opinions,” Davis said. “It shows that he is interested in what students want and so are his constituencies.”  Students learned that when it comes to making the tough decisions they have to look at all the options.  “This is very critical because some people lose and some people gain,” sophomore finance major Elisa Pierre said.  The congressman received a summary of each committee’s decisions to take to Washington when the real budget is on the house floor next month.  Thornberry said student opinion is important to him, especially on the issue of Rep. Thornberry (center) surrounded by MSU students. Photo by KASSIE BRUTON the federal spending.  “The debt that we add now is going and they are just unsustainable because to have to be paid for by students who That is wrong.”  they go up and up,” Smith said. “Those Phil Smith, southern regional director are going to work for years to come,” he of the Concord Coalition, said the defiare the ones that the government really said. “If you think about it, students are cits that concern him most are those that needs to get a hold of. The government going to have to work more and more will be implemented in the near future.  and pay more and more taxes to pay for “Those deficits are going to be larger the bills that my generation is raking up. THORNBERRY pg. 3 Board re-ups Rogers’ contract three years CHRIS COLLINS EDITOR IN CHIEF Fossils stored at Bolin. Photo by HANNAH HOFMANN A BONE TO PICK Board votes to relocate fossil collection to UT ERIN WRINKLE FOR THE WICHITAN Baby armadillos float motionless in jars of greenish fluid. Nearby lie the broken bones of almost every imaginable animal. In another room, eyeless bats lay interred in a pull-out drawer. No, this isn’t Frankenstein’s laboratory. It’s the fossil collection tucked away on the second floor of Bolin. Most students, however, don’t know about this chamber of horrors maintained by the biology department since the 1950s. And it’s not just any fossil collections either – it’s one of the largest collections in Texas. It’s also one of the largest in the country. This prehistoric collection will be leaving MSU by way of the University of Texas this summer. Along with the collection, MSU will be giving up decades of student data from the collection. “It may seem strange to you to be giving a valuable fossil collection to the University of Texas, but I assure you it is the right thing to do,” said President Dr. Jesse Rogers at a Board of Regents meeting this semester. Walter Dalquest, a former MSU biology professor, started the collection. He served at MSU for more than 50 years and wrote several hundred publications in his field. Dalquest died in 2000. Dalquest’s former graduate student, Dr. Frederick Stangl, worked alongside him. Stangl also added to the litany of fossils. Stangl continued his research with Dalquest when he became a professor of biology at MSU in 1984. “We did a lot of stuff together. He was a really neat guy,” Stangl said. Stangl oversees the collection now. For years he has been maintaining, protecting and acquiring new fossils. But there’s a problem: Stangl will retire this year, leaving no one in charge of maintaining the collection. This, Rogers said, is one of the main factors in moving the fossils to UT. Stangl said his biggest concern about leaving MSU is making sure the collections are properly taken care of so they can last a long time. Field zoology students have added to the collection as well. The students in the class found the artifacts and documented their works. Stangl said these documents will be given to UT along with the fossil collection. “The collection belongs to the state, so they were never just for Midwestern, they were for research,” Stangl said. Even though the fossils won’t be on campus, Midwestern will continue to receive credit for its findings. Stangl and other researchers will be allowed to view the collection for future research findings. This is not the first time MSU has lost the collection to other universities. In 2007, Texas Tech received some of the collection and has the opportunity to receive more. With the fossils, researchers use the collection to look at DNA and determine traits about various species. The fossils have also been the source of several publications, some written by former students. Stangl said he will miss doing what he loves at MSU and will continue to enjoy his love for animals by doing research in the mammal collection still located at MSU. A teaching collection will remain on campus for biology classes. The Board of Regents has voted to extend the contract of President Dr. Jesse Rogers another three years. The contract, which will come up for renewal again in 2015, was extended by the Board in a closed session at its February meeting. Too many important things are happening at the university for him to leave, Rogers said in an interview with The Wichitan. Among them are a Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) visit, dean searches, a new Texas Legislative session and a new five-year master plan for the university. “This is just not a good time to be on a presidential search,” he said. SACS is scheduled to visit the university this year. During the visit, representatives from the accrediting body critique the way MSU is run. This will be the fifth time Rogers has seen them come to MSU. The president said the team who initiates the visit works “through the president.” “I need to see that process through to help everyone,” said Rogers. And there’s another problem: the new Texas Legislative season starts in January, Rogers said. University presidents are required by law to speak before several legislative bodies, including house appropriations and the legislative budget board. “I’ve had extensive experience of doing that and knowing how to prepare testimony,” he said. Testifying in January is crucial to the success of the university, he said. “You definitely want them to know what the university needs, what we’ve been doing well, that kind of thing.” Currently, the university is searching for two deans and possibly a new provost. Rogers’ leaving now would just create one more problem, he said. Also, Rogers and other administrators have been in the process of creating a five-year master plan for the university. They pitched it to the MSU Board of Regents in mid-February. Rogers said he’s now invested in the plan he helped to guide. “We really need to do several of those projects. I’ve made commitments to CONTRACT pg. 3 New leaders head Annual Fund, Charitable Trust SARAH LONG FOR THE WICHITAN Wichita Falls resturanteur Steve Shipp and attorney Erwin Davenport have been appointed by the Board of Regents to run the Annual Fund and Charitable Trust, respectively. In recent years MSU has taken quite a beating when it comes to the budget. The university has received less funding from the state every year, forcing administration to find money elsewhere. A client at Davenport’s law firm created the MSU Charitable Trust in 1989. After the death of trustee Frank Gibson, the Charitable Trust Board recommended Davenport to serve in his place. Gibson was one of the original trustees in addressing issues regarding the drafting and creating of gifts and endowments to the trust. “We are fortunate in Wichita Falls to have a community that realizes the positive impact of MSU,” Davenport said. “Gifts from donors are invested and administered in accordance with the terms of the trust or the particular endowment agreement to benefit in those areas that are most needed and that carry out the intentions of a particular donor.” Davenport said without organizations such as the MSU Charitable Trust, students, faculty and the entire community would be adversley affected. With 35 years of experience as a trusts and estates lawyer, Davenport said he is confident that his working knowledge will be beneficial to the ongoing activities of the MSU Charitable Trust. Davenport attended MSU 44 years ago and said he couldn’t imagine how his life would be if he didn’t attend the university. “Contributing to MSU is an investment in the lives of students who de- FUND pg. 3

February 29, 2012

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