Two new members of the Truman State Board of Governors were appointed by Gov. Jay Nixon during the last month, filling the Board’s two vacancies.
Kirksville resident Mike LaBeth and alumnus David Bonner were appointed to fill the positions currently held by Ken Read and out-of-state governor John Hilton, both of whose terms expired Dec. 31.
LaBeth, who was appointed Jan. 4, said he is looking forward to having the opportunity to serve the University and learning about Board operations.
“I grew up in a college family,” LaBeth said, as his father worked for William Jewell College in Kansas City, Mo. “I admired the college atmosphere and am a big fan for education, especially higher education.”
LaBeth has served as Chamber of Commerce President, as a member of the City’s Planning and Zoning Committee and as a member of the Kirksville Regional Economic Development, Inc. Board.
Bonner, who will serve as the out-of-state governor, graduated from Truman with a political science degree during 2007.
During his time at the University, Bonner said he was involved with Student Senate, College Democrats and Association of Black Collegians, among others. He said he served as a member of Student Senate during all four years of college and always enjoyed working with the Board, but was never able to serve as the student representative because he was an out-of-state student.
“It was always a dream of mine to serve on the Board as a student, and this was an opportunity,” Bonner said. “I thought I could do a lot as a student because I was involved and I understood student issues. I would like to meet with students and get an update on [the issues] they are facing today.”
Bonner currently works for the Illinois Attorney General’s office. He said he works with civil litigation, including violations of minimum wage laws and wage payment collections.
University President Troy Paino said he looks forward to seeing what the new appointees will bring to the Board.
“Governor LaBeth is someone I’ve gotten to know in Kirksville, and he’s committed to the success of the University,” Paino said. “Governor Bonner is a graduate of Truman and we’re always excited to have graduates come back and serve on the Board.”
Paino said it isn’t a requirement for Board members to be University alumni, but a significant number of alumni apply to serve on the Board sometime after they graduate during the past.
“We have Board members who come from all backgrounds and experiences, and that’s important for the different perspectives, but one thing you want in common between them all is their love for the University,” Paino said.
Two other Board members terms also have expired, Paino said.
Matthew Potter’s term expired Dec. 31, and Cheryl Cozette’s term expired Dec. 31, 2011, but Paino said both governors are continuing to serve those roles until Nixon appoints new members.
Paino said interested persons apply through the Governor’s office and then one person is appointed, then confirmed by the Senate.