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Nixon appoints J. Michael Ponder to UM Board of Curators

Cook, Barkett, Ponder & Wolz Law Firm

Gov. Jay Nixon appointed Cape Girardeau attorney J. Michael Ponder to the University of Missouri Board of Curators for the second time on Monday.

Nixon first appointed Ponder in January, but reversed his decision when it became clear that the state senate would not confirm it without further consideration. The senate must approve any officials the governor appoints. Missouri State Senator Wayne Wallingford, who represents Ponder, says he is confident Ponder will be confirmed this time around.

“He’s an attorney, local attorney. Well thought of, well known. I don’t think Gov. Nixon could have found a better candidate to work on educational issues,” Wallingford said.

The Board of Curators oversees the entire UM System, which includes campuses in Columbia, Kansas City, Rolla and St. Louis. The board sets tuition fees, determines admission requirements and hires the President of the University, among other duties. If the senate officially confirms Ponder, he will serve on the board until the end of 2018. Ponder graduated with a law degree from the University of Missouri in 1990 and is a partner in the Cook, Barkett, Ponder and Wolz law firm. He also served on the State Board of Education starting in 2009.