Volume 2, Issue 5
May 19, 2010
Now is the time to build strong and lasting public sector relationships!
Mary Scott NabersChange is rampant! Trends, demographics, budgets, mandates!   Public officials have no comfort zones. Some change is good...some is not. Expectations are extremely high at a time when budgets are very thin. What is a good public servant to do?
The need to innovate conflicts with the no-risk strategy government executives are expected to observe. The scramble to serve increased populations and new demographics conflicts with the need to spend less. Changes over which government executives have no control bring stress levels to a new dimension. 

$1 billion in construction, upgrades
Preparedness grants awarded
Upcoming education opportunities
Airports get AIT units
Other upcoming contracting opportunities
Where are they now?
Calendar of events
Strategic Partnerships, Inc. provides opportunity identification for all 50 states. Click here for more information.
$1 billion awarded for building construction, improvements
Funding for biomedical research facilities leads to millions in contract opportunities
Research FacilitiesBiomedical research facilities in 44 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico will be able to build or improve their labs and related facilities thanks to a $1 billion funding infusion from the federal Recovery Act. Administered by the National Institutes of Health National Center for Research Resources, nearly 150 grants were awarded to various institutions. Many of the projects will result in contracting opportunities to upgrade and construct buildings, lab space and core facilities.
The funds are intended to "provide state-of-the-art facilities for hundreds of researchers to conduct cutting-edge science with the latest technologies," said NIH Director Francis S. Collins, M.D. (pictured). 
Francis CollinsIn California, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center garnered two awards - $500,000 for facility improvements at the Medical Center Research Institute's Research Animal Facility and more than $9.5 million for construction and renovation of a biospecimen core research facility. Several California universities also received awards. The University of California Davis was awarded $14.2 million for building construction, the University of California Irvine got $12.9 million to build a custom-design space for training and treatment development and the University of California San Diego was awarded $14.2 million for a research facility.
Florida universities were awarded funding. The University of Florida garnered $14.6 million to construct a new research building and the University of Miami Coral Gables won $14.8 million to construct a neuroscience and health annex. In Maryland, the Johns Hopkins University will use its $14.9 million award to construct lab facilities while Michigan State University was awarded $7.4 million for a new nursing research space. In Texas, Baylor College of Medicine was awarded $14.8 million for a new research building and Texas A&M University got $3.5 million for a state-of-the-art research lab.
For a complete list of the 144 projects by state and what the funds will be used for, click here and look under "Recent Reports."

For information about these and other funding opportunities,
contact Reagan Weil or Richard Hartmann at 512-531-3900.
Infrastructure, preparedness grants announced
Nine federal programs distribute nearly $790 million in funds nationwide
Nearly $790 million in Fiscal Year 2010 Preparedness Grants have been announced by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Nine federal programs were funded that will assist state, local and tribal governments and the private sector prepare for acts of terrorism, major disasters and other emergencies. The awards will be distributed on a rolling basis over the summer.
The grant announcements include:
  • Transit Security Grant Program (TSGP) - $253.4 million - to protect critical transit infrastructure from terrorism - in addition to $14.5 million for the Freight Rail Security Grant Program to protect freight rail systems and $20 million for Intercity Passenger Rail to protect surface transportation infrastructure in the Amtrak rail system;
  • Intercity Busy Security Grant Program (IBSGP) - $11.5 million - for fixed-route intercity and charter bus service security plans and facility security along with vehicle and driver protection;
  • Port Security Grant Program (PSGP) - $288 million - to protect ports, conduct training and exercises and implement worker ID credentialing;
  • Buffer Zone Protection Program - $48 million - to increase safeguarding infrastructure sites and assets;
  • Emergency Operations Center (EOC) Grant Program - $57.6 million - to support construction or renovation of EOCs;
  • Interoperability Emergency Communications Grant Program (IECGP) - $48 million - to improve interoperability emergency communications; and
  • Driver's License Security Grant Program (DLSGP) - $48 million - to improve driver's license and ID cards security.
Some of the larger awards for the TSGP funding included $23 million to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and $21.9 million to the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. Among FRSGP awards, the Terminal Railroad Association of St. Louis was allocated more than $5.5 million while the Union Pacific Railroad in Omaha garnered $2.9 million. Some of the port security grants included $28.9 million to Harris County, Texas, for the Houston-Galveston port area and $31.4 million to the Marine Exchange of Los Angeles Long Beach Harbor, Inc. for the Los Angeles-Long Beach port area. To view the complete list of allocations by program for each entity, click here and look under "Recent Reports."

For information about these and other funding opportunities,
contact Reagan Weil or Richard Hartmann at 512-531-3900.
Did you miss last weeks TGI?
Upcoming education opportunities
Mississippi school district preparing for $23.5M bond vote
Phil BurchfieldOfficials in the Clinton, Mississippi, Public School District will put a $23.5 million bond election before voters on Sept. 14, hoping for a successful referendum that will build a new elementary school and provide for improvements to two existing schools. Schools Superintendent Dr. Phil Burchfield (pictured) said the district is at a point that it "can't afford not to" make the improvements. If the vote is approved, the district will combine two existing elementary schools into one and build a new facility to house those students in a facility that Burchfield said would have some shared spaces such as the cafeteria, media center and gym, but with separate campus areas. If the vote is favorable, construction could begin in spring 2011 with a year and a half completion time. Other funds from the bond issue would be used for electrical upgrades at a ninth grade school and a junior high. Eastside campus facilities would be converted to house the alternative school and the district's administrative offices. 
New Mexico school district considering possible August bond election
School officials are considering an Aug. 31 bond issue for the Clovis, New Mexico, school district. The bond amount being considered is $16 million, which would be used to build, remodel or make additions to schools. The bonds would also allow for furnishing schools, purchase or improvement of school grounds and technology upgrades through computer software and hardware purchases. The school board has not yet taken action, but is considering the possibility of a bond election. 
St. John's College planning new building

St. John's College in Santa Fe County, New Mexico, has a $3.75 million classroom building in the design and development phase. Levan Hall will feature classrooms, university administrative offices, an auditorium lecture hall, lounge, meeting room, offices and restrooms. 

IUPUI planning major campus construction projects
Tom MorrisonA $25 million science and engineering laboratory is in the works for Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI). The facility will be funded on the promise of new research grants. This new construction was only part of the nearly $100 million in capital projects approved by the Indiana Commission for Higher Education for capital projects on five campuses. Officials already are hailing the proposed new building as a way to attract top academic researchers who often can bring millions more into the university through research grants. "We need to have the lab spaces to get the best faculty," said Tom Morrison (pictured), vice president of capital projects and facilities for Indiana University. "And our faculty has to be productive. That's part of this, too."

Other construction projects approved by the Commission include:
  • IUPUI - parking garage with 1,300 spaces - $18 million;
  • Indiana State University - renovation of the Federal Building that was donated and will be the site of the Business School - $20 million;
  • Ball State University - renovation of the Studebaker East Residence Hall - $24.1 million;
  • Purdue University - renovation of Windsor Resident Hall on the West Lafayette campus - $6.6 million; and
  • Purdue Calumet - conversion of a conference center into the education center for hotel, tourism and management classes - $4.7 million. 
Illinois schools to share $149 million for projects
Twenty-four schools in Illinois will share $149 million in funds being released by the state for building and repairing older schools. Chicago Public Schools will garner $29.7 million of the funds for school construction and five suburban Cook County schools will get $4.5 million. Other schools in Cook, DuPage, Kaknakee, Sangamon and St. Clair counties will also benefit from the funding.
New construction, upgrades would stem from S. Carolina bond vote

Voters in Aiken and Saluda counties in South Carolina will go to the polls next week to decide a $236 million bond election for construction or improvements involving seven county schools.
Among the proposed projects and their costs:
  • Rebuild the Aiken High School, excepting the gym, on the current campus - $60 million;
  • Rebuild a new middle school on donated land - $22 million;
  • Rebuild the North Augusta High School - $80 million;
  • Combine two existing middle schools and build one new school for both - $24 million;
  • Build a new school on the campus of the Ridge Spring-Monetta High School to make a K-12 complex. High school would get updates, elementary and middle school to share media center, kitchen - $35 million; and
  • Expand career and technology center to include cafeteria, meeting space, additional programs; expand career and technology offerings at RS-M High School and Wagener-Salley High School - $15 million.
Kentucky community college unveils 20-year master plan
Augusta JulianThe Bluegrass Community and Technical College in Lexington, Kentucky, is about to kick off its 20-year master plan for its Newtown Pike campus with the upcoming construction of a 90,000-square-foot classroom building. The facility carries a $28.3 million price tag and a completion date of January 2013. The college is looking to the State Legislature in its 2012 session to provide funding for the second phase of its construction plans - three new buildings and campus amenities costing $100 million. "We must continue to advocate for this exciting educational opportunity," said BCTC President Augusta Julian (pictured). The long-range plans for the college include up to 17 buildings at a cost of more than $500 million. Several buildings on another site will also be renovatedas a result of a land swap agreement with Eastern State hospital.  
UCLA to get new life sciences building from gift from retired professor
A $50 million pledge to the Westwood campus of the University of California, Los Angeles by a retired UCLA professor will fund a new life sciences building and an endowed chair in surgery. The gift, from Paul. I. Terasaki, will ensure the structure - costing $48 million - will be completed in the fall.
Rockhurst University $10 million gift leads to major construction project

Thomas CurranA $10 million gift, the largest in school history, will lead Kansas City's Rockhurst University to the building of a new academic building, which will be at the center of the university's campus master plan. "This gift allows us to take the first steps toward a master facilities plan designed to greatly enhance the student experience," said Rockhurst President the Rev. Thomas B. Curran (pictured). But before that construction can begin as part of the $54 million master plan, a new parking garage will be constructed. The new academic building will include student housing as well.
University of Minnesota plans $80 million redesign of auditorium
The University of Minnesota's Northrop Auditorium is the subject of talks proposing an $80 million overhaul. The university's Board of Regents are studying a facelift that will result in smaller performance space with improved sightlines and acoustics and also an area to house the honor program offices, classrooms and study areas. Officials say the remodel of the facility would cost $20 million less than trying to bring the current facility into compliance. If approved by the regents, the renovation could be completed in fall 2013.
University of Washington seeking developer help with stadium

For three years, the UW has tried in vain to persuade lawmakers in Olympia to help it collect $150 million in public money to go toward a $300 million stadium remodel. Now, as early as Friday, it plans to ask developers to come up with a new plan that doesn't rely on any tax dollars. Developers have until July 1 to offer their proposals. The university is also looking at whatever innovative ideas it can determine would help raise its share of funding for the remake - from stadium naming rights to adding more premium seating. The university would like to begin construction immediately after the 2010 season and complete renovations in time for the start of the 2012 season.
Three projects on tap for Texas A&M University-Kingsville
Steven TallantThree projects are on the drawing board for Texas A&M University-Kingsville over the next two years as part of the Campus Master Plan recently laid out for university officials. The three projects are part of a 10-year implementation plan for construction on the campus. A student union plaza mall with a pavilion will be constructed this summer. A new dining room that seats 287 will likely be completed by spring 2011 and a new dorm is expected to be completed later that year.
The Master Plan was a result of the university listening to campus staff, city officials and others for input, according to TAMUK President Dr. Steven Tallant (pictured). "We need to always be looking forward," he said. More residential facilities and more parking are high on the list of needs on campus. The Master Plan calls for TAMUK to grow from 1.4 million square feet to 4.7 million square feet and 2.3 million square feet of buildings within the next 10 to 30 years. 
New Mexico schools to get additions, alterations
Additions and alterations valued at $2.3 million are planned for schools in Bernalillo County, New Mexico. Projects will be for the junior high school and middle school.  
UCF athletics facility development plan accepted
Construction totaling $70 million over the next 10 years was recently approved by the University of Central Florida (UCF) Athletics Board of Directors. The UCF Board of Trustees must give final approval before fundraising begins.
The construction program includes eight projects:
  • Expansion of the Bright House Networks Stadium;
  • UCF Academics/Athletics Support Center;
  • UCF Baseball Complex stadium expansion;
  • UCF Baseball Clubhouse expansion and renovation;
  • UCF Intercollegiate Tennis Center;
  • UCF Track and Soccer Complex stadium expansion;
  • UCF Track and Soccer Complex clubhouse; and
  • Wayne Densch Sports Center expansion and renovation.
The 50,000-square-foot Academics/Athletics Center will have an academic support center for student-athletes that provides computer labs, tutoring and mentoring rooms and offices. Some of the sports complexes will feature elevated press boxes, luxury suites, new restrooms and concession stands, upgrades to playing fields, addition of chair-back seating and more. The Densch Center main weight room and athletic training center will get renovations and football locker rooms will be expanded with a student-athlete lounge area, a larger equipment storage room and expanded weight room. Additional office space is also on tap. 
For information about these and other funding opportunities,
contact Reagan Weil or Richard Hartmann at 512-531-3900.
More than two dozen airports get AIT units deployed
Recovery Act funding so far has paid for security imaging at nearly 40 airports 
Airport SecurityVisitors to 28 airports across the country will soon feel a little safer after additional funding was appropriated to provide them with advanced imaging technology (AIT) units being paid for by Recovery Act funds. This round of funding, administered by the Transportation Security Administration, follows the March announcement of AIT units to 11 airports. Advanced imaging technology is designed to ensure security by safely screening passengers for metallic and non-metallic threats - including weapons, explosives and other concealed objects.
Airports that will receive the units this summer (some will go to airports that already have AIT units in place) include: Albuquerque International Sunport, Boise Airport, Brownsville/South Padre Island International Airport, Buffalo Niagara International Airport, Corpus Christi International Airport, Denver International Airport, Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport, El Paso International Airport, Fort Wayne International Airport, Gulfport-Biloxi International Airport, Harlingen/Valley International Airport, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, Houston William P. Hobby Airport and La Guardia International Airport.

Also Laredo International Airport, Lihue Airport, Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport, McAllen Miller Airport, Omaha Eppley Airfield Airport, Orlando International Airport, Phoenix Sky-Harbor International Airport, Pittsburgh International Airport, Raleigh/Durham International Airport, Reno-Tahoe International Airport, Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, Spokane International Airport, T. F. Green International Airport and Tulsa International Airport.
Other upcoming contracting opportunities
Proposed Massachusetts casino complex details outlined
Cedric CromwellA 300-acre casino complex with three hotels, a shopping mall, cinema and entertainment facility could be in the making for the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe in Massachusetts. The tribe is again seeking to open a casino, this time in downtown Fall River. Tribe members said the Fall River site would draw more casino patrons and was a better deal than the site they were considering in Middleborough. "We looked at every agreement for the tribe and every contract, and this site will deliver the best economic impact,'' said Wampanoag chairman Cedric Cromwell (pictured). The tribe would like to begin construction when gaming legislation that is working its way through the legislature passes. The tribe would have to apply for one of two licenses to be granted for casinos in Massachusetts.
Oregon college to seek stimulus funds for wine program facility
The board of the Umpqua Community College (UCC) in Oregon has given its approval for the college to seek federal stimulus funds for construction of a building for its wine program. The board agreed to designate UCC as a "recovery zone" so it will qualify for up to $4 million in recovery zone bonds to pay for about two-thirds of the facility. The federal government would pay 45 percent of the interest for the bonds

Kansas City anticipates additional weatherization funds
Kansas City, Missouri, is anticipating landing an additional $3.5 million in federal funds for weatherization work. Building on its success in promoting energy conservation, particularly in cutting heating and cooling costs for low-income residents, could lead the city to a windfall for future projects. City officials say if the money is received, it will be channeled into projects that include replacing inefficient furnaces, water heaters, refrigerators and air conditioners and installing fluorescent bulbs and eliminating air leaks in dwellings. If the additional funds are received, the city will have $9.1 million total to weatherize up to 2,000 houses at a cost of $5,000 to $6,000 per house.
Multi-million-dollar medical center remake set in Mississippi
David PoweA multi-million-dollar makeover at the University of Mississippi Medical Center (UMC) is under way. The 15-year plan will include construction of new schools of medicine and nursing, upgraded entrances and new roads. "We want to look at health care as a targeted industry, much like manufacturing," said Dr. David Powe (pictured), associate vice chancellor for administrative affairs. The UMC, which has a $1.3 billion annual budget, is seeking $60 million in private donations and state funds to build the School of Medicine, which is at the top of its wish list. UMC will issue $50 million in bonds for an expansion and renovation program, while another $60 million will be spent on infrastructure. With a projected 60 percent growth in enrollment by 2015, more room is needed for students, instructors and researchers.
Texas biofuel producers can apply for federal funding
Advanced biofuel producers in Texas can apply for funding under the Bioenergy Program for Advanced Biofuels through U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development. The program provides payments to eligible producers in rural areas to support and expand production of advanced biofuels - those derived from renewable biomass other than corn kernel starch. These include cellulose, sugar and starch, crop residue, vegetative waste material, animal waste, food and yard waste, vegetable oil, animal fat and biogas (including landfill gas and sewage waste treatment gas).  Those eligible for the grants include legal entities such as a corporation, company, foundation, association, labor organization, firm, partnership, society, joint stock company, group of organizations or nonprofit entity that produces an advanced biofuel.  The eligible advanced biofuel must be produced at an advanced biofuel biorefinery located in a rural area. For more information, click here.
$12.9 million in rail investments made in 10 counties
Ten counties in Pennsylvania will share $12.9 million in state funds for 11 rail projects that will restore or expand rail service and enhance safety. The funds are through PennDOT's Rail Freight Capital Budget/Transportation Assistance Program. The investments are intended to help businesses handle more freight safely and more efficiently so businesses will opt to use rail rather than trucks that will add to congested highways. The grants, administered by PennDOT's Bureau of Rail Freight, were approved by the State Transportation Commission.  
Connecticut entites to share $36 million for energy projects
Jodi RellCities and towns in Connecticut can compete for $20 million in Qualified Energy Conservation Bonds that are being made available through the federal Recovery Act. The state has received more than $36 million of the $3.2 billion in bonding made available nationwide. In announcing that the state will begin accepting applications for the bonding, Gov. M. Jodi Rell (pictured) said the funding "will serve as a critical resource" in financing much-needed energy conservation projects.
The bonds are a new category of tax credit bonds designed to go directly to governments, but up to 30 percent can be issued as private activity bonds. Of the $20 million available, $6.3 million has already been allocated to the state's largest cities. That funding includes: Bridgeport -$1.41 million; New Haven - $1.28 million; Stamford - $1.22 million; and Waterbury - $1.11 million. Approximately $16 million will be dedicated to alternative and renewable energy projects on state property. The bonds can be used for everything from reducing energy consumption in public buildings to public education campaigns promoting energy efficiency to mass transit projects that will reduce energy consumption and pollution. 
Operations, safety programs to be funded by grant
The Farmington, New Mexico, Fire Department has received a $167,895 from a U.S. Department of Homeland Security program. The funds can be used for operations and safety programs such as training, equipment, personal protective equipment, wellness and fitness and health and safety modifications to stations and facilities.
Federal funds to help clean up New Mexico brownfields
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has awarded a $400,000 grant for environmental cleanup to the New Mexico Environment Department. The funds will be used to assess and clean up brownfields - potentially contaminated locations. The brownfields will then be converted to use for redevelopment or reuse. The EPA grant provides $200,000 for petroleum sites and $200,000 for other hazardous waste sites. Officials said the sites, once cleaned up, can be used for parks, trails, affordable housing, etc.  
For information about these and other funding opportunities,
contact Reagan Weil or Richard Hartmann at 512-531-3900.
BP making $70M available for tourism grants for four states
Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana hope to mitigate effects of Gulf oil spill
BP PLC has announced it will award $70 million in grants to assist Gulf Coast states in mitigating the effects on tourism of its current massive oil spill off the Gulf Coast. Approximately 210,000 gallons of oil are spewing into the Gulf from the leak every day.
"We understand the Governors' concerns for the impact on the tourism industry, and are making funds available so that they can support the industry's efforts to provide accurate information about the state of the beaches across the region," said BP Group Chief Executive Tony Hayward.
The funds are in addition to $25 million the oil giant has already announced that it will award to the states of Florida, Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi to implement area contingency plans. BP will direct $25 million of the tourism money to Florida and $15 million each to Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana. BP officials say the states can use the money as they see fit to promote tourism. 
Where are they now?
Are you a government official who has moved into a new position or to a new agency? Did you recently retire? Were you recently named to an executive-level position at a state-supported college, university or community college? Have you secured a new job as superintendent of a public school? If so, we'd like to hear from you - and so would your friends and colleagues - for our "Where Are They Now" column. Just drop us a line at and let us know about your previous job and where you are now. This week we feature Michael J. Hogan.
Michael HoganMichael J. Hogan (pictured) began his career in higher education after earning a bachelor's degree from the University of Northern Iowa and his master's and Ph.D. from the University of Iowa. His first classroom stints were at The University of Texas at Austin and Stony Brook University. He then spent nine years teaching at Miami University before joining the faculty of The Ohio State University in 1986. While at Ohio State, he served as chair of the Department of History from 1993 to 1999, as dean of the College of Humanities from 1999 to 2003 and as executive dean of the Colleges of the Arts and Sciences from July 2001 to 2003. He left Ohio State to become executive vice president, provost and F. Wendell Miller Professor of History at The University of Iowa. In 2007, Hogan was named the 14th president of the University of Connecticut. Hogan this week was named president of the University of Illinois, effective July 1 pending confirmation of the university's board of regents.
What the states are doing with stimulus funds
Johnson County, Missouri, has received $250,000 in federal funds to renovate its Emergency Operations Center. The grant will be used to make physical changes to the Johnson County Emergency Operations Center and purchase equipment and technology.
In Connecticut, $140,000 in Recovery Act funds will be used to start a GPS domestic violence offender pilot project based in Bridgeport, Danielson and Hartford. The GPS monitoring will be for domestic violence offenders who are charged in adult criminal court with violating a restraining or protective order and present a high risk level.
Rehabilitation of three Cambria County, Pennsylvania, bridges will be funded by stimulus funds. The project includes removing and replacing the existing deck and adding any necessary roadway upgrades such as approach work, guardrail upgrades, delineator replacements and new pavement markets. In that same district, some $47 million in recovery funds has been spent on 21 projects.
Project Vida, which provides services to some 6,500 low- and moderate-income residents in the El Paso, Texas, area has been awarded a $6 million federal stimulus grant. The funds will be used to build a new headquarters in South Central El Paso. The funds will be used to demolish the current facility and pay for the design and construction of a new 25,000-square-foot headquarters and wellness center and a 4,000-square-foot addition to an existing medical clinic.
A 50-year-old bridge in Baltimore County, Maryland, will be replaced using $25 million in stimulus funds. The project, located at the interchange of I-695 and Rt. 26, is one of four top priority bridges that have been identified for replacement by the State Highway Administration.
Twelve county buildings in Maui County in Hawaii will get energy audits, thanks to $50,000 in stimulus funds from the U.S. Department of Energy. The Kahului Fire Station will be among the first of the buildings to undergo an audit. Fire stations in Wailuku, Paia, Lahaina, Makawao, Kihei, Napili, Kula and Wailea will also undergo energy audits. The Kaunoa and West Maui senior centers and the Mitchell Pauole Community Center on Moloka'i also will undergo studies meant to find ways to save the county energy costs and potentially outfit the facilities with renewable energy systems.
Low income senior citizens in Denver will have more housing choices thanks to $14 million in Recovery Act funds to renovate the Denver Garden Apartments. The state used Tax Credit Assistance Program funding for the renovations. Colorado was the first state to use these funds. 
John PistoleMary OntiverosJohn S. Pistole (top left), the number two official of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, has been nominated by the president to serve as administrator of the Transportation Security Administration, and if confirmed will replace Acting Administrator Gail Rossides. The State of Indiana has named Andrew VanZee as its first coordinator for overseeing efforts to move the state's hospitals and clinics to electronic health records. DeRionne P. Pollard, current president of Las Positas College in Livermore, California, has been named president of Montgomery College in Maryland, effective in August. Nobel Prize winner Dr. Harold Varmus, president of Memorial Sloan-Ketttering Cancer Center in New York, has been chosen by President Barack Obama to head the National Cancer Institute at the National Institutes of Health. John Scaringe, DC, former vice president for academic affairs at the University of Southern California has been named president of Southern California University of Health Sciences, a position he has held on an interim basis since August of last year. Missouri Senate President Pro Tem Charlie Shields will finish out his last year in the Legislature in January and then in July take over the reins as chief operating officer of Kansas City's Truman Medical Centers Lakewood facility.Kathy CoxPaul Hommert Juan Palma has been chosen director of the Bureau of Land Management's Utah office, having served as director of the Eastern States Office in Virginia. He replaces Selma Sierra, who will take Palma's job in Virginia. Mary Ontiveros (top right) has been named vice president for Diversity at Colorado State University, where she will continue a part-time position as associate vice president for the Division of Enrollment and Access. Georgia State Schools Superintendent Kathy Cox (bottom middle right) has been hired to run the U.S. Education Delivery Institute in Washington, a new national education nonprofit, effective July 1. Paul Hommert (middle left), head of the Sandia National Laboratories' nuclear weapons program, has been named the lab's next president, effective July 10. He will replace current president Tom Hunter, who is retiring. Four finalists have been named for the position of University Architect at the University of New Mexico - Amy Coburn, Phillip Gallegos, Michael Smith and Robert Doran. The director of the Texas Department of Travis BrownWendy WilkinsPublic Safety's Division of Emergency Management - Jack Colley - who lead emergency response efforts in Texas to the 2003 shuttle Columbia disaster and Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005, died this week after suffering a heart attack. J.S. Stack, director of development and grants and former chief executive officer at the nonprofit Sacramento Area Regional Technology Alliance, has been hired as administrator of the California Smart Grid Center. Cheryl J. Norton, president of Southern Connecticut State University, will step down at the end of May. Travis Brown (bottom left), a veteran of the Las Cruces, New Mexico, Fire Department since 1989 and who most recently has been serving as interim chief, has been named the city's new fire chief. Wendy K. Wilkins (bottom right), provost and vice president for academic affairs at the University of North Texas, is the newly named provost and executive vice president at New Mexico State University.

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Texas State University to host construction forum in June
Texas State University in San Marcos, Texas, is hosting a construction forum on Tuesday, June 1. The Historically Underutilized Business Outreach Program and Office of Facilities Planning Design and Construction program event will run from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on campus at the LBJ Student Center ballroom. Subcontractors who qualify or potentially qualify as a "Historically Underutilized Business" are invited to network with key stakeholders, Texas State staff, general contractors, other universities and local minority trade organizations on upcoming Texas State and other universities' construction projects. 
Government Health IT Conference planned in June 
The 2010 Government Health IT (GHIT) Conference and Exhibition, sponsored by the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS), is slated for June 15-16 at the Ronald Reagan Building in Washington, D.C. Featured educational tracks include: Blueprints for Nationwide Health Information Exchange and Connecting the Health Community. For more information, click here
Small business briefing conference slated in Texas 
The last session of the Texas Department of Transportation's (TxDOT) Business Outreach and Program (BOP) Services Small Business Briefing conferences has been announced for June 15 in Texarkana. The conference goal is to provide small and minority-owned business communities an opportunity to learn more about contracting opportunities with TxDOT. Information will be available to help them do business with the agency and the State of Texas. The sessions not only allow small businesses to be introduced to TxDOT and other state agencies, but also allows them to learn more about the economic development opportunities in their regions. It also allows the agencies to show the myriad of opportunities available for small and minority businesses in the state. For more information, click here or call 1.866.480.2518, Option 2. To register, click here.
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