UM-System signs conduct agreement
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UM-System signs conduct agreement

Date: October 22, 2007
By: Sarah D. Wire
State Capitol Bureau
Links: http://www.umsystem.edu/ums/news/releases/news07102201.shtml

JEFFERSON CITY - University of Missouri employees who assist students getting loans have been officially barred from working for a lending company or accepting money or gifts from loan agencies under an executive order signed Monday by the University of Missouri System's interim president.

The order parallels the voluntary code of conduct that the state attorney general has been urging colleges and universities to agree to since March.

A UM-System news release states that Interim President Gordon Lamb issued an executive order which will be added to the University's Collected Rules and Regulations, but makes no direct mention of Attorney General Jay Nixon's code of conduct agreement.

The executive order outlines eight tenants of the proper student loan relationship; four of the student loan provisions comprise the Attorney General's Code of Conduct. Among the provisions, the code prohibits kickbacks to schools, requires information disclosures about preferred lenders and limits school employees participation on lender advisory boards.

"This executive order will boost confidence that the University uses the best practices, while enhancing clarity and consistency in student lending practices across our four campuses," Lamb is quoted as saying in the release.

Nixon's office spokesman Scott Holste said the Attorney General's office has been working with the UM-System for a few months and is happy that Lamb made the executive order.

"It mirrors the agreements made with other schools," Holste said.

Holste said the addition of the UM-System means that most of the state's larger higher education institutions have agreed to some form of the code of conduct.

Twenty-six Missouri Colleges and Universities have reached similar agreement's with the Attorney General's Office.

The Attorney General drafted the code of conduct agreement after New York's state attorney general, Andrew Cuomo, began a national investigation into the relationship between student loan lenders and universities nationwide.

The executive order provisions include: