Feb. 16, 2012 Volume 33, No. 20
The Weekly Staff Meeting: M. Dianne Drainer
Work Place: Mizzou Alumni Association
Title: MAA advocacy director, MU government relations liaison and MAA liaison to the school’s and college’s alumni organizations
Years at MU: Three
Favorite Quote: “I am a firm believer in people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The great point is to bring them the real facts.” — Abraham Lincoln
What are your current job duties?
I am working to build up the MAA network of Mizzou advocates who volunteer throughout the state to support our flagship university, which has faced continued reductions in state core funding. As the MAA advocacy director, I work closely to support the Mizzou Legislative Network Committee, which is a grassroots lobbying coalition of alumni, students and friends of Mizzou who share a dedication to support higher education and the university. I also work as MU’s liaison to UM System Government Relations to coordinate all legislative activities at MU.
•What is your favorite part about working at Mizzou?
As a first-generation university graduate, my working for Mizzou has given me the opportunity to give back to the university by working with MU administration, faculty, staff, alumni, and all our Mizzou partners in advocating for supporting this flagship university before the Missouri governor and General Assembly.
If you weren’t doing this for a living, what would your dream job be?
I have spent my career in public service, including being the vice chair and commissioner of the Missouri Public Service Commission. I consider it a privilege to continue my public service at Mizzou.
How do you spend your time away from the university?
With family, reading and cheering on our Mizzou Tigers.
What do you consider the most rewarding aspects of your job?
Meeting and interacting with the incredible and supportive faculty, staff, alumni, friends of Mizzou and all the Mizzou supportive partners, such as our students and parents.
What is most demanding or challenging part of your job?
Our challenge is with Gov. Jay Nixon’s fiscal year 2012–13 proposed budget. Mizzou is facing a dire financial situation. While the governor’s proposed amendment to this budget this month would offset a portion of this reduction for the first year, the additional $40 million would be a one-time supplement to the higher education budget and not a change to the amount of the actual reduction. It is critical that all advocates for higher education communicate with the governor and the Missouri General Assembly and ask them to reverse the negative funding trend for higher education.
To build up the network of support and receive up-to-date information on legislative happenings related to higher education, please encourage friends and colleagues to join MAA and our Mizzou Legislative Network.
What others say about Drainer:
“Dianne is a tremendous link between the government relations team in Jefferson City and the alumni and friends groups who make up the grassroots network of people who interact with legislators in support of the university. She is enthusiastic, dedicated and thorough in her approach to the job.” — Marty Oetting, director of MU government relations.