The primary function of the Independent Colleges and Universities of Missouri (ICUM) is to represent its members before the Missouri General Assembly and its Executive branch of government as well as the Congress and the Federal Executive offices. 

In so doing, professional lobbying will represent the best interests of the member’s colleges and universities by fulfilling these functions:

  • Promoting and/or supporting legislation that defends or enhances the role of independent higher education.
  • Monitoring and rallying support against any proposed legislation, regulation, or rule which is detrimental to the role and causes of independent higher education.
  • Working with similar organizations as appropriate, to further independent higher education’s interests on national or regional issues.
  • Working with public higher education when projects or legislation give evidence of benefiting independent and public colleges and universities.

The mission of ICUM will be best fulfilled if all eligible institutions are members.  To that end, a professional lobbyist, guided by and responsible to the membership must provide such leadership and work within a guarded budget, so as to make member benefits obvious and membership fees reasonable.



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Independent Colleges and Universities of Missouri
P.O. Box 1865
Jefferson City, MO 65102-1865
(573) 635-9160
Fax: (573) 635-6258

ICUM brings together Missouri’s independent colleges and universities to speak with one voice on issues of importance to higher education and to our students. We actively engage policy makers and members of the Missouri General Assembly to strengthen, to protect and to advocates for public policies that promote the vibrant and thriving higher educational network that we now enjoy in Missouri.

ICUM strongly support legislation to increase financial aid opportunities for our students.  In 1971, our members led the effort to create our state’s first need-based financial assistance program, the Missouri Student Grant Program. ICUM went on to work with representatives of public institutions and Coordinating Board for Higher Education to develop what is now the state’s primary financial assistance program for postsecondary students. The highly successful Access Missouri Financial Aid Program provides scholarships to some 100,000 Missouri students with demonstrated financial need. ICUM has partnered with students in the Keep Me In College Coalition to preserve Access Missouri funding for students attending independent colleges and universities in Missouri.

ICUM also seeks to protect the autonomy that independent institutions have always enjoyed. Finally, ICUM advocates for a holistic approach to provide more support for higher education of all forms in Missouri.