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SLU Receives $1M Grant Toward Education Policy
ST. LOUIS, MO, (, January 13, 2019 - The Office of the Vice President for Research and the School of Education at Saint Louis University (SLU) hasd announced that Gary Ritter, Ph.D., dean for the School of Education, has received a $962,000 grant from the Walton Family Foundation.

The grant will support the development of a new research center in the SLU School of Education dedicated to conducting applied research and disseminating results to education stakeholders across the state of Missouri. The Center will be known as the SLU PRiME Center, where PRiME stands for "Policy Research in Missouri Education." The PRiME Center will serve as a resource for state lawmakers, educators, administrators and other education leaders to reference when making critical policy decisions for K-12 education in the state of Missouri.

"We want Missouri's education leaders and key lawmakers to have access to every resource available when making key policy decisions," said Gary Ritter, Ph.D., dean of the School of Education. "This proposal was inspired by a similar program I founded at the University of Arkansas that has been very successful. The Walton Family Foundation's grant will help us bridge the gap between research and practice by gathering evidence on questions that are important to policymakers for education in Missouri."

Due to launch early spring 2019, the SLU PRiME Center will publish annual "report cards" for schools and districts across Missouri, produce reports that compare Missouri to the rest of the nation in areas such as student outcomes and teacher pay, post regular blog entries on critical education issues affecting both St. Louis and the state, and sponsor an annual conference that brings together education leaders and researchers throughout Missouri. The office will be similar to other education policy programs across the country including: OEP at the University of Arkansas; EPIC at Michigan State University; HERC at the University of Houston; and CEPA at Stanford University.

The SLU PRiME Center received initial seed funding from the university's Big Ideas Challenge-a multi-year competition that offers increasing levels of investment for projects that showcase broad faculty engagement, strong leadership and compelling research initiatives.

"Dr. Ritter and his team's Big Idea for education policy in Missouri falls in line with one of our commitments as a university - to generate research focused on addressing societal challenges," said Ken Olliff, vice president for research at SLU. "We look forward to seeing the changes this project will inspire for educational progress in our region and state."

The Center will be staffed by two full-time researchers as well as student workers; moreover, the Center will benefit from the involvement of Dean Ritter and other SLU faculty conducting research in the area of education policy, including, but not limited to, faculty members from the School of Education and the Chaifetz School of Business.

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STL's Terminal 1 Re-Opened after Roof Fire Extinguished
ST. LOUIS, MO, (, January 13, 2019 - The Office of the Vice President for Research Terminal 1 at St. Louis Lambert International (STL) re-opened at 9:30 a.m. Sunday after an evacuation caused by a roof fire. The fire was isolated on the western end of the roof in Terminal 1. The evacuation lasted more than two hours.

More than 130 firefighters responded to the incident from the St. Louis City Fire Department and other agencies assisting the City's Airport's fire division. The firefighters extinguished the smoldering fire, which appeared to be burning through plywood and roofing insulation under the top copper layer of the Terminal 1 roof. There were no injuries. There was no fire inside the building.

"There was a tremendous and quick response from the St. Louis Fire Department and our mutual-aid agencies to quickly isolate, contain and put out the fire to minimize the damage and determine the terminal was safe to re-open," said STL Director Rhonda Hamm-Niebruegge. "We know this was a difficult fire to attack. They were operating on a sloped, copper roof, with snow."

Firefighters had to cut into the copper roof on the airfield side of the domed roof to isolate the danger zone and extinguish the fire. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Passengers were relocated to the Terminal 1 Garage during the incident because the evacuation forced the closure of all ticketing and checkpoint operations. There were only two temporary flight diversions during the incident.

Airlines are working with their customers to check-in for their original flights or other flights if necessary.

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