MU budget cuts threaten families


Following the controversial protests that grasped the community and the country, the University of Missouri has made attempts to retain student enrollment. Many students’ loyalty to the local university have wavered after the controversies.

Ji-Ho Lee

With a single stroke of a pen, legislators used a tattered past as justification to cut $8 million from the University of Missouri – Columbia (UMC). With a single stroke of a pen, legislators tore down families they had never even met. With one stroke, state congressmen rejected students and teachers they did not know because of a series of unfortunate events that required action.
A majority of the budget cuts, $7.6 million, affect the University’s central administration, while the remaining sum, $402,059, accumulate to the salaries of three former faculty members.
While the state legislators think they are doing something good for the state and the community by punishing a school with a negative history, they are doing the exact opposite.
Racially charged campus protests by groups like #ConcernedStudent1950 and the actions of individuals like Melissa Click, who made controversial remarks about blocking reporters are the reason behind the economic consequence.
The budget cut, however, affects many people at UMC who had nothing to do with the protests.
Beyond reprimanding innocent people, the budget cut harms those who felt the protests were negative and unhelpful. There is no soul on campus left untouched by the legislature’s actions.
A highly confusing aspect of this budget cut is its purpose. What inspired the legislators to pass this legislation?
If state congressmen are attempting to improve the school, taking $8 million from a university that is already being hammered by decreased enrollment will do nothing but injure the institution.
If legislators are trying to punish the school, the consequence should be more directed toward those who created the situation in the first place.
On the other hand, if legislators are trying to take jobs from hard-working professors, overcrowd classrooms, decrease the diversity of classes and educational opportunities and make an already difficult job even harder for interim president Mike Middleton and future leaders of the university, the state legislators did a terrific job.
House Budget Committee Chairman Tom Flanigan said the committee decided to move forward with the budget cuts in response to the actions of Click, the “red tape and delays” exhibited by school officials, faculty teaching waivers, conflict of interest policies and the allowance of improper behavior by employees.
While Flanigan’s explanation seems understandable, the congressman’s inability to recognize the massive ripple effect of the budget cuts makes the cuts unjustifiable. UMC administration has indeed struggled severely in recent months.
But the budget cuts punish more than just the administration, and some of the administrators who caused much of this ruckus are no longer employed by the university in the first place.
Nearly all of the people who created the turmoil and conflict on Mizzou’s campus last November remain unaffected by the legislation.
Instead, it is the professors and educators, the backbone of the university, the men and women who ensure that students receive the best education they can possibly get, the people who had nothing to do with the events at UMC five months ago, that get punished.
While it is difficult to do anything to reverse what has already been signed into action, a large reason for the introduction of the budget cuts in the first place was a series of events that was used to generalize an entire university.
In the future, as controversial events take place, do not turn specific events into large generalizations. Instead, investigate the true causes of the events, rather than build an opinion based on heresay reputations.