Oleg Zabluda's blog
Saturday, June 30, 2018
Fallout: University of Missouri struggles with $50 million shortfall, reduced enrollment after racial protests
Fallout: University of Missouri struggles with $50 million shortfall, reduced enrollment after racial protests
School cuts 185 positions in response to funding crisis

The school has suffered from a negative public image and reduced funding in the wake of the protests. State funding cuts and continuing depressed enrollment resulted in a $49 million budget shortfall. To cope, the administration laid off 30 employees and permanently eliminated 155 vacant positions.

In fall 2015, the alleged use of racial of racial slurs toward the leader of the Missouri students association led to an explosion of racial activism and protests on the campus.

In response to the protests, the university implemented mandatory “diversity and inclusion training for all faculty, staff, and students,” though activists continued their demonstrations anyway. [...] then-university president Tim Wolfe resigned. Former chancellor R. Bowen Loftin shortly followed Wolfe’s example, announcing his resignation several hours after Wolfe’s.

During the University of Missouri protests, which continued after the president and chancellor’s resignations, professor Melissa Click infamously accosted Tim Tai, a freelance reporter covering the events for ESPN. Click was later charged with third-degree assault. [...] The university dismissed her a little over a month later.

Following the unrest, Missouri citizens, lawmakers and students began to take a negative view of the university.

In the midst of the protests, [... poll found that 58% of respondents viewed the university administration negatively in light of their response to the protests.

In 2016, the Missouri legislature passed a budget bill which contained a $3.8 million cut for the University of Missouri’s administration. This was openly billed as a reprisal for their handling of the 2015 protests, according to The Columbia Missourian. A total of $12 million was cut from the university’s budget that year.

Last year Missouri governor Eric Greitens withheld a further $22 million of funding from the university system in 2017 to maintain a balanced budget as required by the state’s constitution.

Greitens proposed another $43 million in cuts to the University of Missouri’s budget for this year, though legislators ultimately settled on a $2 million cut.

Representative Kip Kendrick told The Fix that for the 2017 fiscal year, the legislature specifically directed cuts at the University of Missouri administration and the Columbia campus where the protests took place. In the same year, the state established and funded a commission to review the University of Missouri system.

Missouri state senator Tom Hurst ascribed decreasing enrollment and state support to the university’s response to the 2015 protests: “Couple of years ago, whenever all the protests were taking place on the campus, many students decided they did not want that atmosphere and attended different universities. From what I’ve seen we did not lose those students to other states, they just went to other universities within the state.”

“Given that it seems like MU does not need the funding, but some of the other universities in the State could use a little extra help because they did the right thing,” Hurst added.

Student enrollment began to drop after the protests as well.

In fall 2015, the semester that saw the protests, total Mizzou enrollment stood at 35,448. In fall of 2017, that number was down to 30,870.
“Students were afraid to walk on campus [...] wanted a special curve just for black students,” Chancelloer said.




Powered by Blogger