Missouri House Republicans have proposed individual line items for each campus in the University of Missouri system, along with $7.6 million in cuts to the system’s administration and a $400,000 cut to the flagship campus. The $400,000 reduction is equivalent of salaries for professor Melissa Click, a communications chair and the dean of arts and science.
Representative Kip Kendrick (D-Columbia) is concerned that more cuts could be proposed as budget discussions progress.
“Separating all of the university campuses is a horrible precedent to set. I assume that we are going to see punishment coming down from the General Assembly when the General Assembly doesn’t like what each individual campus is doing,” said Kendrick.
Kendrick warns that the reductions would damage the state’s economy.
“We are 44th in the nation in higher education spending. The University of Missouri has been a necessary component of moving this economy forward in a globalized economy that we are facing,” said Kendrick.
“If these cuts go through, the people that are going to feel the cuts are the low level employees at the University of Missouri and the students. At a time when student debt is at $1.3 trillion in the United States, we can’t continue to tax the middle class by cutting education funding and increasing tuition. That’s what would happen.”
Some state lawmakers continue to criticize the University for its response to protests last fall and what they call a lack of leadership. Students protested about University leaders handling of incidents of racism on campus and professor Melissa Click has been suspended with pay for calling for “some muscle” to be used on a student journalist during those protests.
Kyle Hill of KWIX contributed to this story.