A state Senate committee will consider tomorrow creating a commission to evaluate the University of Missouri system. Senate budget leader Kurt Schaefer (R-Columbia) says recent turmoil at the school has led to a House committee’s proposed $7.6 million budget cut to the University administration.
Students protested last fall about University leaders’ handling of incidents of racism on campus and professor Melissa Click calling for muscle to be used to remove a student journalist during those protests. She was fired two weeks ago by the University of Missouri Board of Curators, following an investigation prompted by the board.
“I think this resolution gives us the ability to objectively step back and before we make those changes, which will have long term implications on one of the greatest assets this state has, we want to be reasoned, we want to be calculated, we want facts and we want recommendations from those that are experts,” said Schaefer.
“For the last six years, we’ve increased general revenue funding to the University of Missouri on average $33 million a year. The University of Missouri alone this year has a record operating budget,” said Schaefer.
The panel would make recommendations including on rules and regulations, administrative and campus structures and degree and diversity programs.
“We’re not dictating the outcome,” said Schaefer. “We’re going to find the best and brightest that we can put on this committee to look at what is going on at the university and makes those recommendations.”
Schaefer did say the way the university handles such recommendations would dictate future funding decided by the Legislature.
The commission’s recommendations would have to be given to the Legislature and University of Missouri officials by the end of this year.