A commission to examine the way things are handled at the University of Missouri system is being considered by a House committee. The measure, proposed by Senator Kurt Schaefer (R-Columbia), has passed out of the Senate.
The commission would make recommendations by the end of the year including on rules and regulations, administrative and campus structures, and degree and diversity programs.
Representative Gina Mitten (D-St. Louis) tells Representative Caleb Rowden (R-Columbia) she wants the panel to be diverse.
“I don’t see anything in here that requires any sort of diversity, any number of women or any number of persons of color,” asked Mitten.
“In its current form, you are correct,” said Rowden.
“So this could just be eight white men appointed by the Speaker and Pro-Tem,” said Mitten.
“I think in some scenario, yes,” responded Rowden.
Representative Jay Barnes (R-Jefferson City) says it goes both ways.
“It could be eight African-Americans appointed by the Speaker and Pro-Tem, correct,” asked Barnes.
“I believe it also could be,” said Rowden.
“It could be eight women,” asked Barnes.
“That’s a very real possibility as well,” said Rowden.
Representative Courtney Allen Curtis (D-Ferguson) wants African-Americans on the panel.
“I just want to ensure that my community is indeed involved and our voices are heard,” said Curtis.
Anti-racism protests last fall at the Columbia campus led to the resignation of former President Tim Wolfe. Many lawmakers are critical of how the University responded to the protests, and some believe what they see as faults in the response could be blamed on the system’s structure and operations.