It was just about two years ago that agitation by Black Lives Matter and supporting groups began to protest around the clock on the Columbia campus, threatening those who disagreed with them and giving a long list of unreasonable demands for special treatment to the Administration. And while most students went about their business of trying to get an education, the protestors expanded around campus and created disruption of the other students, actions which should have generated disciplinary action and removal of those in their midst who weren't even students.
What did the University Administration do? They caved and ultimately resigned, at least the two top officials, and the result was continued mayhem and disruption which has adversely impacted the ability of the school to carry out its educational mission and sullied its reputation as a place of higher learning. And now two years later, the result is the university having to make significant budget cuts as students transfer to other schools and parents who attended the school seek other educational institutions for their children.
In the two years since the trouble started, the overall attendance at the school has dropped by two thousand students and, more critically, the number of freshman entering the school has been reduced by thirty-five percent. Athletic teams have suffered, most recently noted by basketball games being played in an arena at least one-third empty which used to be routinely sold out.
Dormitories are being closed, over one hundred staff employees have lost their jobs and another three hundred vacant jobs are not being filled. The money has just dried up with the drop in tuition and the legislature is unwilling to throw more money into a bad option. But the school likely will survive, but it may not thrive, at least not anytime soon if it doesn't wake up and focus on what it is supposed to be.
Why am I picking on Old Mizzou? Well, it's not to single the school out but merely to point out what happens when any organization allows disorderly behavior and anarchy to run unchecked. No one is going to spend the money for college tuition for a tainted product and Mizzou is just one of the most visible problem schools that we see in academia today. Education needs to get back to free speech (peaceful, of course), debate and learning. That doesn't come from safe rooms and controlled speech. When schools are turned into propaganda mills everyone gets hurt, but no one more so than the naive student who receives a degree before realizing it has qualified them for nothing. And that means more and more twenty-somethings return to the family nest while figuring out how to pay the bill for their outrageous student loan which will follow them for years.
I truly hope the University of Missouri is able to successfully overcome her problems and return to the ranks of quality education providers. This will require honesty, good and honest debate and the courage to support the free and open exchange of ideas. Otherwise, the entire process is a waste of time anyway and you might as well enroll in a trade program and become a plumber. At least you'll have a job.