It’s apparently payback time for the anti-racism protests last fall at the University of Missouri.
State Republican House Budget Chairman Tom Flanigan proposed a budget Tuesday that would cut $8 million from Mizzou—targeting specific individuals, the Kansas City Star reports.
This retribution comes, according to DiversityInc.com, as Missouri’s House Committee for Higher Education Appropriations plans to increase funding for all state schools—except Mizzou.
Melissa Click is the primary target. She’s the mass communications professor caught on video in a confrontation with a student journalist during the demonstrations.
The proposed $8 million budget cut would slash about $400,000 in salary to the communications chair, dean of arts and science, and altogether eliminate Click’s salary. It takes away another $7.6 million from the system administration, which includes the president’s office, board of curators, and multicampus functions, according to the Star.
Anti-racism protests at Mizzou suddenly captured the national spotlight when the university’s Black football players announced a boycott of scheduled games. The heated climate of racial unrest on the campus ultimately convinced the university’s president Tim Wolfe to resign.
“It would be one thing if it just made state news, but this is national. … I’m trying to make people understand that we are not a laughingstock,” said Missouri state Rep. Donna Lichtenegger, the Republican chair of the education appropriations committee, according to DiversityInc.com.
But the GOP lawmakers are getting some pushback.
“These retaliatory cuts aren’t going to impact administrators. They are going to hurt students in the form of decreased educational opportunities and higher tuition fees,” said Missouri state Rep. Stephen Webber, the ranking Democrat on the education appropriations committee, the Star reports.
Criticism of the revenge budget cut also comes from the Star’s editorial board:
“Careful, Missouri lawmakers. Your pettiness is showing.”
The editorial board disputes Flanigan’s claim that the budget cuts are harmless. His plan, the editors insist, would likely trigger a tuition increase.