Missouri Legislature Makes Punitive Budget Cuts
The Missouri House of Representatives voted last spring to cut money from the University of Missouri budget to register disapproval of several faculty and staff actions.
The representatives rescinded $500,000 to punish the School of Journalism after the news director of its television station instructed staff not to wear symbols such as American flag pins or red, white, and blue ribbons when appearing on the air. In an e-mail memo to staff, the news director wrote that the reason for the policy was that news broadcasts were not the appropriate place to make personal statements of support for causes.
In a separate act, the legislature voted to cut $120,000 from the university's budget to show disapproval of Elizabeth Van Uum, an administrator at the university's St. Louis campus. Van Uum was accused by representatives of performing tasks associated with Democratic Party politics on work time, which she denies. Another $100,000 was cut from the budget to register disapproval of a 1999 scholarly article by Harris Mirkin, a professor of political science at the university's Kansas City campus. …