One habit I’ve maintained when covering all of the special snowflake protests taking place at college and university campuses around the nation these past couple of years is pointing out the tuition which is being paid at each of them for the “education” which students are supposed to be receiving. Do the families responsible for laying out all of this money notice? There’s at least a hint that they do at the University of Missouri, site of Melissa Click’s muscle oriented approach to journalism and free speech. With administrators being forced to resign and normal educational activities largely shut down to accommodate the endless demands of the various aggrieved groups, enrollments have plummeted and the school is being forced to close facilities and lay off workers. (By “workers” I mean the people who do actual labor and keep the place running. Not the tenured professors of course.) Heat Street has the details.
After raucous protests last fall, the University of Missouri has “a dark cloud hanging over the institution—we can’t sugarcoat that,” vice chancellor of operations Gary Ward told faculty this week.
The university’s grave outlook became clearer Monday, as the data rolled in on freshman enrollment for the Fall 2016 semester, showing steep declines.
Compared to last year, 1,470 fewer students had paid their $300 enrollment fees by the May 1 deadline—and with cancellations rolling in over the weekend, the numbers may be even more grim, the local TV station KMIZ reports. That’s a drop of about 25% from last year’s freshman class of about 6,200.
A certain amount of fluctuation in applications is normal at any school from year to year, but a 25% drop in a single season is off the charts. There are virtually no other stories in the news about the offerings at Mizzou, so it’s pretty much impossible to lay this decline at the doorstep of anything but the ongoing protests and breakdown of the normal academic routine.
In addition to the plunge in aspiring freshmen, the school’s post-graduate studies programs are also becoming wildly unpopular. Grad school applications have dropped by 1,140. One observer has compared those numbers to a more famous disaster. (Emphasis added)
Fox Business’s Clay Travis writes that “the only comparable undergraduate enrollment decline in recent decades that I can find at any major college or university is Tulane University the year after Hurricane Katrina.”
The list of closures and reductions at the school which are listed in the linked article are truly staggering for a single year. Two dorms have already been closed down and two residence halls are scheduled to be shuttered this year. Their overall budget has shrunk by $32.5M and the staff will be taking out their own trash this semester after maintenance workers were let go. There also won’t be any snow removal on weekends in case you’re hoping to make it to the library. (Which has had its operating hours cut back anyway.)
Good job, special snowflakes! You’ve certainly opened up a new era of enlightenment at Mizzou. I know I always make jokes about how I’m not saying it’s time to burn down the universities, but at this point it looks like we wouldn’t need to anyway. They may just close on their own.