“We are confronted primarily with a moral issue.”
— John F. Kennedy
Missouri Southern may soon be confronted with a moral issue. Will it do the right thing?
Once again, Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon has published
The Satanic Verses his FY 2013 budget proposal. And in it he has handed public institutions of higher education a fistful of shit. You know it is bad when even the Republicans in the General Assembly are going, “What the fuck? We hate that intellectual elite, but the question is ‘Is our kid learning?'”
So how will the green and gold handle this communal shit sandwich? RTV might find out today. The college presidents are meeting with the governor to
call him an asshole plead their case. And, hey, if The Fedora’d One calls Nixon an asshole (or even implies it), we will back him. But the response to this epic downturn in state appropriations is scary to everyone.
It was the hot topic at The Watch’s Monday editorial meeting at Pat’s Lounge in Pittsburg, Kan. In fact one Watch editor said the following:
“I would cut every single athletics program before I would eliminate one degree program or hurt the academic integrity of this university. Or at least what’s left of its academic integrity.”
Please note that this person is in his or her 20s. That wasn’t faculty.
But really. We are trying to raise MILLIONS of dollars for athletic facilities improvements at a time when we can’t hire tenure track faculty. Jesus a Go Go is trying to sell naming rights to buildings, programs, toilets and spatulas at the new Pizza Hut Express. Why? To fund capital improvements and athletics.
We want to jump all over her. But we can’t. It isn’t her fault.
Donors don’t want to fund education, generally. That is the state’s job, they believe. They pay taxes, after all. They want to fund grand projects and excellence. Hell, University of Missouri Interim President Steve Owens said as much to the General Assembly.
So the cuts have to come from the universities. And they have to cut academics. They have to cut their morals and their souls at the altar of athletics. If they cut athletics, they say, donors go away.
We don’t believe that. Not here. Not at Missouri Southern.
This isn’t a football factory. Cut football if it saves a major. At some schools, football funds research. Here, football doesn’t fund itself.
That won’t happen, of course. We just hired a new head coach and nine assistants. And the only major fund raising coup of the Speck era is to build a sports complex that may or may not include his elevator to the president’s box.
And it may be a matter of survival. Some have noted that Missouri supports more public four-year colleges than bordering states. What if they decide at the state level to cut institutions?
But, if we believe the NCAA mantra that most all students are going pro in something other than sports, why do we cut their opportunities?
It is like a family choosing HBO over groceries. And it doesn’t make us a university, it makes us entertainment.
It sure doesn’t make us moral.