Cuts would be "devastating" says Chancellor Deaton

Jan 31, 2012

A proposal to cut state funding to higher education would be devastating, according to MU Chancellor Brady Deaton.

Speaking on KBIA’s Intersection, Deaton said the 12.5% cut to MU’s budget would set the university’s state funding back to 1997 levels, despite having increased student enrollment by 50% in the time since. He says this would come on top of an already low record of state funding to higher education, with Missouri ranking lowest in terms of per capita funding among southeastern states.

"So I think if you look very long term at that, you begin to see a pattern of economic development that’s not playing to Missouri’s best interest. And we lament that, because the citizens of Missouri deserve better than that," Chancellor Deaton said.

Deputy Commissioner of the Missouri Department of Higher Education Paul Wagner says public funding of higher education historically helped bridge the education gap between low and high income families. Without that support, he expects to see a greater divide.

"That’s the model that we’re heading toward, is back toward the delineation between those who can afford to pay and those who can’t.  That’s simply the result of public disinvestment," Wagner said.

The cuts will have to be approved by a legislative vote before going into effect.