From Real Clear Policy Who Fired Melissa Click? Free Markets by Thomas Lindsay
Professor Click was fired by the UM Board of Curators last Thursday. But it wasn’t really the board that did her in. It was free markets — prospective students, their parents, donors, and alumni — expressing their displeasure with their checkbooks.
This assault on the First Amendment rights of a student journalist — by a professor of communications, no less — was the straw that broke the campus’s back. The people of Missouri launched a protest of their own against the school’s handling of the protests. In January, it was reported that student applications had dropped 5 percent in the three months following the protests. Compared with last year, the state’s flagship university has received 914 fewer applications. Worse, the Columbia campus is suffering a 7.7 percent drop in high-scoring SAT and ACT applicants, and out-of-state applications are down 25 percent from last year.
The loss of out-of-state students hits the school’s bottom line especially hard. UM currently charges in-state students an annual tuition of $9,433, while out-of-state students pay more than two and a half times that amount — $24,460.
And then the other shoe dropped: Last week, UM announced that new pledges and donations in December — a key month for university fundraising — fell $6 million, a decrease of roughly 31 percent. Only the Columbia branch, where the protests took place, suffered these losses. No other UM branch experienced declines.