MU alumni group urges activism while Senate committee considers cuts

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JEFFERSON CITY - The Senate Appropriations Committee begins discussions Tuesday on amending the higher education appropriations bill.

The house-passed bill would cut the University of Missouri budget by $1 million and the University of Missouri System budget by $7.6 million. According to an email sent out by the Mizzou Alumni Association, the bill would deny MU and other UM System campuses the two percent performance funding increase given to other public institutions. 

The Mizzou Legislative Network sent out an email asking for support from alumni and an organization called Mizzou Advocates to let them know the bill will be discussed this week.  

The executive director for the Mizzou Alumni Association, Todd McCubbin, said the association often deals with budget cuts and he hopes it can gain support this week while the bill is discussed. 

"We have a lot of passionate alumni around the state and they love this place and they want to see Mizzou continue to strive and be stronger," McCubbin said. "Part of that is the partnership we have with our state."

McCubbin said the alumni association wants to educate alumni about the budget cuts and remind them to reach out to their local legislator with their questions and concerns. 

McCubbin said the proposed cuts are unlike those that have come before.

"It's a different situation with some of the things that happened on our campus in the fall, but we've faced them in the past as well," McCubbin said. 

When asked how the association has recovered from past cuts, McCubbin said, "We've been around since 1839 and there's a lot of wonderful things that happen on this campus and I think people understand that. They're not necessarily happy about everything that happens on our campus but for the most part, this is a great place." 

He said he hopes MU will receive more support by reaching out to alumni to educate them on what the cuts will mean. 

"I think we'll be fine, we've got to state our case and answer questions, that's part of the process and I think we'll do it and do it well," McCubbin said. 

He said he believes it is important for legislators to ask questions to MU while considering the budget. 

"Hopefully, at the end of the day when those questions are answered, they will see that we're a great investment for our state, which we really believe that we are being the state flagship university," McCubbin said.