Dear All,

At yesterday's AAUP-MU meeting, we spent most of our time discussing 
Nixon's college funding plan.  I have sent or forwarded to you documents 
and articles which make it clear that this is not just something 
happening in Missouri, but is becoming a national trend.

I do believe it is very likely that the funding formulas we will face 
will not be helpful, and will generally make things worse.  This is 
because those creating the formulas are primarily legislatures - not 
academics.  They will not understand what does or doesn't work.

But, I also believe that we as faculty have not stepped up to the task 
of making our institutions as effective as they can be.  I think that 
the legislature is filling a leadership vacuum that we as faculty have 
vacated.  It has become clear to me we have not exercised the 
responsibility that shared governance requires.

I am reluctant to criticize governor Nixon, or any other state governor, 
for trying to fix education. Rather than fight them in their goals to 
bring accountability to higher education, I would prefer to work with 
them to make sure that the metrics used to judge us are effective and 
helpful.  At the end of the day, I want MU to be a beacon in Missouri, 
that brings quality education at a price the average resident can 
afford, and quality research that enhances our understanding of the world.

I honestly don't know how to do this, or even to get started.  But if 
anyone wishes to join me in this endeavor, I welcome your support.

Stephen Montgomery-Smith