JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Rep. Curtis, D-Ferguson, as part of the Joint Committee on Education, sat in on the testimony of officials from the University of Missouri System on Wednesday. The UM leadership was required to answer questions about its strides in diversity, a controversial communications professor and a grim financial outlook.
Rep. Curtis has continuously pointed out, since events that took place last fall that it is taking too long to implement changes to make the UM school system more inclusive. His concerns are that the Board of Curators and the interim individuals aren’t moving quickly enough to actually solve the issues that still provoking and bringing national attention to the University of Missouri Columbia as well as the System.
“The interim leadership, and the UM officials talk about needing more time, when it is apparent that action is needed now. If there were no tools at their disposal, then it would make sense to allow more time. However, the University has studies that go years back dealing with diversity. I provided the University with a Framework for Inclusion, developed last November, which details a thorough outline of steps that could be taken to move the UM system towards becoming a more inclusive place for learning and scholarship.
This 25 year plan outlines long-term and short-term approaches that could begin to deal with the systemic issues pervading the UM system from an all-encompassing perspective. Only by using the tools at their disposal right now, and taking both system-wide steps, as well as campus specific actions, will the UM officials restore my faith in their leadership.
I have spent 11 years trying to improve this system, and time and time again feel resistance from the leadership towards taking crucial steps. I hope that the leadership will begin to learn from past mistakes, and work quickly and competently to improve diversity,” said Curtis.
For further questions, please contact Rep. Curtis’ office at 573-751-0855.