Education

The Corner

The University of Missouri Still Pays the Price for Campus Craziness

Remember the overblown, hysterical protests that roiled the University of Missouri in 2015? Remember how professor Melissa Click called for “muscle” to boot the press from protest sites? Remember how ESPN previewed its Colin Kaepernick lovefest with its fawning coverage of the football team’s threat to boycott a game? Well, it turns out that lots of people still do, and that’s not good for the university. Here’s the Chronicle of Higher Education:

This fall the University of Missouri at Columbia will welcome its smallest freshman class in nearly two decades. As of this month, just 4,009 first-time freshmen had made enrollment deposits, a decline of 35 percent from the 2015 class of 6,191 students.

The precipitous drop is striking for a public flagship with a prominent national brand, one that has seen enrollment grow almost every year since the turn of the century.

In 2015 the student population reached a record high of 35,448. Come August, Mizzou plans to enroll about 30,700 students over all. Seven of its residence halls will be closed temporarily.

University officials claim that a “negative public perception” of the school is the “main reason for the drop” (Missouri’s population is also stagnant.) I’m not surprised. The Southeastern Conference is not the Ivy League, and the student/parent constituency is very different. The school found itself trapped between radical minority students who described it as hell on earth (why would a black student want to come to Mizzou?) and a more moderate population that thought the entire affair was absurdly overblown. 

The Chronicle doesn’t note this, but the football gods were displeased as well. In 2013 and 2014 the team was a powerhouse. It had two consecutive 7-1 records in the SEC, it won the Cotton and Citrus bowls, and it’s combined record was 23-5. In 2015 and 2016 the team went 1-7 and 2-6 in the conference and finished with a combined record of 12-20. But Mizzou football was even worse than the record indicated. At times the offense was the single most painful sight on television until the absurd Twin Peaks reboot. 

The lesson, as always, never mess with SEC football. The consequences are too awful to contemplate. 

David French — David French is a senior writer for National Review, a senior fellow at the National Review Institute, and a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Most Popular

Law & the Courts

Obstruction Confusions

In his Lawfare critique of one of my several columns about the purported obstruction case against President Trump, Gabriel Schoenfeld loses me — as I suspect he will lose others — when he says of himself, “I do not think I am Trump-deranged.” Gabe graciously expresses fondness for me, and the feeling is ... Read More
Politics & Policy

Students’ Anti-Gun Views

Are children innocents or are they leaders? Are teenagers fully autonomous decision-makers, or are they lumps of mental clay, still being molded by unfolding brain development? The Left seems to have a particularly hard time deciding these days. Take, for example, the high-school students from Parkland, ... Read More
PC Culture

Kill Chic

We live in a society in which gratuitous violence is the trademark of video games, movies, and popular music. Kill this, shoot that in repugnant detail becomes a race to the visual and spoken bottom. We have gone from Sam Peckinpah’s realistic portrayal of violent death to a gory ritual of metal ripping ... Read More
Elections

Romney Is a Misfit for America

Mitt’s back. The former governor of Massachusetts and occasional native son of Michigan has a new persona: Mr. Utah. He’s going to bring Utah conservatism to the whole Republican party and to the country at large. Wholesome, efficient, industrious, faithful. “Utah has a lot to teach the politicians in ... Read More
Law & the Courts

What the Second Amendment Means Today

The horrifying school massacre in Parkland, Fla., has prompted another national debate about guns. Unfortunately, it seems that these conversations are never terribly constructive — they are too often dominated by screeching extremists on both sides of the aisle and armchair pundits who offer sweeping opinions ... Read More
U.S.

Fire the FBI Chief

American government is supposed to look and sound like George Washington. What it actually looks and sounds like is Henry Hill from Goodfellas: bad suit, hand out, intoning the eternal mantra: “F*** you, pay me.” American government mostly works by interposition, standing between us, the free people at ... Read More
Film & TV

Black Panther’s Circle of Hype

The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) first infantilizes its audience, then banalizes it, and, finally, controls it through marketing. This commercial strategy, geared toward adolescents of all ages, resembles the Democratic party’s political manipulation of black Americans, targeting that audience through its ... Read More