Monday, November 9, 2015

Power on University Campuses

There has been a lot of struggle and conflict on college campuses lately over a variety of issues, particularly racial tensions and ongoing problems with minority and marginalized persons. These issues affect some campuses more than others, and some (Yale & Missouri) have become national flashpoints.

Today we get word that, one day after saying that he would NOT resign, University of Missouri President Tim Wolfe has stepped down as President there.

What brought national attention to Wolfe's situation, and what may have led to his ouster, was a threatened strike by their football team (over 50% of which is African-American). The university stood to lose upwards of $1 million in TV revenues if it doesn't play next Saturday's game.

There you have about as stark a statement of power on campuses as I can think of. Student movements, even some fairly sizable ones, haven't accomplished much of anything. A Mizzou student has for over a week been on a hunger strike, vowing to starve himself to death. None of this moved the needle much. But when the football team threatens to cut into the university's revenue ... well, that's a different story.

For those that claim sports don't run Div I universities - do you still think so?

1 comment:

  1. Well. In so far as they generate money and money controls everything. A strike by the women's field hockey team would not have had the same effect. A professor who generates large grants might have.