The 2015 University of Missouri Protests and Their Lessons for Higher Education

July 30, 2018

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Title: The 2015 University of Missouri Protests and Their Lessons for Higher Education Policy and Administration

Source: The Social Science Research Network (SSRN)

In an effort to capture the experiences and lessons from the 2015 University of Missouri (Mizzou) student protests, Ben Trachtenberg of the university’s School of Law has published the first scholarly article on the events, “The 2015 University of Missouri Protests and their Lessons for Higher Education Policy and Administration.”

The protests led to significant decreases in enrollment at the university, which in turn stifled financial resources and strained relationships with state legislators. As Trachtenberg notes, the case offers an opportunity for other institutions to learn from Mizzou’s experiences in managing institutional unrest.

The article covers both the challenges and missteps Mizzou made in responding to growing racial and civil unrest on its campus. It also clarifies how common the experiences of Mizzou are in higher education and demystifies some of the claims made about the student protests.

In response to the article, a University of Missouri spokesperson underscored Trachtenberg’s findings:

“Professor Ben Trachtenberg is a respected faculty member of the University of Missouri’s School of Law, and his analysis is a thought-provoking portrayal of what happened at Mizzou in 2015. As Professor Trachtenberg states in his report, the issues that administrators faced at Mizzou are not unique in higher education. In the past three years, significant changes have improved the climate while leaders have responded to concerns and helped the university stay true to its values of respect, responsibility, excellence and discovery — and people are noticing.”

Among suggested strategies, Trachtenberg’s article highlights the importance of university leaders having quick and thoughtful responses to student concerns and provides an insightful list of practices for other institutions to glean from.

To read the full article, click here.


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