Dear Reader,

The Missourian covers the entire Columbia community, not just the MU campus.

Really.

It just doesn’t seem that way on some days. The U keeps making news.

I walked out of the newsroom about 6:15 Wednesday evening thinking, "Whew, what a day." That morning, we chased the revelations and accusations of the now ex-president of the UM System as he laid a scorched-earth strategy of contract negotiations. In the afternoon, MU’s interim chancellor, Hank Foley, gave a major pay increase to graduate student workers, even as they push to create a union on campus.

All old news by 6:45 p.m., when higher education editor Liz Brixey called to say a UM curator had resigned and the most nationally well-known professor at MU, Melissa Click, had been suspended.

Thursday morning, editor John Schneller leaned over to me and said, “I’m trying to find anything that’s not about the university.”

Still, this is a company town, and the company product is higher education.

It’s the second week of the semester, and the Missourian’s reporting students still have a bit of that glassy-eyed look you see when a storm is about to break right on top of you. So it’s good to have a “veteran” team to call on.

We’re lucky that two higher ed reporting stalwarts of last semester, Kasia Kovacs and Emma Vandelinder, have returned to continue covering the ongoing controversies at MU. They were on hand Wednesday, along with several of our more experienced reporters.

In January, I expected Kovacs, Vandelinder and reporters Daniel Christian and Aaron Reiss to have the luxury to produce a steady stream of enterprise articles around race and diversity. Yet here they were Wednesday doing what they did last year: scramble as big news hit.

Chancellor Foley had an explanation for the continued stream of controversy on campus: punctuated equilibrium. That’s a theory of evolution that says species stay pretty much the same for a long time and then — wham! — rapid change occurs.

A lot of folks are looking for equilibrium to re-establish itself at MU. I see a lot more punctuating happening ahead.

Foley’s is as good a theory as any. I’m sticking with the more lowbrow theory made popular by the character Howard Beale in the 1976 film “Network”:

People who are tired of being ignored and marginalized have said they’re as mad as hell and aren’t going to take it anymore.

Tom

Tom Warhover is the executive editor of the Missourian. Contact him by e-mail at warhovert@missouri.edu or by phone at (573) 882-5734.

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