Leverage, But for Whom? [...]

The Mizzou protests devastated Mizzou’s financial position. But the loss of revenue came from people supporting both sides of the conflict.

In one instance, a retired professor wrote a prescient note to top university officials, cautioning that “serious backlash could result” and that “students making demands, protests, disrupting events or that kind of thing won’t sell well outstate.”

His prediction proved spot-on. The 7,400 pages of emails, reviewed exclusively by these two publications, reveal how Mizzou overwhelmingly lost the support of longtime sports fans, donors, and alumni. Parents and grandparents wrote in from around the country declaring that their family members wouldn’t be attending Mizzou after the highly publicized controversy. Some current students talked about leaving.

MORE: Emails show safety fears rampant on Mizzou campus

This passionate backlash doesn’t appear to have been a bluff. Already, freshman enrollment is down 25%, leaving a $32 million funding gap and forcing the closure of four dorms. The month after the protests, donations to the athletic department were a mere $191,000—down 72% over the same period a year earlier. Overall fundraising also took a big hit. (Source)

The rest of the article shows the conflicting signals — people not going to Mizzou both because:

  • Mizzou was racist
  • Mizzou was overly tolerant of the protests


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