Juxtaposition, University Edition

Yesterday’s Springfield News-Leader ran the following two stories on page 1, probably thinking they’re unrelated.

In the first, the governor fights against the legislature’s spending priorities, which place university funding against state payments for the care of under 3,000 citizens who are blind:

Gov. Jay Nixon and disability advocates are criticizing a House committee’s recommendation to cut $28 million in medical services for blind Missourians in order to make up for a reduction in higher education funding.

The House Appropriations Committee on Health, Mental Health and Social Services recommended last week cutting more than $60 million in funding to a variety of programs. Among the reductions was the money used to take care of 2,858 blind Missourians.

But the nut graf is deeper in the story:

Nixon’s initial budget proposal included a reduction of $106 million for public colleges and universities.

Cuts to higher education! Why, the students will have to make due with fewer tenured professors and more itinerant professors. The universities will have to cut staff! Because the universities cannot stop funding expensive amenities:

A new architectural addition to the campus of Missouri State University is only months away from reality.

At the construction site of Foster Recreation Center, workers are installing basketball goals, putting up supports for a climbing wall and completing a swimming pool with a lazy river.

To the tune of:

The university broke ground on the $30 million construction project in April 2010.

I know, that money comes from a student fee and not from the state’s monies, but it’s the state’s monies that make the $30,000,000 “investment” in amusement activities possible.

Because governments don’t have to prioritize spending, and if they do, they’re demonized.