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Mizzou Received $5 Million to Hire Austrian Economists. A Lawsuit Claims It Misspent the Money.


Added 07-16-19 01:21:02pm EST - “Terms of the grant specified that if Missouri did not use the money to hire free market professors, the donation would revert to Hillsdale.” - Reason.com

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Posted By TheNewsCommenter: From Reason.com: “Mizzou Received $5 Million to Hire Austrian Economists. A Lawsuit Claims It Misspent the Money.”. Below is an excerpt from the article.

Sherlock Hibbs, a wealthy Wall Street financier with ties to the University of Missouri, died in 2002. A fan of free market economics, the Austrian School, and Ludwig von Mises in particular, Hibbs specified in his will that $5 million would go to the university for the purposes of hiring "dedicated and articulate disciples" of this philosophy.

There was an interesting catch. If Mizzou failed to use the money to fund acolytes of Mises, the donation would instead go to Hillsdale College, a conservative institution in Michigan. Hibbs seemingly did not trust Mizzou to fulfill his terms and thus structured the gift so that an ideologically sympathetic college would have an incentive to hold the Mizzou accountable.

Hibbs was apparently right to worry. Hillsdale is now suing Mizzou, and alleges that the university willfully misspent the funds on faculty members who have nothing to do with either von Mises or Austrian economics.

"MU has never appointed a dedicated and articulate disciple of the Ludwig von Mises (Austrian) School of Economics to a Chair or Distinguished Professorship funded by Mr. Hibbs' gift," wrote Hillsdale's attorneys in the lawsuit. "Instead, MU provided millions of dollars over 15 years to individuals who were not Austrian economists."

Ironically, Hillsdale is being represented in this lawsuit by Jay Nixon, a former Democratic governor of Missouri. Four of the current curators of Mizzou's governing board were previously appointed by Nixon.

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