Democratic lawmaker questions University of Missouri leader

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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) _ The only Democratic Missouri House committee leader is questioning University of Missouri administrators about racial issues at the Columbia campus.

Rep. Courtney Allen Curtis, of Ferguson, on Monday asked the system’s Interim President Mike Middleton and others why more wasn’t done earlier to address concerns at his alma mater.

Student protests over what some saw as administrators’ indifference to racial issues in Columbia gained national attention in November.

But Curtis says there have been problems on campus for years. He cited two students in 2010 who admitted to dumping cotton balls outside the Black Culture Center.

Middleton says lack of coordination in diversity efforts has been part of the issue at the university.

The system last month named a diversity official to help direct the four-campus system’s work.

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