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SMS Name Change Debate Take New Twist

The SMS name change debate has taken on a new political twist. KSMU's Missy Shelton reports.

Some democratic opponents of the SMS name change say there may be an ideological reason many Republicans support the name change.

At issue is a bill that would change the name of SMS to Missouri State University.

Those who oppose the bill say giving the name Missouri State University to SMS will take away prestige and funding from the University of Missouri.

Columbia Democrat Chuck Graham is the lead senate opponent.

Graham says some Republicans support taking tenure away from university professors, a proposal that Graham says is aimed at MU and some of its professors.

Graham says this and other Republican-sponsored measures seem to indicate MU is a target.

But there are several Republicans who oppose the SMS name change'The two most outspoken opponents in the House are Republicans legislators.

And Republican Governor Matt Blunt, a name change supporter says the proposal has nothing to do with pushing a conservative agenda.

And Blunt says he believes the SMS name change will actually help MU by strengthening the state's economy.

The name change proposal has the approval of a senate committee.

It's awaiting debate on the senate floor.