This battle goes back to the wishes of a donor who willed money to U. Missouri for specific purposes, with the caveat that if they didn’t follow his instructions the money would go to Hillsdale.

ABC 17 News reports:

Michigan college accuses MU of misusing millions in endowment

A Michigan college is accusing the University of Missouri of misusing millions of dollars in an endowment from 2003.

Hillsdale College, located in south Michigan, sued the university in 2017 over the school’s handling of a multimillion-dollar endowment to hire business and economics professors. The college says MU has not followed the instructions of the endowment and that Hillsdale should instead get the money.

Sherlock Hibbs, a 1926 graduate of MU, left $5 million to the university to create six professor positions in the school of business when he died in 2002. Hibbs asked the university to hire a “dedicated and articulate disciple of the free and open market economy (the Ludwig von Mises Austrian School of Economics).” The business school and chancellor would certify that the hires followed those tenets, then send the proof to Hillsdale College. If the spots were to remain open for five years, then the school would have to give up the money to Hillsdale College.

The college claims that university leaders balked at the idea of hiring professors that followed such ideals. Then-business school Dean Bruce Walker called the Austrian school “quite controversial,” according to the lawsuit, and focused on hiring people that followed some tenets that meshed well with the business school.

The lawsuit asks a judge to order the university to pay Hillsdale College for the millions already spent on the endowment and the remaining money in the program.