University of Missouri President Resigns, What Next?
Tim Wolfe, President of the University of Missouri, has resigned amid accusations of alleged racial injustice on the Mizzou Tiger campus.
Wolfe made the announcement himself at a Board of Curators meeting in Columbia, Missouri, taking responsibility for inaction that has occurred.
"My motivation in making this decision comes from love," he said. "I love M.U. Columbia, where I grew up, and state of Missouri. I have thought and prayed about this decision. It's the right thing to do."
The ConcernedStudent1950 protest organization, released a list of demands Oct. 20 that included Wolfe's removal, as a part of a protest over the way the university handles racial harassment.
"Why did we get to this very difficult situation?" Wolfe said Monday at the meeting. "It is my belief we stopped listening to each other. We didn't respond or react."
"Change comes from listening, learning, caring and conversation. We have to respect each other enough to stop yelling at each other and start listening, and quit intimidating each other through either our role or whatever means that we decide to use. Unfortunately, this has not happened and that is why I stand before you today and I take full responsibility for this frustration and I take full responsibility for inaction that has occurred," Wolfe said.
"I'd ask everybody from students to faculty, staff to my friends, everybody, use my resignation to heal and start talking again to make the changes necessary and let's focus on changing what we can change today and in the future, not what we can't change which is what happened in the past," he said. "I truly love everybody here and the great institution, and my decision to resign comes out of love, not hate."
As president of the University of Missouri system, Wolfe oversaw four campuses: Columbia, Kansas City, Rolla and St. Louis.
Missouri Governor, Jay Nixon has weighed in on the situation too. He called Wolfe's decision a “necessary step toward healing and reconciliation on the University of Missouri campus.”
“There is more work to do, and now the University of Missouri must move forward – united by a commitment to excellence, and respect and tolerance for all," Nixon said.
Wolfe's resignation brought an end to black graduate student Jonathan Butler's week-long hunger strike, which advocated for Wolfe's removal.
Besides Wolfe's removal, the ConcernedStudent1950 group's list of demands asked for several other changes, including a comprehensive racial awareness and inclusion curriculum and an increase of black faculty and staff.