UPDATE: The chancellor of the University of Missouri's flagship campus at Columbia will resign, the University of Missouri System's Board of Curators announced hours after the system's president amid intense student and other protests over racial tensions.
The governing board said that Chancellor R. Bowen Loftin would leave his position running the flagship and become the system's director for research facility development. Although most of the attention and criticism from minority students in recent weeks had focused on President Tim Wolfe, who resigned earlier Monday (see below), some faculty and staff members called for Loftin's resignation Monday.
The board's chairman, Donald Cupps, issued a forthright apology for the university's perceived inattention to the concerns expressed by students and others about the racism they perceive at the institution.
“To those who have suffered, I apologize on behalf of the university for being slow to respond to experiences that are unacceptable and offensive in our campus communities and in our society,” Cupps said in announcing the resignations. “Significant changes are required to move us forward. The board is committed to making those changes.”
Inside Higher Ed will have more on this situation tomorrow morning.
University of Missouri President Tim Wolfe resigned Monday morning in response to ongoing racial tensions at the flagship campus, which is located in Columbia.
Students began calling for his resignation last week, culminating in black players on the football team promising to boycott games until Wolfe left campus. A graduate student also staged a hunger strike, saying it would last until Wolfe's resignation. The student, Jonathan Butler, announced shortly after Wolfe's resignation that he was ending his strike. And on Monday many faculty were encouraging students to walk out of their classes in protest of Wolfe's presidency. The Missouri Student Association formally called for his resignation on Monday.
Wolfe's detractors say he has not done enough to deal with racist incidents on campus.
“The frustration and anger that I see is clear, real, and I don't doubt it for a second,” Wolfe said at a press conference announcing his resignation. “I take full responsibility for this frustration and I take full responsibility for the inaction that has occurred.”
Black students at the university have reported being on the receiving end of racial slurs. Many said that not enough was being done to recruit and retain black students. Students are also angry with Wolfe because when minority students approached his car during a homecoming parade, he declined to talk to them. Some say the car struck them. Wolfe has since apologized for the incident.
“Use my resignation to heal and start talking again,” Wolfe said during a brief address where he choked up several times. “Let’s move forward for a bright tomorrow.”
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