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University of Missouri President, Tim Wolfe Eraces The Hate

“Our demands must be met in totality to create systems of healing within the UM System,” said Marshall Allen, one of the original members of Concerned Student 1950. “In addition to this, students, staff and faculty of color must be involved in the process of (deciding) who will be our next UM System president.”

Majiyebo Yacim, a junior at the university who watched from the sidelines of the protest, said Wolfe’s resignation was long overdue.

“I feel pretty isolated,” said Yacim, who is black. “It is a predominantly white institution. And as a black student, there are times when i feel out of place. Seeing that minority students on campus can stick together and make things happen has been a really great experience. ”

Wolfe made the stunning announcement at the start of a special Board of Curators meeting Monday morning that had been scheduled to address the growing crisis at the Show Me state’s flagship university. The board voted in favor of accepting his resignation. Several hours later, Bowen Loftin, chancellor of the university’s flagship campus, announced he will step down from his post by the end of the year as well.“I am resigning as president of the University Missouri system,” said Wolfe, who choked up as he announced he was stepping down. “My motivation in making this decision comes from a love of Columbia where I grew up and the state of Missouri. I thought and prayed over this decision. It is the right thing to do … The frustration and anger I see is real, and I don’t doubt it for a second.”Loftin said he would transition into a new role on the Columbia campus “where I will work with many people across the university and with the system to advance our mission.”

The situation had become so emotional on campus that many members of the football team had even announced they would boycott team activities.

After Wolfe’s announcement, the university’s athletic department said in a statement that the football team would return to the practice field Tuesday to prepare for its game on Saturday against BYU. Canceling the game would have cost the university in excess of $1 million.

The situation at Missouri, the oldest public university west of the Mississippi River, unfolded as other campuses, including Yale University and Ithaca College, have faced protests in recent weeks over racially tinged episodes on those campuses.

At Ithaca, students are circulating a petition asking for a vote of “confidence” or “no confidence” of President Tom Rochon, who critics say has given inadequate response to several allegedly racist incidents at the Upstate New York college. At Yale, protests erupted after the university sent an email to students urging them not to wear racially insensitive Halloween costumes. The email prompted a professor to complain that Yale and other universities were becoming “places of censure and prohibition.”


Wolfe, who earned his bachelors degree from the university’s flagship campus and spent most of his childhood in Columbia, said he was crestfallen by what had transpired. He pinned the blame squarely on himself for letting the situation on campus get out of hand, while acknowledging a break-down in communication with students on campus.

“Why did we get to this very difficult situation? ” Wolfe said. “It is my belief we stopped listening to each other.”

Covey Son and Aamer Madhani, USA TODAY

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University of Missouri President, Tim Wolfe Eraces The Hate