University of Missouri Chancellor R. Bowen Loftin and the university system president Tim Wolfe both resigned amid escalating racial protests over racial concerns and allegations on campus.
Wolfe has opted to step-down from overseeing the university’s main campus and governing body at the end of the year and move into a new role as director for research facility development.
“My motivation in making this decision comes from love,” Wolfe said in a press statement. “I love MU, Columbia where I grew up, the state of Missouri.” But after thinking over the situation, he said, he concluded that resigning “is the right thing to do.”
The announcements follow a heated local protest over race, which has absorbed tension on the college campuses this year. Students claimed about inaction over alarming incidents, including use of slurs and other lewd acts. Wolfe’s decision came as a shock to the preceding body of counsel, yet applauded by many students at the school when the news traveled.
“This is not — I repeat, not — the way change should come about. Change comes from listening, learning, caring and conversation,” Wolfe added. “Use my resignation to heal and start talking again.”
Wolfe’s resignation also ends fellow graduate student Jonathan Butler’s hunger strike, as he stopped eating last week and demanded the removal of Wolfe, with the support from the yniversity’s football team who boycoted activity for 48 hours and threatned to sit out a game, which would struck a huge financial blow to the college.
“I was just so overwhelmed about what this truly means … that students who want to go to college and get an education can now have a fighting chance at having a fair education on a campus that is safe and inclusive,” Butler told CNN. “I wish you guys could be on campus to see the love that is permeating among the students, staff and faculty.”
Whether this will serve as a template for fellow campuses to follow or a call to action that unity will be reimbursed, Wolfe will effectively be removed from the presidential ranking by January 1.