University of Missouri system President Tim Wolfe on Monday announced his resignation after a growing movement of University students, staff, and athletes demanded he step down for failing to address a series of bigoted incidents on campus and what they described as the school’s “racist culture.”
During his address to the UM Board of Curators, Wolfe said he takes full responsibility for the inaction that has occurred and for the campus unrest.
Wolfe’s announcement comes two days after black members of the school’s prominent football team said they were boycotting all football-related activities until he stepped down. One week prior, University graduate student Jonathan Butler announced he would go on a hunger strike until Wolfe was no longer heading the University system.
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“(S)tudents are not able to achieve their full academic potential because of the inequalities and obstacles they face,” Butler wrote to the Board of Curators in a letter announcing his strike. “In each of these scenarios, Mr. Wolfe had ample opportunity to create policies and reform that could shift the culture of Mizzou in a positive direction but in each scenario he failed to do so.”
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Supporters of the Concerned Student 1950 movement—referring to the year the first African American students were admitted to the school—declared Wolfe’s resignation proof that “activism works.” Other reactions are being shared online under the hashtag #ConcernedStudent1950.
In addition to Wolfe’s ouster, the group has submitted a list of demands which include calls to: hire more black faculty and staff, create and enforce a racially inclusive curriculum, and implement a strategic ten year plan to “increase retention rates for marginalized students, sustain diversity curriculum and training, and promote a more safe and inclusive campus.”
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