University of Missouri President Tim Wolfe resigned this morning following months of community criticism for his handling of racial turmoil on campus. The football team’s decision not to play if Wolfe remained president was the final straw.
The racism has been nasty—one of the most flooring incidents includes a swastika made of human feces—and Wolfe has been repeatedly accused of failing to act. After protests from the #concernedstudent1950 movement (named for the year Mizzou first accepted a black student), the outrage came to a boiling point when at least 30 black football players announced a strike until Wolfe stepped down.
Wolfe’s full statement is below.
I am resigning as president of University of Missouri system today.
My motivation in making this decision comes from love. I love MU, Columbia where I grew up in the state of Missouri.
I have thought and prayed about this decision. It’s the right thing to do. The response to this announcement I’m sure ranges from joy from some to anger and that’s why we’re here today.
To our students, from Concerned Students 1950 to our grad students, football players and other students, the frustration and anger that I see is clear, real, and I don’t doubt it for a second. To the faculty and staff who have expressed their anger, their frustration, it too is real.
To my friends and my supporters that have been so gracious and have sent to many emails and texts and calls of support I understand that you might be frustrated as well.
So the question really is, why did we get to this very difficult situation?
It is my belief we stopped listening to each other. We didn’t respond or react. We got frustrated with each other and we forced individuals like Jonathan Butler to take immediate action and unusual steps to affect change. This is not, the way change should come about.
Change comes from listening, learning, caring, and conversation. And we have to respect each other enough to stop yelling at each other and start listening and quit intimidating each other.
Unfortunately this did not happen and this is why I stand before you today and I take full responsibility for this frustration and I take full responsibility for the inaction, which has occurred.
I’d ask everybody from students to faculty, staff to my friends, everybody, use my resignation to heal and start talking again to make changes necessary. Change what we can in the future not what we can’t change in the past.
I truly love everyone here and the great institution and my decision comes from love not hate.
We need to use my resignation to heal not to hate and let’s move forward together for a brighter tomorrow.