Missouri president Tim Wolfe resigns amid student criticism of his handling of...

Missouri president Tim Wolfe resigns amid student criticism of his handling of racial issues

 

Missouri president Tim Wolfe resigns amid student criticism of his handling of racial issues

COLUMBIA, Mo. — The University of Missouri system’s president, Tim Wolfe, and the chancellor of the flagship campus, R. Bowen Loftin, announced on Monday that they were resigning their posts in the face of growing protests by African-American students, the threat of a walkout by faculty and a strike by football players who said the administrators had done too little to combat racism on campus.

University of Missouri Chancellor R. Bowen Loftin has resigned his post amid a controversy over race in Columbia, Missouri on November 9, 2015. Loftin adressed the media just hours after University of Missouri systems President Tim Wolfe stepped down from his position. Loftin praised graduate student Jonathan Butler, who ended his hunger strike earlier in the day. Butler had stopped eating last week, demanding the removal of President Tim Wolfe. Loftin who has been chacellor since 2014 will transition to a new role starting January 1.   Photo by University of Missouri/UPI
University of Missouri Chancellor R. Bowen Loftin has resigned his post amid a controversy over race in Columbia, Missouri on November 9, 2015. Loftin adressed the media just hours after University of Missouri systems President Tim Wolfe stepped down from his position. Loftin praised graduate student Jonathan Butler, who ended his hunger strike earlier in the day. Butler had stopped eating last week, demanding the removal of President Tim Wolfe. Loftin who has been chacellor since 2014 will transition to a new role starting January 1. Photo by University of Missouri/UPI

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, Loftin, chancellor of the university’s Columbia 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 research mission.”

Earlier in the day, deans of nine departments at the Columbia campus had called for the dismissal of the chancellor, according to a letter obtained by the Columbia Daily Tribune. In addition to expressing their displeasure about Loftin’s leadership in dealing with the concerns raised by the black students, the deans also complained about Loftin’s recent decision to eliminate and then later reinstate graduate assistant health insurance. That decision had also drawn protest from the graduate student community at Mizzou.

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.”

At Missouri, students pointed to several recent events on campus that underscore a hostile environment for black students.

Student government president Payton Head, who is black, said in September that people in a passing pickup shouted racial slurs at him. In early October, members of a black student organization said slurs were hurled at them by an apparently drunken white student.

In addition, a swastika drawn in feces was found recently in a dormitory bathroom. Protesters at Missouri galvanized around a group called Concerned Student 1950, which gets its name from the year the university accepted its first black student.

Before Wolfe’s resignation, a faculty group issued a statement announcing plans for a walkout to show solidarity with the student protesters. The undergraduate student government also formally called on Wolfe to step down.

University of Missouri President Tim Wolfe walks away

University of Missouri President Tim Wolfe walks away after speaking to members of Concerned Student 1950 on Nov. 3, 2015, outside University Hall on the University of Missouri campus in Columbia, Mo. Wolfe resigned Nov. 9, 2015, amid criticism of handling of racial issues. (Photo: Daniel Brenner, AP)

Students complaining about a racially fraught campus environment began protests at the university on Sept. 24, but the tense situation on campus had only recently begun to gain national attention.

More than 30 members of Missouri’s football team announced Saturday that they would no longer take part in football-related activities while Wolfe was in power.

 

El mal manejo de conflictos raciales logra que el Presidente de la Universidad de Missouri renuncie

COLUMBIA, Mo. – El presidente de la Universidad de Missouri, Tim Wolfe, y el rector de la escuela, R. Bowen Loftin, anunció el lunes que estaban renunciando a sus cargos frente a las crecientes protestas de los estudiantes afro-americanos, y a las amenazas de una huelga por la facultad y de los jugadores de fútbol que dijeron que los administradores habían hecho muy poco para combatir el racismo en el campus.

University of Missouri Chancellor R. Bowen Loftin has resigned his post amid a controversy over race in Columbia, Missouri on November 9, 2015. Loftin adressed the media just hours after University of Missouri systems President Tim Wolfe stepped down from his position. Loftin praised graduate student Jonathan Butler, who ended his hunger strike earlier in the day. Butler had stopped eating last week, demanding the removal of President Tim Wolfe. Loftin who has been chacellor since 2014 will transition to a new role starting January 1.   Photo by University of Missouri/UPI
University of Missouri Chancellor R. Bowen Loftin has resigned his post amid a controversy over race in Columbia, Missouri on November 9, 2015. Loftin adressed the media just hours after University of Missouri systems President Tim Wolfe stepped down from his position. Loftin praised graduate student Jonathan Butler, who ended his hunger strike earlier in the day. Butler had stopped eating last week, demanding the removal of President Tim Wolfe. Loftin who has been chacellor since 2014 will transition to a new role starting January 1. Photo by University of Missouri/UPI

Tim Wolfe hizo el anuncio espectacular en el inicio de una Junta especial el lunes por la mañana que se había programado para hacer frente a la creciente crisis en la universidad. La junta votó a favor de aceptar su renuncia. Varias horas más tarde, Loftin, el canciller de la Universidad de Columbia, ha anunciado que dimitirá a su cargo a finales de este año también.

“Renuncio como presidente de la Universidad de Missouri”, dijo Wolfe, al anunciar su renuncia. “Mi motivación para tomar esta decisión viene de un amor por Columbia, donde crecí y el estado de Missouri. Pensé y oraré sobre esta decisión. Es lo que hay que hacer … La frustración y la ira que veo es real, y no dudo ni por un segundo, en hacer lo correcto “.

Loftin dijo que la transición a un nuevo papel en el campus de Columbia “, donde voy a trabajar con muchas personas a través de la universidad y con el sistema para avanzar en nuestra misión de investigación.”

Temprano en el día, los decanos de los nueve departamentos en el campus de Columbia habían pedido la destitución del canciller, según una carta obtenida por el Columbia Daily Tribune. Además de expresar su descontento sobre el liderazgo de Loftin para hacer frente a las preocupaciones planteadas por los estudiantes negros, los decanos también se quejaron de la reciente decisión de Loftin para eliminar y luego restablecer asistente graduado de seguro de salud. Esa decisión también había dibujado protesta de la comunidad estudiantil de posgrado en Mizzou.

La situación había llegado a ser tan emocional en el campus que muchos miembros del equipo de fútbol, ​​incluso habían anunciado que boicotearán las actividades del equipo.

¿Cómo hemos llegado hasta aquí?

Después del anuncio de Wolfe, dijo el departamento de deportes de la universidad en un comunicado que el equipo de fútbol volvería al campo de entrenamiento el martes para prepararse para su partido del sábado contra BYU. Cancelación del juego habría costado la universidad de más de $ 1 millón.

La situación en Missouri, en la Universidad al oeste de USA, y la Universidad Pública más antigua del río Mississippi, se desarrolló como otros campus, incluyendo la Universidad de Yale y la universidad de Ithaca, que se han enfrentado a protestas en las últimas semanas sobre episodios racialmente teñidos en esos recintos.

En Ithaca, los estudiantes están circulando una petición pidiendo un voto de “confianza” o “ninguna confianza” del presidente Tom Rochon, que los críticos dicen que ha dado respuesta inadecuada a varios incidentes presuntamente racistas en el colegio el norte de Nueva York.

En Yale, las protestas estallaron después de que la universidad envió un correo electrónico a los estudiantes instándolos a no usar disfraces de Halloween que fuesen insensibles y con temas raciales. Los estudiantes se quejaron de que Yale y otras universidades se estaban convirtiendo en “lugares de censura y prohibición.”

En Missouri, los estudiantes señalaron varios acontecimientos recientes en el campus que subrayan un ambiente hostil para los estudiantes negros.

El Presidente del gobierno estudiantil Payton Head, afroamericano, dijo en septiembre que las personas en una camioneta pasaron gritando insultos racistas contra él. A principios de octubre, los miembros de una organización estudiantil afro americana dijeron que insultos fueron lanzados contra ellos por un estudiante blanco aparentemente ebrio.

Además, una esvástica dibujada en heces fecales aparecio recientemente en uno de los baños de los dormitorios. Manifestantes en Missouri unidos y preocupados por el tema se hacen llamar  Estudiantes 1950, que reciben su nombre por el año en que la universidad aceptó su primer estudiante negro.

Ante la renuncia de Wolfe, un grupo de profesores emitió un comunicado anunciando planes para una huelga para mostrar su solidaridad con los manifestantes estudiantiles. El gobierno estudiantil realizo un llamado formalmente a Wolfe para dimitir.

Más de 30 miembros del equipo de fútbol de Missouri anunciaron el sábado que dejarían de participar en actividades relacionadas con el fútbol, ​​mientras que Wolfe estaba en el poder.

 

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