University of Missouri President Tim Wolfe Resigns Amid Football Team’s Revolt, Controversy Over Racism on Campus

University of Missouri President Tim Wolfe
Tim Wolfe, University of Missouri President, has resigned after being criticized for the way he's handled racism on campus Justin L. Stewart/Columbia Missourian via AP

Stepping down. Tim Wolfe, the president of the University of Missouri, resigned after three years on Monday, Nov. 9, amid criticism that he has hasn’t done enough to stop racism on campus.

The University of Missouri has been plagued in recent months with several racially-charged incidents. According to NBC, some of the mishandled situations have included four white men calling two black women the n-word, with another perpetrator using human feces to draw a swastika on a bathroom wall.

jonathan butler before hunger strike
Jonathan Butler, pictured here on August 26, 2015, rallied fellow students during a demonstration on the University of Missouri campus Daniel Brenner/Columbia Daily Tribune via AP

Wolfe, 57, released a statement on Sunday, Nov. 8, vowing to “address these complex matters.” Students, however, continued to protest, and demanded that Wolfe step down from his position. Thirty black football players from the university, in particular, pledged that they would not play until Wolfe was fired. 

“We will no longer participate in any football related activities until President Tim Wolfe resigns or is removed due to his negligence toward marginalized students’ experiences,” a photo caption of the players read, which went viral over the weekend. “WE ARE UNITED!!!”

In addition, graduate student Jonathan Butler told school officials that he was going on a hunger strike until Wolfe got the boot. Students also rallied and voiced their concerns using the hashtag #ConcernedStudent1950 via social media.

jonathan butler ends hunger strike
Jonathan Butler leaves the University of Missouri campus on November 9, 2015, after he ended his hunger strike now that University of Missouri System President Tim Wolfe has officially resigned Justin L. Stewart/Columbia Missourian via AP

As tensions ran high, Wolfe finally decided to resign on Monday. “I’m resigning as president of the University of Missouri System. My motivation in making this decision comes from love. I love MU, Columbia, where I grew up, and the state of Missouri. I thought and prayed about this decision. It’s the right thing to do,” he said during a Board of Curators meeting.

“We stopped listening to each other. We didn’t respond or react,” he added. “I take full responsibility for the inaction that has occurred.”

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