University of Missouri president, chancellor out after race protest

Mon Nov 9, 2015 7:13pm EST
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By Anthony Romano

COLUMBIA, Mo. (Reuters) - The University of Missouri's president stepped down on Monday and its chancellor moved aside after protests by the school's football team and other students over what they saw as soft handling of reports of racial abuse on campus.

President Tim Wolfe's high-profile resignation, followed by news that Chancellor R. Bowen Loftin would be moved to a new job, was the latest shock to the state of Missouri, and the United States at large, which has been roiled for more than a year by racial tensions after police shot and killed an unarmed young black man in the state.

Unrest at the university, widely known as "Mizzou," started on Sept. 12 when Payton Head, president of the Missouri Students Association, said on his Facebook page that he was repeatedly racially abused on campus by someone riding in a pickup truck.

His post went viral, and the lack of any strong reaction by Wolfe led to demonstrations at the school's homecoming parade the following month, when protesters blocked the university president's car, according to local news reports.

Later that month, a swastika drawn in feces was found at a university dorm building, according to the Residence Halls Association.

Protests reached a critical point this weekend when the university's black football players refused to practice or play until Wolfe stepped down, and some teachers and students threatened to boycott classes.

In a televised news conference on Monday held to announce his resignation, an emotional Wolfe said, "I take full responsibility for this frustration and I take full responsibility for the inaction that has occurred.”

“My decision to resign comes out of love, not hate,” he added, quoting passages from the Bible. "Please, please use this resignation to heal, not to hate.”   Continued...

The University of Missouri's president Tim Wolfe resigns after protests over his handling of racial tensions on campus.