Mizzou Outlines Plans for Racial Reforms
Photo: National Communication Association
The latest on the protests and turmoil over racially charged incidents at the University of Missouri (all times local):
The University of Missouri System plans to enact several initiatives in the next 90 days to address racial turmoil that led to the resignations of President Tim Wolfe and Chancellor R. Bowen Loftin.
The university system said in a news release Monday that it will appoint its first chief officer for diversity, inclusion and equity. It also plans a review of all university policies related to staff and student conduct and to provide more support to those who experience discrimination. It also pledges to work toward a more diverse faculty and staff.
Task forces addressing inclusion will be required on all four of its campuses.
Wolfe’s resignation was effective immediately. Loftin will step down at the end of the year to take another job at the school.
The embattled chancellor of the University of Missouri’s flagship campus in Columbia says he’s stepping down at the end of the year to take a different position.
Chancellor R. Bowen Loftin’s announcement Monday came hours after the university system’s president, Tim Wolfe, said he was resigning, effective immediately.
Black student groups had been calling for leadership changes at the university, saying it had done a poor job of responding to complaints about racial issues, including that minority students had been subjected to slurs.
The deans of nine university departments wrote to Wolfe and the university system’s governing board on Monday calling for Loftin’s removal, citing a “deep concern about the multitude of crises on our flagship campus.”
As president, Wolfe oversaw all four University of Missouri campuses.
A group that led the push to oust the University of Missouri System’s president says it wants a say in choosing his replacement and wants the percentage of black faculty doubled, among other things.
Members of Concerned Students 1950 said Monday after President Tim Wolfe announced his resignation that they want meet with the university’s governing board, the faculty council and Gov. Jay Nixon to discuss their demands in detail.
Among the other desired changes they mentioned is a greater emphasis on shared governance and more inclusivity for minority students. The university’s flagship campus in Columbia is overwhelmingly white.
Graduate student Jonathan Butler, who ended a weeklong hunger strike Monday, says it took the administration much too long to react to the complaints.
A University of Missouri Republican student group is apologizing for a tweet likening students protesting the school’s handling of racial issues with Islamic extremism.
The Mizzou College Republicans deleted the Monday morning tweet and said in a follow-up tweet that the post was “the opinion of one individual” and not “a reflection of our organization.” The group didn’t identify the person who sent the original tweet and didn’t respond to requests for comment.
The deleted tweet included the caption “Seen today at #ConceredStudent1950,” which was a misspelled reference to Concerned Student 1950, a black student group leading the protests. It showed a photo of scarf-wearing protesters and linked to an article with the headline “Muslim student supports new Holocaust” and a reference below to a “terrorist neckerchief.”
University of Missouri officials say the football team will resume its regular activities following the resignation of the university system president.
Athletics Director Mack Rhoades and head football coach Gary Pinkel said in a joint statement that there will be a news conference later Monday. The team will resume practicing Tuesday, as it typically does.
The announcement came hours after university system President Tim Wolfe said he was stepping down amid criticism over his administration’s handling of racial issues.
Black student groups that complained for months about Wolfe’s leadership got a big boost over the weekend when 30 black football players said they wouldn’t take part in team activities until Wolfe was gone.
Pinkel sent a tweet of support for his protesting players on Sunday.
A University of Missouri graduate student who endured a week-long hunger strike to protest the administration’s handling of racial issues has joined celebrating demonstrators on the Columbia campus.
Jonathan Butler tweeted that he was ending his hunger strike after university system President Tim Wolfe announced his resignation Monday.
Butler, whose hunger strike began Nov. 2, appeared weak and unsteady as two people helped him past a human chain and into a sea of celebrants. Many broke into dance at seeing him.
Black student groups have complained for months about the administration’s handling of racial issues, including slurs that have been directed at minority students. They got a boost over the weekend when 30 black football players said they wouldn’t take part in team activities until Wolfe was gone.
Gov. Jay Nixon says the resignation of the University of Missouri System President Tim Wolfe was a necessary step toward “healing and reconciliation” at the school.
The Democratic governor issued his statement Monday after Wolfe announced that he was stepping down amid criticism of his handling of racial issues.
Black student groups at the school’s flagship campus in Columbia have been complaining for months over the university’s handling of such matters, including racial slurs that have been directed at students.
The issue came to a head over the weekend when 30 black members of Missouri’s football team said they wouldn’t take part in team activities until Wolfe was removed.
After Wolfe’s announcement, a black graduate student said he was ending his week-long hunger strike meant to force the president’s ouster.
An adjunct professor at the University of Missouri says the school has had racial problems for decades.
Carl Kenney, a 1986 Missouri graduate who is also the pastor of a local church, says the current problems on campus run much deeper than the leadership of university system President Tim Wolfe, who announced Monday that he’s resigning.
Kenney says minority students and faculty feel as if they don’t belong on campus unless they are football or basketball players. He says the atmosphere has been tense on campus since the university didn’t respond last year to the police killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson.
Kenney says that even though the racial problems aren’t new, it took a threatened strike by 30 black football players to get the administration to act.