The University of Missouri’s system president Tim Wolfe is resigning after recent student protests over his failure to address racism on campus.
Students have been protesting heavily, with claims that Wolfe severely neglected racist incidents on campus throughout the year. Most recently, on Oct. 24, a swastika was drawn in feces on a dorm wall. In this video, Wolfe responds to student protestors by saying “I can give you an answer, and I’m sure it will be a wrong answer.” He also says, “Systematic oppression is because you don’t believe you have equal opportunity for success.”
A Change.org petition—which has over 7,000 signatures—called for the removal of Wolfe as president, and members of the school’s football team joined in on the protests by refusing to play. (A black student also went on a hunger strike).
In a statement on Sunday, prior to his resignation, Wolfe wrote:
It is clear to all of us that change is needed, and we appreciate the thoughtfulness and passion which have gone into the sharing of concerns. My administration has been meeting around the clock and has been doing a tremendous amount of reflection on how to address these complex matters.
Clearly, we are open to listening to all sides, and are confident that we can come together to improve the student experience on our campuses. We want to find the best way to get everyone around the table and create the safe space for a meaningful conversation that promotes change. We will share next steps as soon as they are confirmed.
In conjunction with campus representatives, the university began work on a systemwide diversity and inclusion strategy, plan and metrics for the University of Missouri System as part of my strategic goals (see 1.4.i of the System Strategic Plan) as approved by the Board of Curators in summer 2015.
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Wolfe further stated that the school planned on announcing this initiative in April 2016 and that, “In the meantime, I am dedicated to ongoing dialogue to address these very complex, societal issues as they affect our campus community.”
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Image via AP