Tim Wolfe Resigns After MU Athlete & Student Boycott


Photo: Gary Pinkel

Update: 4:3o PM CST: MU Chancellor R. Bowen Loftin has also resigned!

Tim Wolfe has apologized and resigned as president of The University of Missouri, fulfilling the first two demands put forth by student and athlete protestors.

Students had planned a walk out today:

It’s likely that the the UM board of directors meeting, and Tim Wolfe’s resignation were executed so quickly to prevent such a thing from happening. On top of that, their upcoming game has a one million dollar cancellation fee.

Racial tensions have been rising at MU for years – beesides the swastika drawn in human feces discovered on campus, there have been multiple incidents involving white students screaming the n word at black students, and vandalism of the campus with other racist messages.

The tension is not going to go away just because of Wolfe’s resignation, either.

Clearly, some structural issues need to be addressed as well (@BLovelace_Jr later tweeted that one black man is on the board total).

Kansas City activists from One Struggle KC released a statement of solidarity with MU student protestors, which discusses the issue of rampant structural racism in Missouri:

One Struggle KC stands in unwavering solidarity with the brave students of #ConcernedStudent1950. The racial violence and trauma experienced by the Black students, students of color, and marginalized students on the campus of the University of Missouri is consistent with the uninterrupted legacy of racism and racial violence in the state of Missouri.

This is a history that includes the U.S. Supreme Court decision in the Dredd Scott case where the court held that Black people, though born in the United States, were not citizens thereof, and therefore were not entitled to all the rights, privileges, and protections of U.S. citizens. That legacy of racial oppression in Missouri extends all the way to the present, where we find the heart of the worldwide movement against state violence in Ferguson, Missouri.

Racism is a denial of the full humanity of human beings based on the color of their skin. The University acted in the spirit of the Dredd Scott decision and the legacy of racial oppression in Missouri when it refused to fully acknowledge and address the racial trauma being experienced by students at MU. It denied its students their full humanity.

We, in Kansas City, know full well the impact of uninterrupted oppression that is rampant in Missouri. In Kansas City we have a Black mayor and a Black police chief, but accounts of racism and police abuse still flow freely. This is how we know that the issue is systemic and requires radical change.

We stand with you in your brave efforts to hold University of Missouri authorities accountable. The days of turning a blind eye to racism, and the trauma that flows from it, are over.

We salute you on your victory of the removal of University of Missouri system president Tim Wolfe. We also understand that this is just the beginning. We are prepared to continue to stand with you and assist in any way in your continued efforts to tear down the systems that uphold the status quo of racial oppression at MU and throughout the entire state of Missouri.

Salute to the Homecoming Parade demonstrators. Salute to Jonathan Butler. Salute to the Tigers football team. Stay strong, for you are on the right side of history.

In Solidarity,

One Struggle KC

The University has a lot more work to do in order to fulfill the students demands. Check out MU students demands below, written by the football players, student participants, and the Legion of Black Collegians:  

1. We demand that University of Missouri System President, Tim Wolfe, writes a hand-written apology to Concerned Student 1-9-5-0 demonstrators and holds a press conference in the Mizzou Student Center reading the letter. In the letter and at the press conference, Tim Wolfe must acknowledge his white privilege, recognize that systems of oppression exits, and provide a verbal commitment to fulfilling Concerned Student 1-9-5-0 demands. We want Tim Wolfe to admits his gross negligence, allowing his driver to hit one of the demonstrators, consenting to the physical violence of bystanders, and lastly refusing to intervene when Columbia Police Department used excessive force with demonstrators.

2. We demand the immediate removal of Tim Wolfe as UM system president. After his removal, a new amendment to thd UM system policies must be established to have all future UM system president and Chancellor positions be selected by a collective of students, staff, and faculty of diverse backgrounds.

3. We demand that the University of Missouri meets the Legion of Black Collegians’ demands that were presented in the 1969 for the betterment of the black community.

4. We demand that the University of Missouri creates and enforces comprehensive racial awareness and inclusion curriculum throughout all campus departments and units, mandatory for all students, faculty, staff and administration. This curriculum must be vetted, maintained, and overseen by a board comprised of students, staff and faculty of color.

5. We demand that by the academic year 2017-18, the University of Missouri increases the percentage of black faculty and staff members campus-wide by 10 percent.

6. We demand that the University of Missouri composes a strategic 10-year plan on May, 1 2016 that will increase retention rates for marginalized students, sustain diversity curriculum and training, and promote a more safe and inclusive campus.

7. We demand that the University of Missouri increases funding and resources for the University of Missouri Counseling Center for the purpose of hiring additional mental health professionals, particularly those of color, boosting mental health outreach and programming across campus, increasing campus-wide awareness and visibility of the counseling center, and reducing lengthy wait times for prospective clients.

8. We demand that the University of Missouri increases funding, resources and personnel for the social justice centers on campus for the purpose of hiring additional professionals, particularly those of color, boosting outreach and programming across campus and increasing campus-wide awareness and visibility.

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