Changes are underway at the University of Missouri following recent student and faculty protests.
After a string of racist incidents at the Columbia, Mo. campus, students demanded that the university’s president, Tim Wolfe, resign from his position. Graduate student Jonathan Butler began a hunger strike that lasted eight days, and dozens of football players refused to play until Wolfe stepped down. At a press conference yesterday, Wolfe announced his resignation and Chancellor R. Bowen Loftin announced that he would be transitioning to director for research facility development, reports the University of Missouri System.
“To those who have suffered, I apologize on behalf of the university for being slow to respond to experiences that are unacceptable and offensive in our campus communities and in our society,” said university Board of Curators chair Donald Cupps. “Significant changes are required to move us forward. The board is committed to making those changes.”
Shortly after yesterday’s press conference, the board announced that it would be hiring a Chief Diversity, Inclusion and Equity Officer, who will be responsible for overseeing campus diversity policies. Additionally, students who have experienced discrimination will be offered additional resources and support.
“As a board, we have taken an oath to maintain the standard of excellence and source of pride that the University of Missouri is for all Missourians,” Cupps said. “We are committed to keeping the institution and our state moving forward.”