University of Missouri System President Timothy W. Wolfe resigned on Monday at an emergency Board of Curators meeting following weeks of protests over his leadership, a well-publicized hunger strike from a student and promises from football players that they would not participate in team activities until he stepped down.
Wolfe issued his resignation in a short, emotional statement in which he urged the campus community to “use my resignation to heal and start talking again.”
His statement also was tinted with a hint of frustration. “This is not, I repeat not, the way change should come about,” Wolfe said at Old Alumni Center on campus, in an appearance that was nationally televised. “Change should come about from listening, learning, caring and conversation.”
He added, however: “I take full responsibility for . . . the inaction that has occurred.”
Wolfe’s voice wavered as he declared that, “My decision to resign comes out of love, not hate.” He then quoted from Psalm 46: “God is our refuge and strength.”
Within minutes of Wolfe’s resignation, thousands of students assembled at the Carnahan Quadrangle, with their arms linked forming a human chain hundreds of yards long around the tents that have sprung up in recent days as a part of the protests.
In the middle of the circle, members of the group Concerned Students 1950 pumped their fists in the air, shouting: “They said we couldn’t do this,” and “I believe we have won.”
Concerned Students 1950 organized many recent protest. The group is named after the first year that black students were admitted to Mizzou.