Embattled University Of Missouri Chancellor To Resign At Year’s End

AP

R. Bowen Loftin, the chancellor of the University of Missouri’s flagship Columbia campus, will resign at the end of the year, the Associated Press reported late Monday afternoon.

The news comes the same day Tim Wolfe, the University of Missouri system president, announced his resignation.

Both faced increasing pressure to resign their leadership posts after what critics said was a sluggish and inadequate response to a string of racially charged incidents on the overwhelmingly white college campus.

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.”

Protests began after the student government president, who is black, said in September that people in a passing pickup truck shouted racial slurs at him. In early October, members of a black student organization said slurs were hurled at them by an apparently drunken white student.

Frustrations flared again during a homecoming parade, when black protesters blocked Wolfe’s car, and he did not get out and talk to them. They were removed by police.

Also, a swastika drawn in feces was found recently in a dormitory bathroom.

The university did take some steps to ease tensions. At Loftin’s request, the school announced plans to offer diversity training to all new students starting in January, as well as faculty and staff. On Friday, the chancellor issued an open letter decrying racism after the swastika was found.

Many of the protests have been led by an organization called Concerned Student 1950, which gets its name from the year the university accepted its first black student. Group members besieged Wolfe’s car at the parade, and they conducted a weeklong sit-in on a campus plaza.

This story has been updated.

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