University of Missouri president resigns over campus race scandal

University of Missouri System President Tim Wolfe announced his resignation Monday amid protests over his handling of racial issues on the overwhelmingly white campus in Columbia. (more)

“The frustration and anger that I see is clear, real, and I don’t doubt it for a second,” Wolfe said at a press conference. “It is my belief we stopped listening to each other. We didn’t respond or react, we got frustrated with each other, and we forced individuals, like Jonathan Butler, to take immediate action or unusual steps to effect change.”

Wolfe added: “This is not, I repeat not, the way change should come about. Change comes from listening, learning, caring and conversation.”

Over the weekend, black football players at the university and their coaches threatened to stop practicing and playing to demand Wolfe’s resignation over criticism that the university failed to address racial tension and discrimination.

Graduate student Jonathan Butler, who started a hunger strike to protest the university’s administration, said he had ended his hunger strike after hearing of Wolfe’s resignation. “This is only the first step! More change is to come!!,” his Twitter account said.

"My body is tired but my heart is strong,” Butler said in a Twitter message posted earlier on Monday. “This fight for justice is necessary."

The university protests received a boost on Saturday when Missouri's Legion of Black Collegians, which includes about 30 football players, released a statement to demand Wolfe’s resignation.

"The athletes of color on the University of Missouri football team truly believe 'Injustice Anywhere is a threat to Justice Everywhere,'" the statement said. "We will no longer participate in any football related activities until President Tim Wolfe resigns or is removed due to his negligence toward marginalized students' experience."

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