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Top 2 MU Administrators Resign: Here's How it Went Down


Intro: Two high profile executives in the University of Missouri system resigned today  (Monday) following several racially charged incidents on the system’s Columbia campus and student protests. KBIA’s Bram Sable-Smith has a recap of how the day unfolded.

It was last week, Monday, when Missouri graduate student Jonathan Butler began his hunger strike calling for University System president Tim Wolfe’s resignation. That attracted some national media attention but it really picked up on Saturday night when members of the Mizzou football team joined Butler and promised to boycott “all football activities” until Wolfe resigned.

By Sunday, Wolfe issued a statement conceding changes were needed, an emergency meeting of the University System’s board of curators was called, and Wolfe’s resignation appeared inevitable.

On Monday morning, it happened.


“Please, please, use this resignation to heal. Not to hate. And let’s move forward together for a brighter tomorrow.”


Outside on the University’s Carnahan Quadrangle, where hundreds of students and faculty had gathered for a walkout led by the group Concerned Student 1-9-5-OH, news of the resignation was meet with cheers.

Moments later, Andrea Fullgiam (AHN-Dre-uhFull-Jum), a member of Concerned Student 1-9-5-0 stood on a table that had been brought to the quad and addressed the crowd.

Andrea Fullgiam

I want you all to know that this is a movement and not a moment so I expect to see you here all the time [cheers]

Indeed the resignation of Tim Wolfe was just one of the demands the group presented to the University on October 20th. Other demands included developing racial awareness and inclusion curriculum and an increase in the percentage of black faculty and staff.

And on Monday afternoon, when the group made itself available to the media, member Marshall Allen reiterated their commitment to those demands.

Marshall Allen

Moving forward, concerned Student 1-9-5-oh demands an immediate meeting with the UM system faculty council, board of curators, and the governor of the state of Missouri to discuss shared governance, and create a system of holistic inclusion for all constituents. Our demands must be met in totality to create systems of healing within the UM system.

And, after some goading from the press, Jonathan Butler the student who had been on hunger strike for a week, finally addressed his health, though reluctantly.

Jonathan Butler

Please stop focusing on the Mizzou Hunger strike itself. Look at why did we have to get here in the first place and why the struggle and why we had to fight the way that we did.

Meanwhile, in the early afternoon, the Columbia daily tribune reported that the deans of nine departments at the University of Missouri – Columbia had sent a letter to the  board of curators calling for the dismissal of the R. BowinLoftin, the chancellor of that campus.

Among the deans signing the letter was David Kurpius, dean of the school of journalism,


I’m concerned about the climate on campus, not just with race and the swastika incident in the dorm, but also the graduate student issues and having those move toward resolution.

Those graduate student issues were the ending of subsidies for graduate student’s health insurance and controversial changes to graduate assistantship, both decisions have since been reversed.

The deans were not the first to call for Loftin’s dismissal. Last Tuesday the MU department of English cast a unanimous vote of no confidence in the chancellor.

Following today’s tribune’s report, there’d been some speculation that Loftin’s resignation could be eminent, and when the curator’s meeting finally ended at 4:30, Loftin put the speculation to rest.


I have decided today that I will transition from the role of the university of Missouri, effective the end of this year, and move into a new role where I will work with many people across the university and with the system to advance our research mission at the university of Missouri

Vice chancellor Hank Foley will step in as interim chancellor; no interim president has been named at this time.

I’m Bram Sable-Smith, KBIA News, Columbia. 

A curious Columbia, Mo. native, Bram Sable-Smith has documented mbira musicians in Zimbabwe, mining protests in Chile, and the St. Louis airport's tumultuous relationship with the Chinese cargo business. His reporting from Ferguson, Mo. was part of a KBIA documentary honored by the Missouri Broadcasters Association and winner of a national Edward R. Murrow Award. He comes to KBIA most recently from the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies in Portland, Maine.