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University Of Missouri President Tim Wolfe Resigns Amid Racial Tensions

University of Missouri

Updated, 11:23 a.m., with comments from Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon.

University of Missouri President Tim Wolfe resigned Monday amid  criticism of his response to racial tension on the University of Missouri-Columbia campus.

His resignation is effective immediately.

"My motivation for making this decision comes from love," Wolfe said at a special meeting of the University Board of Curators. "I love MU, Columbia, where I grew up, the state of Missouri."

Members of student activist group Concerned Student 1950 have been protesting Wolfe and the MU curators for weeks.

A number of racially charged incidents have plagued MU’s Columbia campus in recent months. In one incident, a swastika made of feces was found in a dorm. In another, students hurled racial slurs at Mizzou Student Body President Payton Head.

Jonathan Butler, a member of the group Concerned Student 1950, has been on a hunger strike since last week to send a message to UM curators. On Saturday, their efforts were escalated when agroup of MU football players announced through Twitter that they would not train or play in any games until Wolfe resigned.

"It is my belief that we stopped listening to each other, we didn't respond or react and we forced individuals like Jonathan Butler to take immediate action and steps to affect change," Wolfe said in his resignation address. "This is not, I repeat not, the way change should come about."

Just after the announcement Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon sent out a statement saying Wolfe's resignation was a necessary step towards healing for the University of Missouri. 

"There is more work to do, and now the University of Missouri must move forward – united by a commitment to excellence, and respect and tolerance for all," Nixon said in the statement.

Wolfe said he took full responsibility for the frustration and his inaction. 

A California native, Briana comes to KCUR by way of KMUW in Wichita, Kan. and KUSP in Santa Cruz, Calif.
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