Wolfe releases statement, will not resign

“I am dedicated to ongoing dialogue to address these very complex, societal issues as they affect our campus community,” the statement read.

UM System President Tim Wolfe released a statement Sunday amid growing racial tensions on MU’s campus. He will not resign.

“It is clear to all of us that change is needed, and we appreciate the thoughtfulness and passion which have gone into the sharing of concerns,” the statement read. “My administration has been meeting around the clock and has been doing a tremendous amount of reflection on how to address these complex matters.”

Wolfe said the UM system began work on a “systemwide diversity and inclusion strategy” as part of his strategic goals, which the UM System Board of Curators approved this summer. The strategy will be announced April 2016.

He said most of the demands on Concerned Student 1950’s list were already included in the strategy draft, and that he would provide further details of the plan in coming months.

“Clearly, we are open to listening to all sides, and are confident that we can come together to improve the student experience on our campuses,” the statement read. “We want to find the best way to get everyone around the table and create the safe space for a meaningful conversation that promotes change. We will share next steps as soon as they are confirmed.”

Pressure has escalated after a series of controversial events on campus this semester. On Monday, Nov. 2, graduate student Jonathan Butler began a hunger strike with the goal of Wolfe’s removal.

Butler tweeted his reaction to the statement:

An anonymous member of Concerned Student 1950 called Wolfe’s statement “heartbreaking.”

“Honestly, he can do all of the apologizing he wants,” the student said. “The culture that he has enabled here at the university and other universities at the UM system is frightening.”

A petition on change.org to remove Wolfe from office currently has more than 3,300 signatures.

Wolfe has been the system president since 2012. He grew up in Columbia and graduated from MU with a bachelor’s degree from the Trulaske College of Business.

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