Who Is Tim Wolfe? 5 Things To Know About The President Of The University Of Missouri System
As you have probably heard by now, University of Missouri System President Tim Wolfe has resigned. Tension was high amid allegations that Wolfe did not do enough in response to racist acts at the main campus in Columbia. In addition to University of Missouri, as president, Wolfe also oversaw the University of Missouri-Kansas City, University of Missouri-St. Louis, and Missouri University of Science and Technology.
Recently, at the Columbia campus, the football team refused to play, graduate student Jonathan Butler went on a hunger strike, and some faculty members said they'd walk. Today, some students are celebrating Wolfe's departure.
"I think Tim Wolfe is a very competent leader, but there are three things in crisis management that you have to do: be abundantly honest, you have to work quickly and you have to control the message," said Don Walsworth, a major donor to the university, told The New York Times. "Unfortunately, I don't think the university did that."
In resigning, Wolfe said, "I take full responsibility for what has occurred." He added, "To our students from Concerned Students 1950, to our grad students, football players and other students, the frustration and anger that I see is clear, real and, I don't doubt it for second." He also said, "God is our refuge and strength and ever-present help in trouble" from the Book of Psalms.
So, who is Tim Wolfe? No one just starts out as a president.
1. Wolfe Played Football... And Was A Football Champ
Wolfe spent most of his life in Columbia, MO and was even quarterback of his football team at Rock Bridge High School. In 1975, they became state champs.
2. Wolfe Had A Huge Affinity For Missouri Schools, Having Attended One Himself
Wolfe studied business at Missouri as an undergrad. His father had also been a Communications professor there from 1967-97.
3. Wolfe Had An Extensive Background As A Business Executive Before Taking The Job At Missouri
Wolfe did not start out working in academia. After he finished school at Missouri, he went on to attend Harvard Business School and worked as a business executive at IBM (as a sales rep and then a manager), Covansys (as executive vice-president of the global consulting and technology services company), and Novell Inc. (a software company where Wolfe managed over 3,000 employees and where he became president of the division in 2007).
4. Wolfe Was Not The First University Of Missouri President Without A Background In Academia
Wolfe was the second president in a row who had a business background rather than one in academia. He had replaced Gary Forsee, who had been the CEO of Sprint.
5. Wolfe Had The Best Of Intentions When He Became President
On Feb. 15, 2012, he took on his role as president of University of Missouri system. "This is a very special homecoming for me and my family," Wolfe said when he took on the presidential role in 2012. "I will work tirelessly to help all our campuses reach their full potential," he said. Since he'd attended Missouri himself, he added that being president would enable him to "help other young people have a similar experience."