University Of Missouri Chancellor R. Bowen Loftin Will Resign At The End Of The Year — REPORT
Just hours after the university system president stepped down from his position, the University of Missouri Chancellor R. Bowen Loftin announced he would resign at the end of the year. Loftin, who has only been on campus since February 2014, oversees the University of Missouri campus in Columbia, Missouri, while Wolfe was in charge of the four campuses under the University of Missouri system, which includes the Columbia campus. Loftin has been embroiled in controversy since not long after being instated — even more so than Wolfe. But while it was students demanding Wolfe to step down, the majority of people calling for Loftin's resignation were faculty.
Earlier this month, members of the English department delivered a vote of no confidence in Loftin's leadership. On Monday, nine academic deans wrote a letter calling for Loftin's resignation. Jonathan Butler, a Mizzou graduate student who went on a hunger strike until Wolfe was removed from office, said he was more critical of Wolfe rather than Loftin, because Loftin was "actually more willing to understand how systems of oppression, how racism and all these things work."
But there were more reasons than his handling of race relations for which faculty, and some students as well, wanted Loftin to resign.
In recent months, the Missouri college has been in an uproar over Loftin's decisions surrounding graduate students' educations. The health care subsidies that graduate students receive, as many of them work in teaching or research assistantships during their time on campus, would be removed. Then it was announced that tuition waivers for graduate students who work 10 hours per week would be cut in half. Under the current system, graduate students with 10- or 20-hour per week assistantships receive full tuition waivers, along with a small stipend. Mizzou graduate students were in an uproar after these blows to their educations.
Things got even more political on campus when the university stripped the only Planned Parenthood doctor providing abortion services in Columbia of her hospital privileges. Under Missouri law, any doctor performing abortions must have clinical privileges at a nearby hospital, one of which is under the umbrella of the University of Missouri Health Care. This will leave the college town with no abortion services available. Plus, a week before, the university ended a program allowing nursing and medical students to train at Planned Parenthood. Many, including the English faculty members who voted no confidence in Loftin's leadership, saw this move as kowtowing to outside political pressure.
It's been a tumultuous past few weeks for University of Missouri students, faculty, and administration. With Wolfe out and Loftin gone by the end of the year, the top leadership of the college will see a complete overhaul. An interim chancellor for Mizzou has already been named, but an interim University of Missouri System president has not yet been chosen.
Image: KOMUnews/Flickr (1)