Lawmaker wants university president to step down amid race matters

UPDATE:  The governing body of the University of Missouri system has set a special meeting amid ongoing protests over the handling of matters of race and discrimination at the system’s flagship campus.
    
The University of Missouri Board of Curators announced in a statement it will meet Monday at 10 a.m. on the system’s Columbia campus.
    
According to an agenda provided in the statement, part of the meeting will be closed to the public.
    
The statement says Missouri law allows the group to meet in a private "executive session" to discuss topics such as privileged communications with university counsel or personnel matters.
    
A university system spokesman didn’t immediately respond to questions about whether the group would address the status of University of Missouri System President Tim Wolfe. Wolfe has been the target of protests by students, including 32 black football players who announced they will not participate in team activities until he is removed. One black graduate student is on a hunger strike.
    
Wolfe has given no indication he intends to step down.

ORIGINAL STORY:

The chairman of a Missouri House higher education committee says University of Missouri System President Tim Wolfe should resign.
    
Poplar Bluff Republican Steve Cookson said in a statement Sunday that Wolfe "can no longer effectively lead" and should leave his post.
    
Cookson’s statement came as student groups and black members of the football team are calling for Wolfe to step down over the way he has handled matters of race and discrimination at the flagship school of the four-campus system. One black graduate student is on a hunger strike.
    
The GOP lawmaker says the recent events are just the latest problem at the University of Missouri system, which he says has been "slipping behind over the last few years in everything from faculty productivity, to fiscal health … to national rankings."
    
Wolfe has given no indication he intends to step down. But he issued a statement Sunday saying that "change is needed" and that the university is working to draw up a plan by April to promote diversity and tolerance.

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