Tim Wolfe

Presidential Resignation Address

delivered 9 November 20105, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO

 

[AUTHENTICITY CERTIFIED: Text version below transcribed directly from audio]

Again, thanks for coming in. As I said earlier -- and Iím repeating myself so that curator Steward can help me -- I'm resigning as president of the University of Missouri system. The motivation in making this decision comes from love. I love MU, Columbia where I grew up, the state of Missouri.

I have thought and prayed about this decision. Itís the right thing to do. The response to this announcement Iím sure ranges from joy for some, to anger to others, and thatís why weíre here today, so let me speak to why this is so important at this time.

To our students, from concerned students 1950 to our grad students, our football players and other students -- the frustration and anger that I see is clear, real, and I donít doubt it for a second.

To the faculty and staff who expressed their anger, their frustration -- it too is real.

To my friends and my supporters that have been so gracious and have sent so many e-mails and texts and calls of support -- I understand that you might be frustrated as well.

So the question really is -- is, why did we get to this very difficult situation? It is my belief we stopped listening to each other. We didnít respond or react. We got frustrated with each other and we forced individuals like Jonathan Butler to take immediate action, or unusual steps, to effect change.

This is not -- I repeat not -- the way change should come about. Change comes from listening, learning, caring, and conversation. And we have to respect each other enough to stop yelling at each other; and start listening and quit intimidating each other through either our role or whatever means that we decide to use.

Unfortunately, this has not happened and that is why I stand before you today and I take full responsibility for this frustration and I take full responsibility for the inaction that has occurred.

I'd ask everybody from students to faculty, staff, to my friends, everybody: Use my resignation to heal and start talking again, to make the changes necessary and letís focus on changing what we can change today and in the future, not what we canít change, which is what happened in the past.

I truly love everybody here and th[is] great institution in my decision to resign comes out of love, not hate.

Iíd like to read some Scripture thatís given me strength. I hope it provides you with some strength as well as we think about whatís next. I have to also give credit to my daughter for reminding me of the Scripture. Psalm 46:1: "God is our refuge and strength and ever present help in trouble/"

We need to use my resignation -- please, please -- use this resignation to heal, not to hate; and lets move forward together for a brighter tomorrow.

God bless all of you, and I thank you for this wonderful opportunity to have led the University of Missouri system.

Thank you.


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American Rhetoric.
HTML transcription by Michael E. Eidenmuller.