The embattled chancellor of the University of Missouri's flagship campus in Columbia says he's stepping down at the end of the year to take a different position. Chancellor R. Bowen Loftin's announcement Monday came hours after the university system's president, Tim Wolfe, said he was resigning, effective immediately. Black student groups had been calling for leadership changes at the university, saying it had done a poor job of responding to complaints about racial issues, including that minority students had been subjected to slurs. Deans of nine colleges on campus had called for Loftin's dismissal, the Columbia Daily Tribune reports, and expressed in a letter to school officials "our deep concern about the multitude of crises on our flagship campus."
"The issues we raised ... have continued to deteriorate into a campus crisis that demands immediate and decisive action," the deans wrote, per the Kansas City Star. "It is the Chancellor’s responsibility as the Chief Executive Officer of the campus to effectively address these campus issues." The school also plans to enact several initiatives in the next 90 days to address racial turmoil that led to the resignations of Wolfe and Loftin. The university system said in a news release Monday that it will appoint its first chief officer for diversity, inclusion, and equity. It also plans a review of all university policies related to staff and student conduct and to provide more support to those who experience discrimination. It also pledges to work toward a more diverse faculty and staff. Task forces addressing inclusion will be required on all four of its campuses. (Read more University of Missouri stories.)