Loftin resigns as University of Missouri chancellor

University of Missouri Chancellor R. Bowen Loftin talks with students and faculty during an open forum about race relations on MU's campus on Tuesday, March 17, 2015. The students discussed issues about safety, discrimination and proactive change with administration. | Courtesy of KOMU/Flickr
University of Missouri Chancellor R. Bowen Loftin will step down from his position at year’s end. | Courtesy of KOMU/Flickr

University of Missouri Chancellor R. Bowen Loftin announced Monday afternoon that he will step down from his position at the end of the calendar year.

The announcement came just hours after Tim Wolfe resigned as the University of Missouri System president amid student and faculty protests over incidents of racism on the Columbia campus.

Hank Foley, MU’s senior vice chancellor for research and graduate studies and an executive vice president for the UM System, will serve as interim chancellor after Loftin leaves his post.

Loftin said he will transition into the role of director for research facility development, effective Jan. 1.

“It has been my pleasure to serve as chancellor of this great institution,” Loftin said at a press conference. “I hope that every member of our campus community will embrace each person’s right to express their opinions in a respectful manner and to make progress toward our common goal of an inclusive campus that values the contributions of all individuals.”

Loftin, who was hired by Wolfe, has served as MU’s chancellor since February 2014. Before that, he served as the president of Texas A&M.

As the head of the university’s flagship campus in Columbia, Loftin faced mounting criticism for his handling of issues including racism on campus, MU’s relationship with Planned Parenthood, leadership changes at the MU medical school and health insurance for graduate students.

This is a developing story. Stay with Missouri Business Alert for updates.

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