There is a generalization these days that you can get anything you want and win any argument by using some sort of "ism." Whether it's racism, sexism, or whatever. This just reinforces that generalization.
I wish he had the nerve to stand up and fight it, although it would have meant a lot of sacrifices on his part. It all started with Payton Head being called a racial slur (allegedly, let's not forget this has never been proven...) and posting about it on social media. This is not a violation of any law, we do not have the constitutional right to not be offended... The colored community at MU didn't like the administrative response, and chose to graffiti a statue of one of the founding fathers with post-it notes filled with hatred (this, however, is illegal). The "Concerned Student 1950" blocks public traffic when Wolfe's car approaches (while protesting is not illegal, blocking the flow of traffic is.) THey then send a list of demands including Wolfe's resignation and an increase in black staff and faculty by 10% (so...Essentially firing someone because of the color of their skin and hiring someone new specifically for the color of their skin...How is this not racism? Also illegal) Then a hunger strike and the threat of a football teams walk-out. Suicide is illegal in the US and I'll bet half of the 30 original football player were in violation of scholarship for refusing to play. So what did we learn from all of this? Graffiti, racism, traffic violations, suicide threats, and lack of interscholastic integrity will get you anything you want.
Many universities are different regarding the role and election of the president and chancellor. If the role of administration was up to the chancellor, he should've been fired, much as a prime minister would be if he lost the confidence of the House. University of Missouri appears to have both. Since universities muddle up the responsibilities of each office (president should be figurehead whereas chancellor runs things), it can be hard to say who should've been fired. It would be like Canadians demanding the governor general to step down when the prime minister was calling the shots. In either case, students are not board members (legislature) nor shareholders (voters). The office of chancellor should be an at-will position, but not the president (as you need continuity of govt). Just my two cents...
The University of Missouri is going through a tumultuous time. Racial discrimination on the campus as well as actions from the president have brought students out to demand change. Unfortunately the students were largely ignored until the football players threatened to stop playing, frightening the university with the lost revenue. To stave off such actions the president resigned. This is a positive step and solid precedent to bring change.
Tom Wolfe's resignation was a smart move for many reasons. Firstly, it keeps the university out of the spotlight and ire of the public. This will make sure that the university is still a viable brand among other colleges. Secondly, it saves Tom Wolfe himself from intense media scrutiny and further hatred. Already we have seen the story shift to the way the protesters have reacted to journalists than to Wolfe's resignation. Also it demonstrates to teh youth across the country that their voices can have an effect.
Choosing to be a leader of a variety of personalities, backgrounds and ages can not come without conflict. How productive you are in that role and listening is the key to success. Tom Wolfe's resignation is not a bad precedent, but instead a good example. Be a leader, but follow carefully.
No, Tom Wofe's resignation does not set a bad precedent. After bumping a protestor with his vehicle, accidental or no, combined with the recent string of racially charged issues, action needed to be taken somewhere. Working within a college community, the leaders should listen to the student body and choose a course of action that suits their needs.