The “Concerned Student Protest 1950” demonstrated that student-athletes are some of the most important and influential people on campus. Former president Tim Wolfe’s lack of action regarding racial issues on the Missouri campus showed he did not care about his students, and the football team’s boycott eventually lead to his resignation. The resignation of Tim Wolfe should encourage other student-athletes nationwide;that they do have a voice and their voice does matter. Student athletes have the power to enact immediate change, and they shouldn’t feel helpless. In a leaked email from Tim Wolfe to his close friends, he discussed the University’s administrators in a negative light, according to The Columbia Daily Tribune. In the email Wolfe is basically pointing fingers at everyone but himself, blaming the former University chancellor R. Bowen Loftin, who also stepped down from his post in November. Wolfe suggests Loftin’s job was on the line before the protests on campus but Loftin used the Concerned Student 1950 Protest group to shift focus onto Wolfe. He writes “I made the mistake of hiring Bowen Loftin.” Wolfe then goes on to address Missouri’s football team, Wolfe writes in his email that the “Football team’s actions were the equivalent of throwing gasoline on a small fire.” He also says the team’s actions will cost the school millions in lost tuition because students will not want to attend Missouri because of the protests on the campus. Wolfe writes that the football team’s coach at the time, Gary Pinkel, “Missed an important opportunity to teach his players a valuable life lesson.” He then complains about being underpaid in his resignation package while calling out the school for giving coach Pinkel $350,000 a year for three years after his resignation. I guess Wolfe now understands how his indentured servants feel everyday also called “student athletes.” Then it gets weird, at the end of the email Wolfe is basically begging. “My call to action for each of you is to pick up the phone, or at a minimum send an email, to the board members below and express your concern over the current situation and tell them to resolve my contract negotiation so that I can continue to play a significant positive role in the future.”
It turns out that president Wolfe was right about the school losing millions, I guess all publicity is not good publicity is. According to The Columbia Daily Tribune. The University of Missouri will use a hiring freeze and a 5 percent cut to all recurring general revenue budgets to close a projected $32 million shortfall for the coming fiscal year, interim MU Chancellor Hank Foley wrote in a memo Wednesday. Foley wrote that the anticipated enrollment decline of 1,500 — equal to nearly 25 percent of the fall 2015 freshman class — will leave the campus short in the year that begins July 1, without accounting for budget cuts being considered by lawmakers. “I am writing to you today to confirm that we project a very significant budget shortfall due to an unexpected sharp decline in first-year enrollments and student retention this coming fall,” Foley wrote in the memo addressed to “Dear university community.” A 5 percent cut would eliminate about $20 million from the budget, still leaving MU with a $10 million shortfall after factoring in a small tuition increase. In his memo, Foley wrote that reserve funds would cover the remaining deficit. “Realize most of our expenses are people,” Vice Chancellor for Operations Gary Ward said at the Regional Economic Development Inc. board of directors meeting Wednesday. Take “$32 million, and look at an average salary of $40,000, $50,000, and we’re talking about hundreds and hundreds of positions impacted.” Further cuts could be coming if lawmakers reduce state support for the fiscal 2016 budget. On Tuesday, the Missouri House cut $1 million from MU’s allocation of state money and $7.6 million from UM System administrative funding. The bill passed the House in a final vote Thursday and will now go to the Senate. The hiring freeze will allow only jobs “absolutely necessary to the mission” to be filled, Foley wrote. “Decisions to add faculty or staff must be exceptional, but will be left to the discretion of the deans, vice chancellors, vice provosts and the director of athletics.” The latest enrollment projections show a deeper decline than earlier estimates. The revenue shortfall will be ongoing as a smaller freshman class moves toward graduation, Foley wrote. The gap cannot be closed with tuition increases because state law ties maximum increases to inflation, which was just 0.7 percent over the past year, he wrote. If approved at that rate, the extra tuition would increase campus revenue by $2 million, he wrote. It goes to show that racism in 2016 doesn’t help your brand or business, well unless you’re Donald Trump of course.
By: Stephen Yeboah