Tim Wolfe resigned as the University of Missouri’s president in November after students accused him of being an ineffectual leader who mishandled racism on campus.
Wolfe has been tight-lipped since then, not speaking with the media or releasing any statements after he held a news conference about his resignation.
But on Wednesday, the public got a clearer understanding of Wolfe’s side of events through a leaked email he sent to an undisclosed list of “a select few friends,” according to The Columbia Daily Tribune, which ran the email in full.
Wolfe said he was coming forward with his perspective of events because of “grave concerns about the future of the University,” before proceeding to rip into numerous Missouri administrators.
One of Wolfe’s most inflammatory passages is directed at the former university chancellor R. Bowen Loftin, who also resigned from his position in November.
Wolfe suggests Loftin orchestrated some of the tension on campus to deflect criticism from himself.
Wikipedia via Mark Schierbecker Wolfe says Loftin’s job was on the line shortly before the protests on campus but Loftin used the Concerned Student 1950 student-led protest group to shift focus onto Wolfe. He later writes he “made the mistake of hiring Bowen Loftin” in the first place.
Wolfe also attacks Mizzou’s board of curators, the governing body at the school. He accuses the board of being corrupt, saying “a few of the members of the board of curators consistently called subordinate staff and faculty members to dig up dirt and use their Curator role to further personal agendas.”
Lastly, Wolfe unleashes on Missouri’s football team. In the fall, a group of black football players at Missouri pledged not to participate in football activities until Wolfe was removed from office. That garnered even more media attention into Missouri’s protests and sparked concern from a community impassioned about football.
Many attribute the football team’s strike as the last straw that toppled Wolfe from his presidency.
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, the implication being that students will not want to attend Missouri because of the protests that engulfed 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 doesn’t elaborate on what that lesson is.
He then complains about being underpaid in his resignation package while calling out Pinkel for receiving $350,000 a year for three years after his resignation.
Pinkel announced in November that he had received a cancer diagnosis and would be stepping down from his coaching position at the end of the season.
Wolfe ends his email with a call to email recipients to contact Missouri’s board to express concern for events on campus.
We reached out to Wolfe, Loftin, and a representative for the University of Missouri for comment.