COLUMBIA — Tim Wolfe's resignation as president of the University of Missouri System is not the end of the fight for social justice for student groups at MU. 

At a rally Monday, Concerned Student 1950 member Jonathan Butler outlined additional requests to the ones issued in October to legislators and administrators .

Concerned Student 1950's initial list of demands, issued Oct. 20, seemed to directly influence the multiple initiatives released Monday by the UM System Board of Curators. Although some diversity issues were addressed, not all of the demands from Concerned Student 1950 and other activists  were included.

Which Concerned Student 1950 demands were met:

Wolfe's departure, apology: Concerned Student 1950 asked for a formal apology from Wolfe and his resignation from office. His apology came last week, and he announced his immediate resignation Monday morning during the Board of Curators meeting.

Diversity training: The group demanded the creation and enforcement of mandatory racial awareness and inclusion curriculum throughout all MU departments for all students, faculty, staff and administration. The curators announced a plan to launch a diversity, inclusion and equity leadership training and development education program; this training, as outlined in a UM System news release, will include the Board of Curators, the UM System president and administrative leadership. For MU specifically, a mandatory diversity, inclusion and equity training will be implemented for all faculty, staff and future incoming students.

Hiring black faculty and staff: The curators announced additional support for hiring and retaining diverse faculty and staff, which could potentially meet Concerned Student 1950's demands for an increase in the percentage of black faculty and staff to 10 percent on a campuswide scale by the 2017-18 academic year.

Mental health: The group demanded the university increase funding and resources for mental health facilities such as the MU Counseling Center and mental health professionals, boost mental health outreach across campus, increase awareness of the counseling center and reduce wait times for prospective clients. The curators made reference to two changes regarding mental health: to provide additional support for students, faculty and staff who have experienced discrimination and disparate treatment — which will be addressed within 90 days — and to continue a review of mental health services.

Strategic long-term plan: The group demanded the composition of a strategic 10-year plan by May 1 that will increase retention rates for marginalized students, sustain diversity curriculum and training and promote a safer and more inclusive campus.

The curators said they will ensure that each UM System campus will have a chief diversity, inclusion and equity officer who will report to the chancellor. MU announced Monday that Chuck Henson, associate dean for academic affairs and trial practice in the MU School of Law, will be interim vice chancellor for inclusion, diversity and equity. MU's chief diversity officer, Noor Azizan-Gardner, was appointed to the position in 2012 and will report to Henson. The curators also announced the assessment of existing diversity and inclusion efforts on campus.

The curators also announced the creation of a similar officer who will preside over the UM System, a position that will be filled in the next 90 days, according to the release.

The curators also plan to create a diversity, inclusion and equity task force to develop both a short-term and long-term strategy for the UM System in an evaluation of current programs, policies and practices.

Some unaddressed demands listed by the group are:

  • An amendment to UM System policies to involve the participation of students, faculty and staff in selecting a UM System president and MU chancellor.
  • Most of the Legion of Black Collegians' demands presented to the university in 1969, including reorganization of hiring black staff and faculty, and a contingency fund to supplement salaries of potential black faculty and staff.
  • The inclusion of students, staff and faculty of color in vetting, maintaining and overseeing diversity and inclusion training on campuses.
  • More specific demands concerning mental health at MU.
  • The timeline and specific details of a long-term strategic plan to promote diversity on campuses.
  • The increase in funding, resources and personal for social justice centers at MU.

Unaddressed demands made by the Forum on Graduate Rights

After Wolfe's announcement, the Forum on Graduate Rights released a statement indicating members also believed the struggle was not over.

"A broad spectrum of student advocacy groups across campus must be included in the process to select a new President in a meaningful, empowered way," the statement from the Forum on Graduate Rights read. "We will continue to speak out and advocate for the rights of all marginalized groups on campus."

The curators' initiatives announced Monday, after Wolfe resigned and MU Chancellor R. Bowen Loftin said he would step down as chancellor, were directed at diversity issues on campus, but they did not address demands made by the Forum on Graduate Rights. Loftin guaranteed graduate student employees will receive health care on Oct. 14. An announcement was made Thursday reinstating full tuition waivers for graduate student with quarter-time assistantships for the 2016-17 school year. 

Here are the unaddressed demands:

  • A guarantee that no graduate student be paid at a rate below the individual poverty line regardless of their appointment status, department or college.
  • A fully subsidized student health care plan for all graduate student employees that is guaranteed for the full term of their graduate student employment.
  • Immediate action on the part of the university to ease the burden on international students caused by the loss of their health insurance subsidy.
  • More, and affordable, university-sponsored graduate student housing.
  • A return of affordable, on-campus, university-sponsored child care facilities for graduate students.
  • A waiver of supplemental fees imposed by colleges, schools and departments for all graduate student employees.

Supervising editor is Elizabeth Brixey.

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  • Education reporting team, fall 2015 Studying print and digital journalism Reach me at eev728@mail.missouri.edu, or in the newsroom at 882-5720

  • Education reporter for The Missourian. Native of Oklahoma City, Missouri School of Journalism '17. Reach me at ruthserven (at) gmail (dot) com for questions, concerns or comments.

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