English Department calls for Chancellor Loftin to resign
COLUMBIA - The University of Missouri English Department has asked for Chancellor R. Bowen Loftin to resign in a letter to the UM Board of Curators.
The faculty held a vote that resulted in 26 votes of no confidence, 0 votes of confidence and 2 abstentions Tuesday. They have asked for the chancellor to resign.
The letter was written by Samuel Cohen, associate professor, on behalf of the English Department. He said he initiated the vote because of the low morale on campus.
"I think the damage his tenure has done to our campus is grave," Cohen said. "And needs to be fixed. I don't think he's the person to do it."
The letter referenced both the Planned Parenthood controversy and the temporary cut of health care for graduate students as failures of leadership. The letter asked for the board of curators to find a new chancellor who will make a community where all members can feel included and respected.
Cohen said the letter is not a personal attack on Loftin.
"I understand that many people in Columbia," Cohen said. "And attached to the university in various ways have a personal fondness for Chancellor Loftin. I think it's important for them to understand that we are trying to protect the health of the university."
John Fougere, chief communications officer for the UM System, said the curators received the letter.
Cohen said the department is not alone. He said he thinks other departments will follow suit now that the English department has sent its letter.