There’s a term for what former University of Missouri President Tim Wolfe did recently when he sent a “confidential” email to some of his friends and supporters. In Japanese, it’s called Harakiri and Seppuku, which is a ritual form of suicide by disembowelment. He seems intent on going out in a blaze of glory.
Discussing his resignation – which he rendered last November 9th after weeks of protests over his response to student demonstrators who sought action to address race issues on the Columbia campus – he sent the communication on January 19th, attacking school officials and the football program in the process.
(Photo Credit: USA Today)
Evidently, Wolfe is trying to negotiate some significant, additional compensation to soothe the pain of his separation from the university. Well, we’re no experts on executive compensation practices and lost wage negotiations, but he seems to be throwing everyone under the bus, which may not help him to get the outcome he desires.
In the eye of a storm where he was basically accused of negligence by student groups, state lawmakers and the scholarship athletes of the school’s cash cow subsidiary, the football team, Wolfe stepped away from his leadership post after being harshly criticized for his handling of, and supposed ambivalence toward, several racially charged incidents on campus.
A week prior to what he now terms as his forced resignation, Missouri grad student Jonathan Butler began a hunger strike with the hope of having Wolfe fired. The Missouri football players, supported by their head coach Gary Pinkel, refused to participate in football activities and threatened to boycott games until Butler ended his hunger strike.
Initially, Wolfe basically said that he would do what was in the best interest of the university so that the campus community could heal. But evidently, when he didn’t receive his golden parachute, it looks like he decided to give everyone a golden shower.
“I resigned out of love for MU and the rest of the system and I felt that it was the right thing to do at the time to prevent further embarrassment and a potential Ferguson-like event on the MU Campus,” Wolfe wrote in the email, which was obtained by the Columbia Tribune earlier this week. “What I havent shared with you or the general public is the series of events and circumstances and specific unconscionable behaviors that led to my resignation. Because there has been no resolution, I now have grave concerns about the future of the University.”
One minute, he expresses his grave concern for the university community, claiming that it is under attack and that the school “… is at risk of being defunded by the General Assembly (over $500m) and you have already read about the drop in enrollment projections. Without change, the odds of the Boards ability to attract decent candidates for the next President are very low. You and I can either continue to watch the after effects of what has been inappropriately described as The Perfect Storm or we can do something about this. I want to do something about this and I implore you to do the same.”
However, he then goes on to hilariously suggest, as if he just finished watching a “How-To” Youtube video posted by none other than Iceberg Slim himself, that the best way for anyone to express their concern is to call the university’s board members and, as he says, ” …tell them to resolve my contract negotiation so that I can continue to play a significant positive role in the future.”
I don’t know about you, but where I come from, those are the verbal gymnastics of either a bootleg preacher or a pimp and a hustler.
To read his full, and almost comical “confidential” email, feel free to do so here.