Missouri professor resigns after refusing to cancel exam amid racial threats
A University of Missouri professor filed his resignation after his decision to not cancel an exam amid anonymous death threats that sparked a new wave of outrage on campus. The university has not accepted the resignation despite the turmoil.
Dale Brigham, a nutrition professor at the University of Missouri, came under fire after sending an email to his students informing them that the exam scheduled for Wednesday would proceed.
“If you give in to bullies, they win,” Brigham wrote in his email. “The only way bullies are defeated is by standing up to them. If we cancel the exam, they win; if we go through with it, they lose.”
Brigham also wrote that student’s who “don’t feel safe” can skip that class, but he would be there administering the exam.
“I know which side I am on. You make your own choice,” the professor wrote.
His email sparked a wave of criticism among students as well as in the media, where “white professor” Brigham was accused of “challenging” black students as death threats spread across the campus.
Under intense pressure, Brigham postponed both the test and announced his decision to step down from his position.
“The exam is cancelled. Our students will be able to take the exam at an alternate date with no loss of points,” he emailed.“No one will have to come to class today. And, I am resigning my position.”
Shortly after, Brigham confirmed to KOMU news that he had submitted his resignation, but “his leadership” had not yet accepted it.
“I am just trying to do what I think is best for our students and the university as an institution,” Brigham wrote. “If my leaders think that my leaving would help, I am all for it.”
Sounds, sights, anger, hatred from long ago is raising its angry head on college campuses today with vivid memories from those of us who were around in the late 60s and early 70s. Jolting times. . . . . . . .
We were in Chralottesville, VA when President Nixon invaded Cambodia. There were demonstrations, curfews and tanks parked at the field house. A pizza delivery person was arrested for being out when it was curfew. That was a moment of levity during the dark days and nights. . . . . . of that time in the United States.