Scholarship News

Missouri Chancellor’s Ouster Plotted by Deans?


December 29, 2015
by Kevin Ladd
Were student protests really even behind the ouster or was Mr Loftin's resignation a product of a coup orchestrated by nine deans who wanted him gone? According to  The Chronicle of Higher Education, the deans involved had been having second thoughts about the appointment since Mr. Loftin arrived and his ouster was due to myriad occasions wherein he would refer to them as essential middle management and allude to his power to fire them.

Were student protests really even behind the ouster or was Mr Loftin's resignation a product of a coup orchestrated by nine deans who wanted him gone? According to The Chronicle of Higher Education, the deans involved had been having second thoughts about the appointment since Mr. Loftin arrived and his ouster was due to myriad occasions wherein he would refer to them as "essential middle management" and allude to his power to "fire" them.

Thomas L. Payne, who is vice chancellor and dean of the College of Agriculture, Food, and Natural Resources, expressed feelings that Mr. Loftin often used inappropriate methods and measures. Mr Payne reportedly recalled saying to Loftin, "I feel I must tell you that I don't think your leadership of this university is appropriate. I don't think your approach, in many cases of fear and intimidation, is the way we operate in the Midwest or anywhere. I think you should resign."

Mr. Loftin was deemed "irrevocably broken" after a dean had been forced out in December. Dean Patrick Delafontaine had served at the School of Medicine for less than a year and though the chancellor claimed Delafontaine left at his own will, the dean's colleagues didn't quite buy that. Delafontaine was known for doing a "good job" at the school and "to see his efforts dismissed and undermined...led [the deans] to conclude that [their] relationship with the chancellor was irrevocably broken."

Meanwhile, as all of this was brewing and perhaps even conveniently for the deans, student relations began to be a major issue at the school, coming to a boiling point in October and continuing to escalate, culminating in a hunger strike and members of the football team threatening to boycott all athletics unless the president stepped down. Though Loftin had befriended the student protestors by bringing food to their demonstrations and "holding court" on the quad, his resignation had already been underway at that point.

While certainly the school must have been concerned about all of the issues students raised, it certainly does appear there was much more happening below the surface of the widely reported scandal. Do you think Mr. Loftin would have been forced out had the students not spoken up and demanded action? Leave us your insightful comments in the box below.

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Discuss

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Destin M  on  1/4/2016 4:08:59 PM commented:

If you promote an exclusive environment within a learning institution, it's time to pack it up and go home.

K.boss  on  12/30/2015 8:45:19 PM commented:

K.boss... SMH. Im Sorry, I do believe this so called student had been a professor... However had retired 5yrs ago.

Lisa Emma thelemaque  on  12/30/2015 1:44:02 AM commented:

I don't think what they are doing is right

FP  on  12/29/2015 6:04:00 PM commented:

So far, I havent seen facts which support forcing out the Chancellor. Maybe the Dean who left had actual performance issues and needed to go. I'm not saying that's the case, but it's a possibility.

Monica C  on  12/29/2015 3:29:22 PM commented:

I don't think he would have forced out of the students didn't speak up. There would have been nothing for them to go on without the students.

JM  on  12/29/2015 2:04:17 PM commented:

No I don't feel what they are doing is right because it's something that we all can't be aware of. If they do this then there is going to be problems with people questioning what this is.

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