Some University of Missouri students want to help choose school's next chancellor, president

Some University of Missouri students told the system’s governing body Friday they want some say in deciding who will become the next chancellor and president at the school’s main campus in Columbia and raised the argument the university needs more faculty of color.

The Board of Curators meeting was the first open for student input since protests over the administration’s handling of racial issues and the subsequent resignations of Columbia campus Chancellor R. Bowen Loftin and President Tim Wolfe. The upheaval caused the football team to strike and pushed the university into the national spotlight.

Concerned Student 1950 organizer Shelbey Parnell said the students, faculty and staff should have a role in who will succeed Loftin and Wolfe. Parnell said members of the system’s other campuses also need a voice in picking leaders.

She added that "implementation is worth more than advertisement ploys."

The board invited student input on Thursday, saying members wanted to hear about their experiences. Several students slammed the meeting’s timing, saying it was long overdue and scheduled too close to Thanksgiving, which begins Saturday.

"You should have had this meeting a long time ago," said Timothy Love, a graduate fellow in the English department. He added that he's interested in discussions "that end in effective results."

Chairman Donald Cupps said Friday was the first day board members could meet and that he had not realized the timing of the university break. He said the board has received requests the past few weeks from students wanting to address its members, and the meeting was the result of that.

Other suggestions from students centered on the need for more students of color and the treatment of graduate students. Requests from members of some graduate student organizations included higher stipends, affordable housing, paternity and maternity leave, and adequate health care.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.