Mizzou prof. resigns following outrage over his refusal to cancel exam
“If you don’t feel safe coming to class, then don’t come to class,” Dr. Brigham told his students. “I will be there, and there will be an exam administered in our class.”
Dr. Dale Brigham, considered one of the most beloved professors at the University of Missouri, has resigned after refusing to cancel an exam for students who claimed to feel “unsafe.”
“If you don’t feel safe coming to class, then don’t come to class,” Dr. Brigham told his students. “I will be there, and there will be an exam administered in our class,” he continued, imploring his students to stand up to the bullies on campus. “If you give into bullies, they win. The only way bullies are defeated is by standing up to them.”
Dr. Brigham was sharply criticized in the media for requiring his students to attend class and take their exam. Salon ran a story with the headline "White Missouri professor shames black students for heeding violent threats." The Washington Post featured similar coverage of “a white professor” who “challenged his students to come to class.”
Under intense pressure, Dr. Brigham has both cancelled the exam and resigned from the university, according to screenshots posted online of an email from Dr. Brigham to his students.
“The exam is cancelled. Our students will be able to take the exam at an alternate date with no loss of points,” Dr. Brigham told students. “No one will have to come to class today. And, I am resigning my position.”
One University of Missouri student told Campus Reform that Dr. Brigham, who he called “one of the most beloved professors at Mizzou,” was forced to resign.
“His class was one of the most popular at Mizzou and he was the friendliest teacher I've ever had. It's a shame that he's leaving while Melissa Click stays,” the student continued. The student also told Campus Reform that campus was open and classes were being held, but “false KKK threats” caused a “panic” among students.
Dr. Brigham confirmed his resignation to KOMU stating "I am just trying to do what I think is best for our students and the university as an institution. If my leaders think that my leaving would help, I am all for it. I made a mistake, and I do not want to cause further harm."
UPDATE: According to KOMU, a spokesperson for the University of Missouri said the school will not accept Dr. Brigham's resignation.
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NOTE: This article has been amended since its initial publication.