A nutrition and exercise physiology professor at the University of Missouri offered his resignation Wednesday after facing backlash when he told students he would hold an exam amid online threats to the school.
After days of turmoil at Mizzou, Dale Brigham, an associate teaching professor, said Tuesday night that canceling the exam would allow bullies to win. At the time, university police were investigating several threats of a shooting made on social media as well as by phone to the Black Culture Center.
KOMU 8 reported the university has not accepted the offer from Brigham.
Brigham confirmed to the Washington Post that he had written the email.
"If you give into bullies, they win. The only way bullies are defeated is by standing up to them," he wrote. "If we cancel the exam, they win; if we go through with it, they lose."
"My duty is to hold the class. If [students] choose otherwise, they can take a make up exam,” he told the Post. “By the way, the university has not cancelled classes or put out any other official statement regarding these rumors. If they confirm any of these threats, I will follow through appropriately.”
At the time, university officials had said they were aware of threats and had increased security.
University of Missouri police later arrested 19-year-old Hunter Park, who is not a student at the school, on suspicion of making threats on social media app Yik Yak. A student at another Missouri university, Connor Stottlemyre, was also arrested on suspicion of making a threat on the anonymous app. By late Tuesday night, police announced there was no immediate threat to campus.
Tweets showing an image of Brigham's email spread quickly on social media, and several people posted emails they had sent the professor in response.
Brigham responded on Wednesday that he had canceled the exam, and he had also offered his resignation.
Brigham did not immediately respond to a BuzzFeed News request for comment.
Meanwhile, the university announced that it had placed Janna Basler, the director of Greek life, on administrative leave. Basler, along with mass media professor Melissa Click, appeared in a video trying to limit access to a student photographer during a protest.
Click earlier resigned a title and corresponding role in the university's journalism program. She remains in her assistant professor role within the communication department, which said Tuesday it declined to comment on personnel matters.
Claudia Koerner is a national reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Los Angeles.
Contact Claudia Koerner at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Got a confidential tip? Submit it here.