A group of minority former faculty members at the University of Missouri says racial problems must be addressed.

The MU Former Faculty of Color released a statement late Friday supporting students protesting what they say is a racist environment at the predominantly white Columbia campus. The statement is signed by nine former employees who describe racist incidents that made them uncomfortable, including when cotton balls were scattered outside the black culture center in 2010.

The statement says the university's inability to retain minority faculty contributes to the problem. The Columbia campus said in a written statement Saturday that interim Chancellor Hank Foley had read the letter and would consider the comments. Foley also welcomed the faculty to return and help the campus "move forward." All of this comes after the tumultuous week in which both the university president Tim Wolfe and chancellor R. Bowen Loftin resigned in response to students protesting the Columbia campus's underlying racial tensions.