(VDN/AURN/AP) — The University of Missouri’s governing board has appointed a recently retired black senior administrator from its flagship campus to be the university system’s interim president.
The Board of Curators named 68-year-old Michael Middleton on Thursday to lead the four-campus university system until a permanent replacement is found.
Middleton takes over from Tim Wolfe, who resigned Monday amid student-led protests over his administration’s handling of racial complaints. The Columbia campus’ chancellor, R. Bowen Loftin, also announced Monday he would be leaving his position at year’s end for a new role at the school.
Middleton retired as deputy chancellor of the Columbia campus in August and became a deputy chancellor emeritus. He has been working part-time to assist Loftin design a plan to increase inclusion and diversity on campus.
Some students are expressing excitement over the appointment. A member of the Black Law Students Association at Missouri says she’s “very excited” to hear that the new University of Missouri system’s president has a long history with the school.
Mike Middleton, a former law professor, graduated from the Columbia campus in 1971 and spent 18 years as deputy chancellor on the campus. He also was founder of one of the black student groups that led recent protests over race relations that led to this week’s resignations of the former university systems president and the campus chancellor.