Longtime Advocate For Black Students, Mike Middleton, To Serve As Interim President At University of Missouri

November 12, 2015  |  


Yesterday, I got into a bit of a back-and-forth with a commenter who didn’t seem to see the value behind the protests at the University of Missouri (Mizzou). This poster seemed to feel that though the students had forced then president, Tim Wolfe, to step down, he would simply be replaced by another apathetic White man.

Well, it looks like that won’t be the case.

Instead, the University of Missouri Board of Curators has selected Michael A. Middleton (better known as Mike Middleton) to serve as the interim president of the University.

According to the Columbia Tribune, the board voted for Middleton in a three-hour closed session yesterday.

Middleton, a member of Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity, retired earlier this year after working for 30 years at the University. Seventeen of those years were spent as deputy chancellor.

Middleton, who is credited with establishing the Legion of Black Collegians at Mizzou, along with his wife, also received his bachelor’s and law degree from the institution.

Middleton’s new role was announced today at a news conference.

Middleton will step into the position after Black students forced former president Tim Wolfe’s resignation for what was deemed as an inappropriate, inadequate response to a series of racially charged incidents happening on campus.

Middleton will bring plenty of experience of properly handling racial tensions to the position. Missouri Supreme Court named Middleton one of three co-chairs of a 40 member Commission on Racial and Ethnic Fairness in state courts. He served as a trial attorney in the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice. In 1977, he became the assistant deputy director of the Office for Civil Rights at the Department of Health, Education and Welfare.

At Mizzou, Middleton was a law professor and interim vice provost of minority affairs.

As the interim president, he will be the second Black man to serve in the position after Elson Floyd, who became the first Black president to head the UM system from 2003-2007.

You can check out Middleton’s history with the University as well as his accomplishments, here.

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