The Board of Curators announced that Michael Middleton, 68, will lead the four-campus system until it finds a permanent replacement for Tim Wolfe, who resigned Monday under pressure from students who criticized his administration’s response to a series of racial incidents.
“I am honored to accept the appointment as interim president of the UM System, and lead our state’s premiere university during this extraordinary time,” Middleton said. “The time has come for us to acknowledge and address our daunting challenges, and return to our relentless adherence to the University of Missouri’s mission to discover, disseminate, preserve and apply knowledge.”
Middleton, a longtime law school professor, had retired Aug. 31 after 17 years as deputy chancellor, the Board of Curators said in a statement.
He received his bachelor’s degree from the university in 1968. Three years later, he became the third black student to graduate from Mizzou’s law school, the Board of Curators said.
Middleton then began a career in civil rights law in Washington, D.C., working as a trial attorney for the Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department. He returned to Mizzou as a law professor in 1985.