The University of Missouri Board of Curators announced Thursday that Michael Middleton will serve as interim president of the UM System.
Middleton served as the deputy chancellor of MU for 17 years before retiring in August. He was appointed by the Missouri Supreme Court last month to co-chair the Commission on Racial and Ethnic Fairness in state courts. He also served as a trial attorney in the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice.
Middleton's appointment was announced three days after the resignation of President Tim Wolfe amid criticism of his response to racial tension on the University of Missouri-Columbia campus.
In the days and weeks leading up to Wolfe's resignation, student activist group Concerned Student 1950 had been protesting him and the MU curators.
A number of racially charged incidents have plagued MU’s Columbia campus in recent months. In one incident, a swastika made of feces was found in a dorm. In another, students hurled racial slurs at Mizzou Student Body President Payton Head.
Middleton will take office immediately.
Briana O'Higgins is the digital director at KCUR 89.3. You can reach her on Twitter, @brianaohiggins.