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Black Admin Named Missouri Interim President

The University of Missouri’s governing board appointed a recently-retired senior administrator from its flagship campus to be the university system’s interim president Thursday.

Michael Middleton will assume the role. The 68-year-old had been working part-time with the campus’ chancellor R. Bowen Loftin on a plan to increase inclusion and diversity at the school.

He replaces Tim Wolfe, who resigned abruptly on Monday amid a student-led protest and hunger strike over his administration’s handling of racial complaints.

Loftin also announced he would be stepping down at the end of the year. He will assume a different role at the school.

The student group, MU Policy Now, had been pushing for Middleton’s appointment.

“Given the recent turmoil, Deputy Chancellor Emeritus Middleton is a strong transitional figure,” the group wrote in a letter of endorsement posted on its Facebook page and sent to curators.

Middleton has a bachelor’s degree from Missouri and is one of the first Black graduates of the law school. After graduating in 1971, he worked with the federal government in Washington and was a trial attorney in the Department of Justice.

He joined the university as a member of the school’s law faculty in 1985.

Middleton also helped found the Legion of Black Collegians. The student group is currently involved in the protests taking place at the school.

Read more at Associated Press.