JEFFERSON CITY, MO – Lincoln University at Missouri Board of Curators announced this past Thursday (May 25) the appointment of Mike Middleton as Interim President.
Middleton, who most recently served as interim president of the University of Missouri system will take the helm at the HBCU institution located in Jefferson City until a permanent successor to Dr. Kevin Rome is named. After four years at Lincoln, Rome was announced in March as the new president of Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee as of July 1.
Rome last day with the university is June 15 and Middleton is excepted to spend time on campus prior to his departure.
“It is important to have at our helm someone who can help steady the waters in our current state,” says President of the Board of Curators Marvin Teer. “We are going to take our time in finding our 20th President of Lincoln University, so we needed to be certain the university would be in good, capable hands during this transition period. Base on his entire career, we have found just what we need in Mike Middleton.”
Middleton took over as interim head of the four-campus University of Missouri system in November 2015 after Tim Wolfe abruptly resigned amid student led protests on the Columbia campus over the administration’s handling of racial complaints. Before taking the head position of the University of Missouri system, he served as deputy chancellor at Mizzou.
Mun Choi was named the university system’s permanent president last November.
Middleton, who earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Missouri in 1968 and is a 1971 graduate of the University of Missouri School of Law, made history in 1985 when he returned to his alma mater as the first full-time African American professor within the School of Law. Following his time in the classroom, Middleton served as Interim Vice Provost for Minority Affairs and Faculty Development, and finally as Deputy Chancellor, from which he retired in August 2015. He is known as a leader with a strong focus on policy and regulatory compliance, as well as operational performance and dispute resolution.
“Interim President Mike Middleton will bring the stability Lincoln University needs as we face the unique situation of searching for a President in the midst of grappling with budgetary and other concerns. Though he comes to us only temporarily, the Board is certain his time in this role will have a positive long-term effect on our historic institution,” says Teer.
Middleton heads to Lincoln during a time of stress as the institution grapples with the impact of declining state funding.