Mizzou Appoints Black Interim President Who Promises to Tackle Racial Tensions

Mere days after former University of Missouri president Tim Wolfe resigned amidst racial tensions, the governing board has named Michael Middleton as interim president.

Middleton, a Black university law professor who was elected yesterday afternoon, has issued statements promising to address the racism that has emerged on campus and effectively jumpstart conversations among students of all races, reports USA TODAY.

“I don’t blame White people who don’t understand [racial inequality],” he said. “I blame our ugly history.”

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University of Missouri President Resigns After String of Racist Incidents Prompts Student, Athlete Protests

Concerned Student 1950, the newly established student activist group which has spearheaded many of the campus protests, tweeted support for Middleton yesterday. Middleton has said that eventually, he hopes that he can diminish the tensions on campus that have prompted numerous protests and threats.

“We all must heighten our focus, improve our culture…and share the responsibility to see our university advance in healthy ways built upon respect for others,” he said in a statement. “I am energized. We need to get our community together, working together.”