Michael Middleton Named Interim Chief

The Missouri state university system on Thursday named as interim president an African-American who said he understood the complexity and nuance of the recent racially charged campus clashes, adding that while some people will hold his race against him, it probably also played a role in his getting the job.

The interim leader, Michael A. Middleton, was an undergraduate and law school student, and later a law professor, and then an administrator at the University of Missouri, the flagship of the system.

When asked Thursday whether in that time he had ever felt marginalized because of his race, he said, “Every day, in all three capacities.”

It is a perspective that many white people cannot comprehend, he said, adding: “I don’t blame white people who don’t understand. I blame our ugly history.”

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