During the Fall semester at the University of Missouri in Columbia, the campus erupted in protests, culminating with the Nov. 9 resignations of UM System President Tim Wolfe and MU Chancellor R. Bowen Loftin.
Three days later, law professor and administrator Michael Middleton was named interim president of the four-campus system amid a slew of institutional, academic and social messes. In addition to mending trust with faculty, students and staff, he faced enormous expectations to improve race relations on campus.
But Middleton says MU and the UM System won’t necessarily see sweeping change in the next six months, despite Middleton’s plans to install task forces on the campuses to investigate the racial climate and search for best practices. “If you expect immediate change in the culture on our campuses, that’s probably asking too much,” he said.