Michael Middelton Takes the Helm at Lincoln University

By Free Radical

Michael Middleton

Michael Middleton

Michael Middleton, former interim president of the University of Missouri system, will have to delay his retirement plans. He was recently named interim president of Lincoln University.

The vacancy became available after former Lincoln President, Kevin Rome, was hired to lead Fisk University.

Middleton, who had recently retired as MU’s deputy chancellor in 2015, was appointed to the MU presidency when racial tensions resulted in the ouster of Tim Wolfe. In March 2017, the UM System selected Mun Choi to serve as the university system’s president.

Middleton will have to rescue Lincoln from another form of unrest, though still tied to racism. The Republican dominated Missouri state government has shredded the higher education budget. While larger predominantly White schools have struggled to navigate these cuts, they are near to crippling Black schools such as Lincoln. This past school year, Lincoln had a $3.8 million dollar shortfall, resulting in 48 positions  chosen to be eliminated, including 15 faculty members.

As head of the UM system, Middleton has been criticized by some as not pushing for improvements in diversity aggressively enough, especially in light of the tensions that brought him to office. He will have to develop an appetite for working with and for students of color in his new position if the university is to survive.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *