Michael A. Middleton, JD
Interim President of the UM System, Deputy Chancellor Emeritus and Professor Emeritus of Law
BA, University of Missouri-Columbia, 1968
JD, University of Missouri-Columbia, 1971
Michael A. Middleton was appointed interim president of the University of Missouri System on November 12, 2015, by the University of Missouri Board of Curators. Middleton previously served as deputy chancellor of the University of Missouri-Columbia and is a professor emeritus in the MU School of Law.
Middleton joined the faculty of the MU School of Law in 1985 after an illustrious career with the federal government in Washington, D.C., where he was first a trial attorney in the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice. In 1977, he was appointed assistant deputy director of the Office for Civil Rights within the former U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare.
After serving as director of the Office of Systemic Programs for the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and as principal deputy assistant secretary for Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Education, Middleton was appointed associate general counsel of the EEOC’s trial division. He returned to his alma mater from St. Louis, where he was director of the EEOC's St. Louis District Office.
Beginning in 1997, Middleton served as the interim vice provost for minority affairs and faculty development at MU. A year later, he accepted the position of deputy chancellor, a role he held until his retirement on August 31, 2015.
Throughout his career, Middleton has received several accolades including: the Distinguished Alumni Award from the MU Black Alumni Organization in 1995, the Harold Holliday Award from the Missouri Legislative Black Caucus in 1998, the Spurgeon Smithson Award from the Missouri Bar Foundation in 1999, a Citation of Merit from the University of Missouri School of Law in 2001, the Chief Justice’s Award from the Missouri Supreme Court in 2003, the President’s Award from the Missouri Bar in 2003, the MLK Dream Conference Trailblazer of the Year Award in 2006, and most recently the MLK Jr. Distinguished Drum Major for Justice Award, the Legislative Black Caucus Public Service Award, and the Trailblazer Award from the Columbia NAACP in 2016. He has also been a proud member of the American Bar Foundation since 1992 and the American Law Institute since 1999.
Middleton is married to Dr. Julie N. Middleton, who retired in February 2016 after serving as director of organizational development and an extension professional at MU. Together, they have three children and seven grandchildren.