Lincoln University names Mike Middleton as its interim president

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JEFFERSON CITY - Lincoln University announced Mike Middleton as its interim president Thursday as it prepares for current president Kevin Rome's departure.

Middleton will start on June 1, and Rome will resign effective June 30 to take over the next day as president of Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee.

Middleton was appointed interim UM System president in November 2015 after Tim Wolfe resigned in the wake of protests over racial tensions on campus.

On Thursday, Middleton said the first thing he wants to do is talk to constituents and listen to their concerns.

Middleton said he believes Lincoln University and MU can have a "cooperative partnership" to improve both institutions.

He said LU needs to focus on financial recovery.

"We've got to really think about new ways to generate revenue," Middleton said. 

This comes days after the university announced 48 positions would be cut and all employees would see a 0.5 percent pay cut in the new fiscal year.

The curators said Middleton will bring stability the university needs to face its unique situations. The curators said they will take their time in finding a permanent president. 

(Editor's note: This story has been updated to include the latest information.)