US university names Black president to defuse race row

The University of Missouri named a black interim president on Thursday after the incumbent was forced out amid an escalating race row, as a wave of protests spread to half a dozen US campuses.

AFP| Updated: Nov 13, 2015, 08:13 AM IST

Washington: The University of Missouri named a black interim president on Thursday after the incumbent was forced out amid an escalating race row, as a wave of protests spread to half a dozen US campuses.

President Tim Wolfe resigned this week as protests mounted over his handling of racial slurs aimed at black students, including claims a swastika was drawn with human feces on a dormitory wall.

The events at the Missouri school -- nicknamed Mizzou -- have spawned a wave of student solidarity, with thousands sharing grievances and organizing protests under the hashtags #BlackOnCampus and #IStandwithMizzou.

Wolfe hands over to Mike Middleton, a black former civil rights attorney and longtime deputy chancellor of the University of Missouri's main Columbia campus.

"The time has come for us to acknowledge and address our daunting challenges," Middleton was quoted as saying in a university statement.

The Missouri row comes as the United States grapples with a surge in tensions between white police officers and African-Americans, fanned by several cases of police shooting unarmed black citizens.

While the protests have been peaceful, they have raised fears of racially-motivated violence.