The interim president of the University of Missouri System acknowledges "significant challenges" in the wake of recent turmoil, but he sees it as an opportunity for the system to become a national leader in addressing racial concerns.

Michael Middleton spoke Friday during a Board of Curators meeting at the university system's St. Louis campus.

Several people discussed recent efforts to make the campuses more diverse and inclusive.

Middleton, who is black, was appointed interim president following weeks of protests over concerns about the administration, including the perception that not enough was done about incidents of bigotry aimed at African-American students.

President Tim Wolfe and Columbia campus chancellor R. Bowen Loftin resigned.