Curtis, a black representative who serves as chairman of the House Special committee on urban development said Middleton and other MU officials had failed to provide him with information concerning budgets and diversity spending that had been previously requested.
"You may know this but I've recently become increasingly more critical of the position that you've held and current position that you hold," Curtis said. "Specifically because we're still waiting on information."
Curtis also said he was unhappy with Middleton's past efforts to move diversity initiatives through at the University of Missouri while he was serving as deputy chancellor.
But Middleton said he had made a consistent effort to bring such issues to the attention of the chancellors he served.
"I was unable to convince the chancellors to take an approach that I personally thought was more appropriate," Middleton said. "There comes a point in time in an organization when the chancellor or the president moves in one direction that you stop naysaying."
Middleton spoke along with several other top university officials, including Pamela Quigg Henrickson, the chair of the Board of Curators, and Chuck Nelson, interim Vice Chancellor for Inclusion, Diversity and Equity.
They were summoned to respond to Curtis' concerns about the inability of the UM system to respond promptly to racial tensions.
"What we did see this year is that the university system, though its not supposed to take a leadership role I suppose, doesn't seem to have a sense of urgency with regard to the diversity issues," Curtis said. "We've moved to protect the budget. We've moved to remove professor Click, and yet I have a list of 11 items that the black caucus has requested and we still haven't received those items."
But Middleton said progress is already being made.
He pointed to the work being done by Chuck Henson, interim Vice Chancellor for Inclusion, Diversity and Equity, to unify resources on the campus.
"Diversity on campus was somewhat disjointed and siloed," Middleton said. "What the campus has now done is brought all of that under one umbrella, one organizational structure."
Henson said he is confident his position will be helpful, but said it may take time to see results.
"Given the magnitude of the issues its extremely difficult to establish the kind of visible palpable changes that we all desire," Henson said. "But I do believe that you have some other programs that are in place that are helpful."
The committee did not reach quorum, with only Representative Courtney Curtis, D-St. Louis County and Representative Justin Alferman, R-Hermann, in attendance.