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Mississippi IHL Trustees Will Conduct National Search to Select Next Ole Miss Chancellor

Photo courtesy UM Communications
Photo courtesy UM Communications

The contentious nature of contract negotiations between Mississippi’s Institutions of Higher Learning board of trustees and Chancellor Dan Jones has supporters and non-supporters of Jones asking who will pick the next chancellor at the University of Mississippi.

The simple answer is the board of trustees will pick the new head of Ole Miss, following a 21-step process formally adopted by the board in 2008.

Supporters of Jones wanted him to stay on, hoping he could guide the selection of his successor, while non-supporters were concerned that Jones should have nothing to do with the selection process.

Jones declined to accept a limited contract renewal offered by the board, and he announced last week he would be stepping down at the end of his current contract in September.

The 21-step process used by the board is published on its website and puts in place a process that will seek input from alumni, faculty, staff, students as well as the general public.

“The board will hire a recognized national search firm to oversee the process and guide the board of trustees,” a trustee told HottyToddy.com Saturday. “The process will begin very soon.”

Members of the higher education community say the Ole Miss job will be highly desirable to many.

“This is a real plumb job in higher education. We will have the strongest candidates in the nation apply and that is great for Ole Miss and Mississippi,” the board member said.

Below is the search process established by board policy:

1. Board President names Board Search Committee (BSC) members and BSC chair. The Commissioner, in consultation with the BSC, makes a recommendation to the Board with regard to a Search Consultant (SC).

2. BSC and Commissioner meet with campus constituency groups to hear what they want in their next institutional executive officer (IEO).

3. SC, in consultation with the Commissioner and with approval of the BSC, drafts a position advertisement. The position advertisement is placed.

4. Commissioner receives recommendations from various university and community constituency groups regarding names for the Search Advisory Committee (SAC).

5. Commissioner appoints SAC members and SAC chair based on constituency group recommendations.

6. SAC briefed by Commissioner and SC regarding search process; SAC members sign Associated Press-style code of ethics.

7. Position nominations and applications received.

8. SAC reviews and discusses all candidate résumés with the SC.

9. SAC recommends no less than five names, unranked, to the Commissioner; the Commissioner forwards names to the BSC.

10. SAC self-selects a representative group of members, comprised of faculty, students, staff, and outside representatives, diverse in race and gender, to serve as the Interview Search Advisory Committee (ISAC) and participate as requested by the Board of Trustees throughout the remainder of the selection process.

11. BSC, in conjunction with Commissioner and SC, decides on candidates for preliminary interviews from the names sent forward from the SAC.

12. BSC and Commissioner, with input from ISAC, conduct first round of interviews. The number of candidates to be invited for a second round of interviews may be reduced by the BSC after in-depth conversations.

13. Reference contacts and background checks of candidates participating in the second round of interviews are made under the direction of the Commissioner and SC.

14. BSC, Commissioner, and ISAC hear results of reference checks from SC.

15. Second round of interviews conducted. BSC and Commissioner, with input from ISAC, conduct second round of interviews.

16. BSC, in consultation with Commissioner, narrows field of candidates to two or three.

17. Board of Trustees meets to hear candidate recommendations. Further candidate assessments are made by the Board of Trustees. Input sought from ISAC.

18. Board announces preferred candidate.

19. Preferred candidate brought to campus to engage in open interviews with various campus constituency groups, who are given the opportunity to provide feedback to the Board regarding the preferred candidate.

20. Board receives preferred candidate feedback from constituency groups and decides if preferred candidate should be named IEO.

21. Possible IEO announcement or announcement that the search will continue.

HottyToddy.com staff report

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