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Vassallo: Preferred Candidate for Chancellorship

Dr. Jeff€rey Vitter, Chancellor Candidate. 2015
Dr. Jeff€rey Vitter, Chancellor Candidate. 2015

The Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning has selected Dr. Jeffrey S. Vitter as the preferred candidate for the chancellorship of Ole Miss.

A renowned computer scientist and academic scholar, Dr. Vitter is Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor at the University of Kansas.

This is a great match for Ole Miss as Dr. Vitter has all the tools and background essential to lead our beloved university through this era. I attended the announcement Monday at the Lyceum and was thrilled to witness so much enthusiasm and excitement from students, alumni and search officials alike.

I spoke briefly with Alan Perry, President of the Board of Trustees who said, “Dr. Vitter is a wonderful candidate and we are hopeful that during the campus interview next week, he will be well received.”

I have known Alan since our student days in the 1960’s (Alan set the curve for every class I can recall in the Business School) and to see him so excited was exciting for me to hear.

I also visited with Alice Clark, Search Advisory Committee member who said, “We are really pleased with the process and heard clearly what the community wanted. Dr. Vitter’s credentials align so well with what the Ole Miss community was seeking.”

Students were equally thrilled with the selection. Visiting with three student leaders, here is a synopsis of their thoughts:

Nick Vonder Haar, senior from Brandon, said, “I am excited finding out this information. The Search Committee performed really good as a lot of thought went into the process.”

Austin Vitale, senior from Moorpack, California, said, “I am enthusiastic as the Search Committee recommended someone with such a strong academic background.”

Rod Bridges, senior from Madison, said, “This is the right choice and was a unanimous decision of the board. This is truly a great choice as Dr. Vitter brings an innovative vision and broad range of experience to Ole Miss.”

The timeline from this point forward is to continue the vetting process and hopefully finalize the process next Thursday, October 29. From a personal perspective, I overwhelmingly endorse this nomination. I previously went before the Search Committee (speaking as an alum) and expressed my views as preferring an Ole Miss alum. Although Dr. Vitter does not meet that particular criterion, his background is so strong and his Southern roots are such that I believe he will fit well into the Ole Miss culture and lead our great university to even greater heights.

I could not be any more pleased as Alan and the committee have performed admirably. Knowing Alan and several of the committee members, I would have expected nothing less.

Steve Vassallo

Steve Vassallo is a HottyToddy.com contributor. Steve writes on Ole Miss athletics, Oxford business, politics and other subjects. He is an Ole Miss grad and former radio announcer for the basketball team. Currently, Steve is a highly successful leader in the real estate business who lives in Oxford with his wife Rosie. You can contact Steve at sovassallo@gmail.com or call him at 985-852-7745.

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