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Campus Listening Sessions Scheduled to Aid New Chancellor Search

By Talbert Toole
Lifestyles Editor

The Lyceum on the Ole Miss Campus. Photo by Walter Lyle.

The Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning (IHL) announced Thursday that it will conduct three separate listening sessions for students, faculty, staff and alumni in regards to the search for a new Chancellor for the University of Mississippi.

The sessions will take place on Wednesday, June 19 in Jackson and Thursday, Sept. 5 in Oxford.

The discussions will center on the qualities and qualifications stakeholders, such as alumni and faculty, believe the next chancellor should possess, according to the IHL statement.

The University of Mississippi Medical Center Campus Listening Sessions will begin at 2 p.m. on Wednesday, June 19, on the campus located at 2500 North State Street in Jackson.

Photo via IHL announcement.

The listening sessions being conducted in Oxford on Thursday, Sept. 5 will begin at 9 a.m. at the Inn at Ole Miss.

Campus Search Advisory Committee

On June 7, the IHL announced the members that make up the advisory committee for the search of a new Chancellor for the University of Mississippi.

Dr. Charles Hussey, Alumnus, Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Education and Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry, and alumna Robyn Tannehill, Mayor of Oxford, will serve as Co-Chairs of the Committee.

The advisory committee meets today to discuss the Chancellor search. The meeting will be held at 11:30 a.m. in Salon A-B of the Ballroom at the Inn at Ole Miss. Members of the Committee may participate in the meeting via teleconference. An Executive Session may be held in accordance with the Open Meetings Act.

Vitter Resignation

The search comes after Vitter announced his resignation from the position in November. He formally stepped down in January.

The IHL board appointed University of Mississippi Vice Chancellor for Administration and Finance Larry D. Sparks as Interim Chancellor, effective Jan. 4, 2019. He remains in the position until a permanent chancellor is named.

In March, Vitter was one of four individuals interviewed by a panel for the position of president at the University of South Florida. Though he was not selected as USF’s next president, during his interview Vitter disclosed the reasons why he resigned from the chancellorship at the University of Mississippi.

The Tampa Bay Times reported Vitter was the second of four finalists to interview on Wednesday, March 20. He began the interview with reasons why he left Ole Miss, Times reporter Megan Reeves confirmed.

According to the Times, Vitter said in front of a USF search committee that he was brought in (to Ole Miss) to be an agent of change.

“But I made the mistake of underestimating, really, the level of entrenchment and lack of common agreement at Ole Miss,” he said.

He attributed that lack of common agreement to racial issues related to Mississippi’s Civil War History and an ongoing NCAA investigation.

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