For the past three months, the board of trustees of the Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning and the Campus Search Advisory Committee have been searching for a new chancellor to replace former Chancellor Dan Jones.
“This search has gone nation-wide,” said Dr. Glenn Boyce, Commissioner of Higher Education.
“We really haven’t left a stone unturned.”
The Campus Search Advisory Committee, which is comprised of faculty, staff, students and alumni, met on Sept. 11. According to ASB president Rod Bridges, the committee discussed the pool of candidates before submitting the names of those in whom they felt confident to the IHL.
“The chancellor’s search has been an extremely exciting one,” Bridges said.
Once the recommendations were submitted to the IHL, the board selected their preferred candidates.
“Now the IHL Board is searching for potential members to become a part of the Interview Search Committee,” Bridges said.
The IHL-preferred candidates for chancellor will appear before the Interview Search Committee once it is formed.
According to Boyce, the listening sessions held in Oxford and Jackson went very well and the committee received valuable input from all those attending.
“The Board of Trustees keeps the names of all applicants confidential throughout the search process,” Boyce said. “We will only release the name after the decision has been made.”
The IHL expects to name a new chancellor of the University by Dec. 1, 2015, Boyce said.
“The preferred candidate will be scheduled for a full day on-campus for interviews with a wide array of constituents,” said Dr. Alice Clark, chair of the Campus Search Advisory and vice chancellor for research and sponsored programs.
According to Clark, each group will have the opportunity to provide feedback on the preferred candidate to the Board of Trustees.
“The Chancellor serves as the University’s chief executive officer and must be a strong leader with a vision for the institution’s future and a desire to continue its commitment to service and research,” Clark said.
Clark said the University’s commitment to diversity is an important part of the fabric of the institution and was mentioned throughout the listening sessions, but is only one of many factors in the decision.
“The next chancellor will be selected solely on the basis of their being the best candidate for the job,” Clark said.
The board nominated Morris Stocks, provost and vice chancellor, to act on behalf of the chancellor and the search firm R. William Funk and Associates to actively recruit candidates that best reflected the wishes of the University community.
“Students have voiced that they want to see a chancellor who has a student-first mentality,” Bridges said.
“They want a chancellor who keeps inclusivity in all areas at the forefront of his or her decision making as well. They want a chancellor who sees this position not as a stepping-stone to another position, but as a destination.”