ASB President Barron Mayfield said that Chancellor Glenn Boyce was capable even though the search process was destructive to the university at a campus update to the Institutions of Higher Learning Board of Trustees at its meeting on Thursday.
Mayfield started his speech with accomplishments of the student body throughout this semester including hosting Everybody’s Formal, having record voter turnout in personality elections which resulted in the first ever Homecoming King and hosting the Longest Table event.
“It is an exciting, interesting time to be a student at the University of Mississippi,” Mayfield said. “You know, this semester we held our fourth annual Everybody’s Formal, a formal open to every student regardless of academic major or organizational affiliation. We were able to put on this event by spending no student fees or fundraising and raised nearly $25,000 for that.”
He then transitioned into what he called a period of “tremendous pain and incredible loss” for the campus in reference to the murder of student Ally Kostial, the surfacing of a photo of university students in front of a bullet-riddled Emmett Till memorial and the shortened chancellor search process.
“Fortunately, Dr. Boyce has proven to be a strong and capable leader,” Mayfield said. “He’s a student-centered individual who has been willing to take on issues that we have not been able to get traction on in years, and I am incredibly thankful for the leadership that he has provided over the last few months. However, putting the product aside, the process broke trust with the university community, and I do believe it has done incredible harm to the university that we will be dealing with for years and years to come.”
Mayfield also said that he thought the IHL Board had the best interest of the state’s public universities, but he would like to see students, faculty, alumni and staff included in decision-making processes that will affect them in the future.
“This is really the first time that we’ve been able to address the Board directly (about the chancellor search process), and so I thought it was the appropriate time to say something,” Mayfield said. “Because it has dominated so much of our year, and it’s been very high profile, and I couldn’t not say anything about it.”