Emails to and from the IHL board

Posted on Mar 23 2016 - 2:25pm by Clara Turnage
The Daily Mississippian reviewed more than 200 personal emails to the IHL board as a part of a review of 1,809 documents from a Freedom of Information Act request in September. The board withheld 42 emails due to client attorney privilege and personnel file, among other reasons. This is a selection of those emails.

Matt Kiefer, alumnus, Senior Class President 2014, March 25, 2015

Dear IHL Board of Trustees,

Thank you for not to renewing Chancellor Jones’ contract.
My name is Matthew Kiefer and I was the Ole Miss Class President for 2014 and held many other leadership positions prior to President (ASB Attorney General, ASB Senator, Honors College Ambassador etc.)  From my perspective and experience as a student leader, Dan Jones is not the right man for the job. The Chancellor and his administration have been the source of regular disappointment and questionable policies (specifically student related polices). Generally speaking, his administration left a bad taste in the mouths of the silent majority of students.
His administration has been highly political in its actions and policies and pushes a liberal agenda on a primarily conservative student body. His supporters may be loud but they are not representative of the Ole Miss Family. The divide on this issue among students is very clearly Democrats(pro-Dan) versus Republicans(Pro-IHL). Please stand strong against the loud and immature minority. You have my support and that of the quiet majority of the Ole Miss Family. Thank you.Matthew T. Kiefer

Post Script Note: If you are wondering what specific problems students have had with the Dan Jones Administration, here are a few serious ones off the top of my head:
(1) Parking–allowing the parking director to grossly oversell permits causing serious parking problems for several thousand students;
(2) The Mascot;
(3) Favoritism of certain classes/types of students in school related roles–students who described themselves as Democrats or homosexuals received special treatment. Specifically, these groups were severely over-represented in school programs, like Ambassadors, Columns Society, Orientation Leaders, etc.
(4) Misconstruing or Exaggerating events–the chancellor went out of his way to apologize for things that were not rooted in reality which gave those events credibility. Primary example, the “race riot.” What happened on election night 2012 according to eye-witnesses was nothing more than a few scuffles between people excited about Obama’s re-election and those disappointed with it. There were more fights in the football stadium the previous home game. The election night was over-exaggerated by the press and supported by the Chancellor’s letter and following report;
(5) The administration is Anti-traditional fraternity– They perform inappropriate, over-the-top investigations of fraternities when a potential violation is alleged without evidence. Ex. They kept 80 members of one fraternity in a room and screamed at them for two hours trying to get a member to admit to a violation of policy and then took each member one at a time and yelled at them in private. This has happened several times to several fraternities. Their investigation went on for a year and all fraternity activities were suspended. They found no evidence to substantiate the alleged violation.
(6) implementing a Liberal agenda without transparency or balance

Rex Huffington, citizen of Starkville, March 20, 2015

“This is a severe blow not only to the University of Mississippi, but to our entire state. I cannot imagine how this decision could have been made at this time and in this moment by individuals who bear responsibility for overseeing higher education in our state.”


Bart WilBanks, alumnus from Collierville, Tennessee

I want to personally thank you and the IHL board for their recent decision concerning the removal of Dan Jones from Ole Miss. I am a graduate of Ole Miss, and a member of the Alumni Association, and I want you to know that I speak for the 3,364 people whose names and contact information is in the attached file. Below is a link to the petition that I started for the resignation of Dr. Jones. The petition was recommended by 5,880 people and endorsed by thousands of other (sic) who feared being publicly associated with this effort due to fear of backlash from the University administration. I closed the petition upon your announcement not to renew his contract, but have been assured that if I reopen this petition for signatures I can get thousands more relatively quickly.

I am sending this now because I know there is a public out lash from people who blindly supported Dr. Jones, and I have even heard rumors that the IHL board may renew his contract under pressure. I ask than you consider this petition before making any decision to extend Dr. Jones contract and I will do anything within my power to support you!

Click here to view the petition.

Wil Yerger, alumnus, March 21, 2015

Though we were on differing sides of the argument, he assured me that I had every right and responsibility to stand up for my beliefs and represent the students of Ole Miss in the capacity necessary. The Ole Miss students, alumni, faculty, staff and every other stakeholder will now suffer because of Chancellor Jones’ strength to do the same.


Bob Evans, representative for Mississippi House District 91, wrote on April 17

Thank you for the courtesy of this notification. However, I must tell you that both as a legislator and a citizen I am very disappointed and angry about the undeserved and otherwise reprehensible manner in which you and the other board members handled the Dan Jones matter.While I know that you will likely take umbrage with my characterization of your involvement, any explanation you might offer would not be well-received.  Your actions speak for themselves. Suffice it to say that I will not retreat from my intention to reign in what I deem to be such execrable abuse of the Board’s authority. I am confident that legislation to that effect will be presented to the 2016 legislature.