After 10 months with an interim chancellor, the University of Mississippi once again has official leadership in former IHL commissioner Glenn Boyce. While controversy still surrounds the process used to select him, Ole Miss students are looking forward at the first steps Boyce will take as chancellor.
Many students believe that the search for an athletic director should be at the forefront of the chancellor’s focus. The university has been without an official athletic director since Ross Bjork abruptly quit in May to fill the same position at Texas A&M.
“I think he needs to hire a new athletic director,” general business major Austin Moore said. “If he hires a good athletic director that brings success to our sports teams that will boost the morale of the students and alumni.”
Accountancy student Stephanie Green shared this sentiment, thinking that quickly hiring a new athletic director would help the university financially.
“I think (his first move) should be to either hire our interim athletic director or start searching for one,” Green said. “As much as sports are their own thing, it does drive revenue and enrollment and I think getting more stability will help on all fronts.”
Others said that Boyce should address infrastructure, specifically campus expansion and parking.
“I think the chancellor should address the growth of the student body and its effect on the education the university offers,” general business student Josh Hall said. “It seems that the university is not expanding fast enough to accommodate for all of the students.”
Criminal justice major John Bertrand said he thought the recently-opened residential parking garage should be open to commuters, not just students who live on campus.
“I would probably say there needs to be more commuter parking,” Bertrand said. “All the commuters have to battle for parking every day and in my opinion, that new parking garage should’ve been for (commuters) instead of the freshmen. That’s something I’d want him to address.”
Most students, though, think the chancellor should work to unify the students, faculty and alumni after his controversial selection.
“I think he should first and foremost be concerned with proving, through actions, that the student body and faculty’s opinions and voices are heard and listened to when making decisions concerning the university,” accountancy student Caroline Bailey said. “The hiring of the new chancellor was done in a way that most people felt ignored these opinions, so he is going to have to work to change that.”
Political science major, Kate Wigod, said that Boyce would need to win over his constituency and gain the trust of the university before he tries to do anything administratively.
“I think his first goal as chancellor should be to find a way to eliminate the tensions and controversy around his nomination,” Wigod said.
In an interview with The Daily Mississippian, Boyce said that although he didn’t have concrete plans yet, saying that specific ideas would develop as he learns more about the campus.
“(I) can’t be concrete yet because I have so much to learn,” Boyce said. “I’m really interested in some particular issues as to how we’re doing with our students.”
Boyce will officially begin his job as chancellor on Sunday Oct. 13, according to Interim Chancellor Larry Sparks.