Plans to relocate the Confederate monument to the Confederate cemetery have been sent to the Mississippi Department of Archives and History (MDAH), Interim Chancellor Larry Sparks announced Wednesday afternoon. After five and a half months, the ball has left the university’s court.
Sparks wrote that the university submitted their plans and drawings to the Mississippi Department of Archives and History on Aug. 27, following five months of deliberations with contractors and MDAH officials.
If the plans are approved by the MDAH, the decision will be submitted to the Institutions of Higher Learning (IHL) to make the final decision on whether the monument will, in fact, be relocated.
The most recent step, submitting plans to the MDAH, is necessary because MDAH staff must “review the plans and specifications for the move to ensure that they comply with the United States Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties,” MDAH Director of PR Michael Morris wrote in an email on Wednesday.
Morris did not speculate as to whether the plans would be approved, but said that the issue would be placed on the MDAH Board of Trustees agenda for a vote.
The IHL Board of Trustees is comprised of 12 individuals, with four representatives from each of Mississippi’s three Supreme Court districts. All current IHL Board Members were appointed by Gov. Phil Bryant, the first governor in Mississippi history to appoint all 12 members of the board.
There is no timetable for the dual approval process. The MDAH Board of Trustees will hold a teleconference meeting on Sept.17 in Jackson. The IHL Board of Trustees meets monthly, and their next meeting is Sept.19 in Jackson.
In Wednesday’s email, Sparks added that if approved by the IHL, the university will contract an outside firm to facilitate the removal.