The University of Mississippi Chancellor Search Advisory Committee held its first meeting this morning at the Inn at Ole Miss.
The meeting began with each member of the committee saying a few things about what they would like to see in the next chancellor.
“What I’m looking for in a chancellor is kind of two things,” Associated Student Body President Barron Mayfield said. “Someone who is going to come in with a strong vision. We are changing as a university, and I want someone who has a vision for where we will be on the other side of that change.”
Mayfield also said that he was looking for someone who could put students first.
Gregory Alston, former ASB and Law School President, said that he wanted three things in a new chancellor: someone who could put an emphasis on Mississippi and recruiting students in the state, could work well with state officials and someone who loves Ole Miss and Mississippi.
“What I would like to see out of this chancellor is someone who can get this university back on track with a clear vision moving forward,” Alston said.
Many members of the committee mentioned moving the university forward, and several mentioned the ability to fundraise as a priority.
“We need someone who can go out and sell this university,” said Sam Lane, Senior Vice President of Client Development for First Commercial Bank.
Dr. Charles Hussey, one of the co-chairs of the committee, said that all of the present members had raised valuable points and asked them to leave out their personal biases when considering potential candidates.
“What I want from you is your pledge that you will put aside your politics, your notions, you’re negative thinking to help us move this search forward,” Hussey said.
The 39-member committee, chosen by the Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning, was created as a cross-section of the University of Mississippi community and charged with naming candidates to replace Interim Chancellor Larry Sparks.
Each member of the committee will submit eight names of people that they would like to nominate as candidates for the position. The first set of interviews will begin in October.
Two other listening sessions regarding the chancellor search will be available to the public on June 19 and September 5. Each session will address the individual needs to specific constituency groups. The first session will be held at The University of Mississippi Medical Center, and the second will be held in the Gertrude C. Ford Ballroom in the Inn at Ole Miss.