The University of Mississippi has not yet sent plans to the Mississippi Department of Archives and History concerning the relocation of the Confederate monument, MDAH Director of Public Relations Michael Morris wrote in an email Tuesday.
“The department is still awaiting plans and specifications from the University of Mississippi. Once submitted, MDAH staff will review the plans. After review, MDAH staff will place the issue on the MDAH Board of Trustees agenda,” Morris said in the email.
On March 21, Interim Chancellor Larry Sparks announced that the university had submitted a notice of intent to the MDAH, but noted that “the process to secure the necessary approvals for this relocation will require some time.”
In email correspondence with The Daily Mississippian in April and May, university spokesperson Rod Guajardo wrote there were no new updates, and that Sparks’s March 21 statement would serve as the university’s comment. Five months have now passed since Sparks’s statement.
Guajardo responded to another inquiry on Thursday, writing that the university’s request was “nearing completion.” Guajardo did not specify a timeline for the application, but added that they’d provide updates to the university community as the process moves forward.
The process of relocation began in early March when the resolution was shared by ASB’s committee for inclusion and cross-cultural engagement, where it originated. Two days later, the ASB Rules Committee approved the legislation for Tuesday night’s debate.
The Graduate Student Council Senate voted to relocate the statue March 4. The next night, the Associated Student Body Senate unanimously voted to do the same, and both the Faculty Senate and Staff Council followed suit two nights later.
While all four campus government organizations passed resolutions to relocate the statue, the university must submit the proposed move as an agenda item to the Institutions of Higher Learning Board of Trustees for its approval in order to physically relocate the monument.
Sparks said the university would first meet with the MDAH to develop justification for moving the statue to the Confederate cemetery on campus before submitting a request to the state college board because the monument is considered a state landmark.
Once the university sends the MDAH the plans, they can submit the proposal to the IHL Board of Trustees to relocate the statue to the cemetery.
This is a developing story, and any updates or comments from the university will be added as they are released.