Students vow to fight ‘sham process’ in Ole Miss chancellor search

Updated: Oct. 7, 2019 at 6:17 PM CDT
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OXFORD, Miss. (WMC) - Students who staged a protest at Friday’s meeting to introduce a new chancellor at Ole Miss say they’re not done letting their voices be heard.

On Monday, Ole Miss made the hiring of Dr. Glenn Boyce official by posting a news release online. The state’s Institutions for Higher Learning (IHL) board planned to have Boyce speak at a news conference Friday, but the meeting was called off because of student protests.

Protesters at the introductory press conference.
Protesters at the introductory press conference.(WMC Action News 5)

“We are not accepting Boyce as our chancellor. We are not accepting this corruption process,” said Cam Calisch, a senior at Ole Miss.

Calisch was picked up and removed by university police Friday at the news conference to introduce Boyce. Calisch said she and other students put out were not charged by authorities. On Monday, she said her group of students is trying to get the word out to more Ole Miss students about a search they believe was a sham.

“I don’t think Boyce himself is the problem. I think the problem is the corruption process that the IHL took, and we need to focus energy on that,” said Calisch.

In a statement posted online, the Faculty Senate Executive Officers at Ole Miss condemned the hiring process. That’s because Boyce, a former commissioner of higher education, was paid to find the school’s next chancellor and was not an official candidate. But the IHL board, which is comprised of gubernatorial appointees, cut the interview process short and ultimately gave Boyce the job.

“There is a lot at stake here, and people need to know,” said Calisch.

Boyce spoke with the Daily Mississippian in an interview Friday. He wouldn’t answer questions about the circumstances surrounding his hiring but said he plans to focus on recruiting more in-state students to stem declining enrollment.

“One of my top priorities is we’ve got to enhance fundraising,” Boyce said. “Three years in a row, it’s my understanding, fundraising has gone down. That fundraising is critical to the success of the university.”

ON Monday, WMC Action News 5 inquired with Ole Miss for a statement regarding the student protests. A spokesperson referred us to the announcement on Boyce’s hiring.

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