Report: Mississippi philanthropist Jim Barksdale interested in becoming new Ole Miss chancellor

Published 10:51 am Friday, September 20, 2019

One of Mississippi’s wealthiest philanthropist, Jim Barksdale, has applied to become the next leader of the University of Mississippi, the school’s student newspaper reported Friday.

The Daily Mississippian, the student run newspaper at Ole Miss, cited three unnamed sources that confirmed Barksdale was interested in the chancellor’s position.

Barksdale and his family are widely known for their philanthropic giving in Mississippi.

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He is the former president and CEO of Netscape Communications in the mid- to late-1990s. Prior to that he was chief operating officer at Federal Express.

The Barksdale family founded the Honors College at Ole Miss in 1997 and the family’s foundation gave $100 million to the state of Mississippi to create The Barksdale Reading Institute in 2000.

The chancellor’s position is open after the resignation of former chancellor Jeffrey Vitter. The Institute of Higher Learning’s search committee has said it expects to begin interviews for chancellor’s candidates early in October.