Faculty press for information on new Ole Miss chancellor’s hire

Published 9:45 am Wednesday, October 9, 2019

University of Mississippi professors want trustees to explain how they ended up selecting Glenn Boyce as the university’s new leader.

The Ole Miss faculty senate called on the trustees who govern Mississippi’s eight public universities to make “a complete accounting” of how they selected Boyce.

Boyce, Mississippi’s former higher education commissioner, was named last week to lead the university. Critics label his selection improper because the search was cut short before campus groups were consulted and because Boyce was paid about $87,000 by a university foundation to interview influential people about what they wanted in a chancellor.

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The strongest critics allege Boyce basically hired himself. Boyce and trustees said he wasn’t involved beyond the search’s early stages.

The faculty senate adopted a resolution Tuesday stating that Boyce’s selection and the aftermath have “caused immeasurable harm to our institution and its reputation.”

The formal announcement of Boyce’s hiring was cancelled after dozens of protesters joined the audience. One student was carried out of the room, flailing, by the university police chief.

They set a deadline next week for trustees to convey information, including a timeline of actions by trustees and Boyce, saying the current process “lacks the transparency needed to assure the faculty of the legitimacy of the process.”

The faculty rejected a no-confidence vote proposed by history professor Zachary Kagan Guthrie, who called the process “so flawed that there is little information that could emerge that would legitimize the search.”

Some students who supported a no-confidence vote made signs and marched silently to the meeting, but Kagan Guthrie was the only senate member who voted no confidence.