‘I Did Not Hire Myself’: UM Chancellor Addresses Pressing Concerns

By Anna Grace Usery and Talbert Toole
Editor-in-Chief, Lifestyles Editor
anna.grace.usery@hottytoddy.com, talbert.toole@hottytoddy.com

After the IHL’s public announcement was canceled today, IHL Vice President Ford Dye and newly-chosen UM Chancellor Glenn Boyce spoke with the media via phone call this afternoon to discuss Boyce’s new appointment. Dye began by addressing community concerns regarding the IHL’s search process.

The IHL and the University of Mississippi announced Friday Dr. Glenn Boyce as the new chancellor. Photo courtesy of mississippi.edu.

Dye said last year the board agreed that the best approach would be to develop a chancellor profile of what their constituencies valued within the Ole Miss family.

“The board enlisted our former commissioner Glenn Boyce for help developing that profile,” Dye said.

After gaining input from Ole Miss students, faculty and staff he “stepped aside,” he said.

After community members sent nominations to Martin Baker of Buffkin/Baker, the firm tasked with spearheading the national search, he reached out to the nominees to instruct them how to apply. 

“Dr. Glenn Boyce received more nominations in that nomination process than anybody else,” Dye said.

Initially, Boyce declined the invitation to apply. However, Dye said as the process continued it became clear that he met the profile better than anyone else in the search.

“When I sat down and started thinking about the challenges and what I could do to help the university, (my decision to become chancellor) became personal very quickly,” Boyce said.

His Ole Miss story began in 1978 when he drove 1,300 miles from upstate New York to because the woman on the other end of the phone said, “Trust me.” He went on to earn his bachelor’s degree in education from Ole Miss and returned for a doctorate in educational leadership.

Boyce’s original role in the search process was as a consultant to gauge community opinions regarding the university’s 18th chancellor. He said he was paid roughly $87,000 by the university for his services. Critics argued that Boyce essentially hired himself because he led the search.

“I didn’t hire myself. The Board of Trustees hired me,” he said. “Once I completed my work—which was completed before the search ever started—I was finished.”

Boyce visited with the IHL Thursday, Oct. 3 to interview for the chancellor position and was offered the job on the spot. The other candidates involved in the search were not afforded the same luxury.

Dye confirmed there were multiple candidates who did not appear before the Campus Search Advisory Committee (CSAC). He said the rules and process clearly state the search committee is and was allowed to skip certain steps if they deemed those steps unnecessary.

“Our policy allows us that if the board deems necessary to bypass the CSAC process,” Dye said.

The new chancellor said he’s glad to be home and focus on ending his career at an “amazing” institution.

“(The university has) great things going on, and I’m looking forward to seeing if we can take it to new heights and push it to new levels,” he said.

As a lifetime academic, he said his loyalty lies with the students.

“First and foremost, I’ve always been a student-centered individual,” Boyce said. “I will be incredibly engaged with our students, highly visible with our students. I look forward to our students being to most creative innovative students.”

However, one of the first questions he addressed was the student protestors who attended the IHL’s announcement Friday at the Inn at Ole Miss. He said he understood and recognized the students exercised the First Amendment and their freedom of expression.

“It’s also important at some point when we have civil discourse and conversation and the venue requires respect that we eventually come around to that respect as well so the venue itself can conduct its business,” Boyce said.

Although protestors voices carried through the atrium and ballroom at the Inn Friday, Boyce said he has received “tremendous support” from his constituents.

“There is a lot of division in the Ole Miss family right now,” Dye said. “We felt like the best thing to do was to get Dr. Boyce on board as soon as possible to unify the Ole Miss family.”


12 COMMENTS

  1. “It’s also important at some point when we have civil discourse and conversation and the venue requires respect that we eventually come around to that respect as well so the venue itself can conduct its business,”

    This guy….

    Translation: “All y’all need to STFU and get in line because this is how it’s going to be from now on.”

  2. I am excited to see what he can do for our great university. He has a great outlook; and if the university would back him right, I see us going places. I love Ole Miss but hate that it is being used as a source of division because of it’s history. History is history. Let’s make today better than yesterday starting by backing a visionary like Chancellor Boyce. I support an Ole Miss that is equal to all, rewarding to those that seek education with diligence and perserverance, and empowering to those who those who have earned their place at the table.

  3. The IHL has wide latitude as to how to conduct searches. They adopted policies to regulate their actions. Until changed those policies http://www.ihl.state.ms.us/board/downloads/policiesandbylaws.pdf are binding on the IHL.

    The policy that governs the chancellor search is:
    201.0509
    INSTITUTIONAL
    EXECUTIVE
    OFFICER/COMMISSIONER
    OF
    HIGHER
    EDUCATION
    SEARCH
    PROCESS

    Subsection B is the important part:

    B.
    Board Search Committee
    The President of the Board shall
    appoint a committee of Board m
    embers to
    manage the search for a Commission
    er or an IEO. However, any B
    oard
    member who wants to serve on the
    committee may serve. The Pres
    ident of
    the Board, with the consent of the Board, shall appoint a membe
    r of the
    committee as chairperson.
    IHL Board of Trustees
    Policies & Bylaws
    30
    Rather than engaging in the ex
    tended search process described b
    elow within
    the next paragraph and those that
    follow, the Board may, in its
    discretion,
    interview candidates that are kn
    own to the Board and consider t
    heir
    selection in accordance with the
    expedited process described in
    this
    paragraph. Such candidates may b
    e internal candidates from the
    subject
    university or from one of the o
    ther state universities, or such
    other
    candidates that the Board believe
    s should be considered. The Bo
    ard may
    conduct such interviews of internal candidates or other candida
    tes at an
    early point in the process so as n
    ot to discourage the applicat
    ion of
    additional candidates that may ch
    oose to apply if an internal c
    andidate is not
    selected by way of an expedited
    process. In any event, an exped
    ited process,
    if followed, should be utilized prior to the hiring of a search
    consultant.
    Following interviews of any such i
    nternal or other candidates,
    the Board, as it
    deems appropriate, may proceed with utilizing any portions of t
    he extended
    search process set out below. A B
    oard vote to select a preferre
    d candidate
    interviewed in accordance with
    this expedited process shall req
    uire the
    affirmative vote of at least nin
    e Board members. If candidates
    are
    interviewed in accordance with
    this expedited process and no ca
    ndidate is
    designated as a preferred candida
    te, the Board has the power to
    engage in
    other expedited processes or to c
    onduct a search in accordance
    with the
    extended process described below.

    By its own rules the IHL had the ability to choose Boyce BEFORE if hired a consultant. After it hired a consultant it was bound by its own duly adopted policies.

    Since the IHL acted outside its policies a person or group with standing can ask a judge for in injunction preventing the IHL from hiring any person who did not go through the process that IHL policies require.

  4. Ole Miss is very fortunate to have a man of Dr. Boyce’s character, I am an Ole Miss alumni and I support this man. The Ole Miss family should come together and support Dr. Boyce.

LEAVE A REPLY

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.