Group marches at Ole Miss to oppose University of Mississippi’s next chancellor


MEMPHIS, Tenn. ( – Monday in Oxford, Mississippi, another demonstration was held surrounding the controversial selection of Dr. Glenn Boyce as the University of Mississippi’s next chancellor.

The organization ‘Abolish IHL’ marched at 12:30 p.m. outside the Lyceum, “protesting the corrupt process planned by the IHL that led to the illegitimate appointment of Glenn Boyce to be the next chancellor of the University of Mississippi.”

IHL is short for ‘Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning’.

The Abolish IHL group is demanding Dr. Boyce resign immediately and that the IHL reopen its search process immediately.

Monday’s demonstration lasted about 30 minutes. About 50 people took part, carrying signs and chanting between the Grove and chancellor’s office. 

On the steps of the Lyceum, Ole Miss professor Anne Twitty addressed the dozens gathered: “We are here because the IHL ended up giving their boy Glenn Boyce the job even though he never actually applied for it.”

Demonstrators then went inside the chancellor’s office. While Dr. Boyce wasn’t there, protesters read their list of demands out loud and left those demands with the chancellor’s secretary. 

“We demand that Dr. Glenn Boyce must resign effective immediately,” one demonstrator said.

Security was there as a precaution, and the demonstrators left without incident.

University officials sent this response to Local 24 News on Monday’s demonstration:

“Chancellor Boyce is aware of the concerns that have been raised. He is focused on getting up to speed on the affairs of the university and will outline his priorities for the university at an appropriate time.”

The IHL sent this statement to Local 24 News early Monday evening:

“The Board of Trustees followed its Policies and Bylaws throughout the search process for a University of Mississippi Chancellor. The Board initiated its search process pursuant to IHL policy 201.0509. It is important to note that Section E. of Policy 201.0509, entitled “Recruitment”, allows the Board, at any point in the search process, to add additional candidates to the pool being considered without starting the process over.

Policy 201.0509 E. goes on to state that “The decision regarding whether to have any such additional candidates reviewed by the Campus Search Advisory Committee is in the discretion of the Board. Additional interviews may be conducted as desired by the Board.”

When the Board decided on October 3 to ask Dr. Glenn Boyce to discuss possibly taking the position as Chancellor, and when the Board interviewed Dr. Boyce for the position on October 3, the Board was exercising Section E. of Policy 201.0509.

The Board next followed its Bylaw 301.0510 D. when it voted to suspend/waive the remainder of the requirements of its search process within Policy 201.0509 and to hire Dr. Boyce as Chancellor. Bylaw 301.0510 D. states that “A member may move to suspend any policies, bylaws or rules. A motion to suspend shall state the matter of business to be considered, must be properly seconded, and shall fail without a vote in favor of same by at least seven members of the Board.”

Once again, the Board of Trustees followed its Policies and Bylaws throughout the search process for a UM Chancellor.”

Signs made for Monday’s demonstration.

Last Tuesday, demonstrators marched from the Grove into a senate faculty meeting. Members questioned when Boyce ceased to become a hiring consultant and if the board’s swift appointment followed established procedures.

After a two-hour deliberation October 8, the senate faculty passed a resolution calling for the IHL board to give a complete timeline of the chancellor search. The senate is giving the IHL until Tuesday, October 15 to reply to its request.

Friday, October 4, the planned introduction of Dr. Glenn Boyce turned to chaos and clashes. Dozens of Ole Miss students and faculty crashed a news conference to introduce Dr. Boyce, forcing campus police to cancel the event. Local 24 News witnessed officers escort out at least one demonstrator.

University of Mississippi police chief Ray Hawkins carries protester Cam Calisch out of a room where a news conference that was supposed to name former Mississippi Higher Education Commissioner Glenn Boyce as the new chancellor was to be held at the University of Mississippi, Friday, Oct. 4, 2019, in Oxford, Miss. (Bruce Newman/The Oxford Eagle via AP)

After that introduction was scrapped, the board of trustees defended their decision, and Dr. Boyce defended his credentials to lead his alma mater in a phone interview afterwards.

Dr. Boyce previously worked and was paid as a consultant during the chancellor search. Although he said he initially wasn’t interested in the job, the board said he emerged as the best candidate after a national search.

“I didn’t hire myself,” Dr. Boyce said October 4th. “The board of trustees hired me.”

FILE – In this Thursday, June 18, 2015 file photo, Higher Education Commissioner Glenn Boyce discusses the process for finding a reputable consulting firm to lead the national search for a new chancellor of the University of Mississippi in Jackson, Miss. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis, File)

Dr. Boyce said earlier this month he’s ready to engage with Ole Miss students and staff and push the university to new levels.

“I feel like I’ve got tremendous support out there and while we’ve got some work to do and we’ve got some challenges, we certainly will tackle those,” Dr. Boyce said.

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