On June 10, I wrote to you about the university’s important work related to history and context. That letter described how we are continuing our efforts to contextualize campus sites and buildings through the establishment of the Chancellor’s Advisory Committee on History and Context.
As we complete a productive academic year and immerse ourselves in an energetic summer session, we continue to work on important goals related to history, context, and identity.
The University of Mississippi, along with many universities across the country, continues on a journey to acknowledge and address the challenging and complex history around the issues of slavery, injustice, and race. Here on the main campus, we are involved in a profoundly important dialogue to fully understand and articulate our historical truths, while claiming our hard-earned present identity as a national flagship university.
Last Friday, May 27, Athletic Director Ross Bjork and I issued a joint letter regarding the NCAA Notice of Allegations and the University of Mississippi’s detailed response to the allegations. We will continue to work through the process with the NCAA. To see the entire Notice of Allegations and our response, please go to umncaacase.com.
As Commencement approaches at the University of Mississippi, I would like to congratulate our wonderful faculty, staff, and students on another successful and memorable semester. This week of festivities is a superb time to review past accomplishments and, as the very name “commencement” suggests, to look forward to the vibrant beginnings to come.
First and foremost, Sharon and I express our deep gratitude and excitement for being at Ole Miss — starting on our very first day with an exciting Sugar Bowl victory in my hometown and getting even better as we moved throughout the semester. We have felt fully embraced as part of the UM community. We have experienced great joys together, and you helped us get over difficult personal times, such as Sharon’s mom’s passing two weeks ago. Thank you for your support.
As spring bursts forth in vibrant colors all across our campuses, I have just celebrated my 100th day as your chancellor and the 75th as part of the Flagship Forum. I write today to report to you from “mile marker 100.”
In well over 100 Flagship Forum events to date, I have learned much about the University of Mississippi. I thank everyone who has advised me, welcomed me, and helped me better understand our great university. Special thanks go to those serving on the Chancellor Transition Advisory Committee, who have identified for me the highest immediate priorities (starting as the First Fives, but quickly expanded to the Energetic Eight!), helped me understand our history, culture, context, and aspirations, and created ways for me to connect immediately with the entire university community.
Dear members of the UM community,
Some of you have inquired about how recent legislation will affect our campus operations and ethos. I am writing to reaffirm that the mission and values of the University of Mississippi have not changed. Our primary purpose is to be an academic institution that creates, evaluates, shares, and applies knowledge in a free, open, and inclusive environment of intellectual inquiry.