The IHL Board of Trustees decided in a private session Thursday not to extend Chancellor Dan Jones’s contract beyond September. His shocking dismissal means that the University of Mississippi will lose a leader with irreplaceable vision, empathy, and integrity. But this is more than just an Ole Miss issue — it cuts to the very core of how our state is run.
As the leader of Mississippi’s largest public institution, Dr. Jones is responsible for 26,000 people and a $1.94 billion annual budget. Nevertheless, his removal by the public universities’ governing body took place behind closed doors, without notice or stakeholder input. The political appointees who made the decision still refuse to answer questions about why. To make it worse, all of this comes in the same week that he returned to work from a five-month bout with cancer.
Again, this is more than just an Ole Miss matter. It is about how Mississippians allow our state to be managed. If you value open, honest, and accountable government, then please join us in calling for the extension of Dr. Jones’s contract. Here’s how you can help:
1. Sign the petition
Supporters started a change.org petition that has already garnered more than 2,000 signatures.
2. Contact the IHL board
The 12 members of the Institutions of Higher Learning Board of Trustees are the only people who know why Dan Jones was fired. Contact them to demand an explanation.
Phone: (601) 432-619
3825 Ridgewood Road
Jackson, Mississippi 39211
3. Contact the Governor and the Legislature
The IHL board is not an elected body, but they do not operate in a political vacuum. The Governor has appointed four new trustees who are currently awaiting confirmation by the Senate. Tell your elected officials that Mississippi deserves transparency and integrity from its College Board. Remember their response when you go to vote this November.
Reach out to these key officials:
- Gov. Phil Bryant
Office: (601) 359-3150
Email Contact Form
- Senator John Polk (R-Hattiesburg), Senate Universities and Colleges Committee Chairman
Office: (601) 359-3246
Home: (601) 261-5613
Cell: (601) 467-5117
- Representative Nolan Mettetal (R- Sardis), House Universities and Colleges Committee Chairman
Office: (601) 359-3331
Home: (662) 487-1512
4. Attend the Ole Miss rally Wednesday at noon
Show up in front of the Lyceum with signs, t-shirts, etc. If you can’t go, find two people to show up in your place. A huge turnout is the best way to get the national media to pay attention.
5. Write, write, write!
Write an Op-Ed for your local paper. Write blogs and letters to the editor. Write emails, Facebook posts, and tweets. Make sure you explain why the IHL’s impulsive, shady maneuvers are a rebuke to all Mississippians, not just Ole Miss alums.
If you’re interested in publishing a blog post with us, email email@example.com.
6. Join the “Reinstate Chancellor Dan Jones” Facebook group
There’s strength in numbers, and it’ll alert you to the latest organizing.
7. Use the hashtag #IStandWithDan
No matter where you are, you can take photos to express your support:
8. Share these actions and help us come up with others
We’ll keep this post updated until Dan Jones is given a new contract as Chancellor.