OXFORD, MS (WMC) - University of Mississippi Chancellor Jeffrey Vitter is resigning from his position.
Vitter became chancellor of the university in January 2016.
During his time as chancellor, Vitter helped launched new academic programs, raised money for research and focused on expanding the school's reach.
Students at Ole Miss were shocked to hear about his resignation.
“I feel like he did a great job while he was here, and I don’t' know why he would be stepping down,” said sophomore Zoe Thaw.
On Friday, Vitter's resignation was announced by The Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning.
In a statement, President Shane Hooper said Vitter’s “leadership has moved the university forward in numerous ways.”
Vitter will serve in his role as chancellor through January 3, 2019. He’ll continue as a faculty member in the School of Engineering’s Department of Computer and Information Science.
“Maybe it’s just too much,” said junior Kiyanna Hughes. “Maybe he wants to step down and make a difference somewhere else in some other type of way.”
Hughes can’t help but think some of the negative spotlight Ole Miss has gotten recently may have something to do with Vitter stepping down.
Earlier this year, Ed Meek came under fire for a Facebook post that many deemed racist and student enrollment also dropped for the second straight year.
Vitter also released a statement saying in part:
For students, the change in leadership is shocking and something that will take getting used to.
“You just can’t be anybody,” Hughes said. “It takes a heart for the type of school that it is and the type of people that go here.”
An interim chancellor will be named soon, but a spokesperson for the university could not say when that would be.