State board reveals documents about decision to fire Ole Miss Ch - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

State board reveals documents about decision to fire Ole Miss Chancellor

Dan Jones (Photo Source: WMC Action News 5) Dan Jones (Photo Source: WMC Action News 5)

Students in Ole Miss classes across the state of Mississippi have heard about the ousting of their university's chancellor, Dan Jones.

Monday, the state board governing universities explained the controversial decision at a packed meeting in Jackson, MS.

Mississippi college leaders say financial problems outlined in a report over 100 pages long are the reason they decided not to renew the chancellor's contract.

In the meeting, Commissioner Alan Perry claimed operations at the University Medical Center were inefficient under Jones' watch.

Perry claimed contracts and leases were negotiated without board approval, citing an audit that covers several years.

"From early on, the members of the board received reports that the materials submitted by UMMC was often incomplete, tardy, or inaccurate, or otherwise defective in some way," Perry explained.

However, on Tuesday, hospital leaders said improvements have been in the works for years and refuted the board's claims.

Some major donors, like Jim Barksdale, threatened to pull money from the university if Jones doesn't stay at Ole Miss. They believe there might be other motives behind the decision.

"You don't fire the CEO over those matters," said Barksdale. "Why would you step backwards to get rid of this man? Fix the problems, extend the contract, go on down the road."

Student, alumni, and faculty plan to protest in front of the Lyceum Wednesday using the hashtag #IstandwithDan.

Some students say they'd like to see Jones stay.

"It might not even be him," said student Blake Gray. "It might be someone lower that's doing it. You never really know."

In response to the meeting today, an Oxford lawmaker proposed a last minute bill to allow each state university its own board to hire and fire faculty members, instead of the one board in Jackson.

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