OXFORD, Miss. (WMC) - Plans to remove a Confederate monument on the campus of Ole Miss were delayed Thursday, after the state’s Institutions of Higher Learning (IHL) Board halted a vote planned for a morning meeting. The push to relocate the statue has been ongoing for almost a year.
Approval from the IHL board is the last step the university must get before officials can relocate the Confederate monument from its prominent place on campus in front of the Lyceum to a Confederate cemetery, which is also on campus.
“Given this is a very important matter, I would like to receive a full report before we vote on such,” said board member Thomas Duff.
The tabling came despite work since March and votes by various student and faculty groups at Ole Miss, in favor of the statue’s removal. In December, the Mississippi Department of Archives and History signed off on the university’s formal relocation plans.
An official opinion from the Mississippi Attorney General’s office indicated the monument may be moved to a more suitable location, under Mississippi law.
Duff said IHL board members should see a more thorough report on campus contextualization efforts on Confederate history at Ole Miss before proceeding.
“It sounds like a stall tactic,” said Ole Miss senior Destiny Horn, “We’ve voted as a school and discussed and talked about what we’re going to do with the statue.”
Classes don’t start until next week at Ole Miss, but students Thursday said they think the issue is being dragged out.
“As an African-American student at Ole Miss, it’s very frustrating, and it feels as if we’re not really heard,” said Ole Miss junior Deterrian Jones, “We’ve done all we can do, so it’s up to them honestly.”
In a statement Thursday afternoon Ole Miss Chancellor Glenn Boyce said the university would work with board members to address any concerns that they have. Boyce reaffirmed the university’s position that the statue will be moved.
“We are committed to working with the board to accomplish our goal of relocating the monument,” Boyce said, “We appreciate all of the work that our campus constituents and others have put forward on this important issue for our university.”
The university said moving the monument is estimated to take 90 days at a cost of roughly $650,000.
The IHL board meets again in late February. It’s not known when the item will be back on the agenda.