Jeffrey Vitter resigns as Chancellor of the University of Mississippi

Posted on Nov 9 2018 - 1:00pm by Taylor Vance

This developing story will be updated as more information becomes available.

Ole Miss Chancellor Jeffrey Vitter announced his resignation on Friday according to a statement from the state Institutions of Higher Learning.

Vitter became the university’s 17th Chancellor in January of 2016 after former Ole Miss Chancellor Dan Jones’ contract was not renewed by the IHL. Vitter previously served as Provost at the University of Kansas.

Chancellor Jeffrey Vitter expresses his grievences with the additional sanctions laid out by the COI earlier this year. File photo by Billy Schuerman

“It has been an extraordinary honor and privilege to serve as the leader of the University of Mississippi during a time of great progress and accomplishment,” Vitter said. “Being the flagship university is not just a designation, it is a responsibility — to transform lives, communities, and the world.  I am gratified that we have grown dramatically in impact, stature, and commitment in the past three year

Vitter will continue to serve as Chancellor through January 3, 2019, and will join faculty as a computer and information science professor after his resignation.

“There is no more important role on a university campus than as a faculty member,” Vitter said. “I am excited about the opportunity as a faculty member to advance the university’s research and academic excellence.  Both Sharon (Vitter) and I will remain strong citizens of Rebel Nation.”

A native of New Orleans, Vitter graduated in mathematics with highest honors from the University of Notre Dame in 1977 and earned a Ph.D. under Don Knuth in computer science at Stanford University in 1980. He also holds an MBA in 2002 from Duke University.

“Dr. Vitter has made substantial contributions to the University of Mississippi during his three years as Chancellor,” State College Board President Shane Hooper said. “His leadership has moved the university forward in numerous ways and we are grateful for his serves.”

According to the statement, an Interim Chancellor will be named soon.

Vitter’s resignation comes after months of speculation about Vitter’s contract. In May, Oxford-based sports reporter Neal McCready first reported that Vitter’s contract would not be renewed that month. Higher Education Commissioner Glenn Boyce then wrote in a statement to The Daily Mississippian that “there is no truth to the rumor.”

IHL Communications Director Caron Blanton also wrote in a statement to The Daily Mississippian denying the rumors saying “The Board has taken no action regarding Chancellor Vitter’s current employment contract.”

The university and IHL did not give a reason for Vitter’s resignation.

Updated: 1:10 p.m.

Associated Student Body President Elam Miller thanked Vitter for his service and contributions in a statement to The Daily Mississippian, but said students should have a role in selecting the new chancellor.

“It is important to the student body that our next chancellor continues to carry our university forward,” Miller said. “Students deserve to play a major role in this process, and we look forward to collaborating with the faculty, staff and IHL to ensure the best candidate is chosen. It is with such cooperation that this next chapter will be reflective of the values and beliefs of the UM family as a whole.”