Saturday, March 21, 2015

Dan Jones: Fired!

Couldn't see this one coming.   Ole Miss Chancellor Dan Jones sent this letter to Ole Miss supporters yesterday.

Dear Ole Miss Family,
It is with a very heavy heart that I received the news from our governing board, the Mississippi Board of Trustees of Institutions of Higher Learning (the College Board), that they will not renew my contract as Chancellor of the University of Mississippi. The Board has the responsibility of selecting and overseeing leaders of the eight public universities in our state. I am grateful to the College Board for initially selecting me as chancellor in 2009 and giving me the opportunity to lead this great university.
But I am very saddened by the decision that I will not continue as chancellor.  Lydia and I have loved serving the university in this role the last six years. I very much wanted to continue to serve for another four-year term, and I am disappointed that will not happen.
The College Board’s decision is not related to my health. Many of you have expressed concern for me and my family as I have battled cancer in recent months. Thankfully, my health is good. I’ve been blessed with a remarkable response to the chemotherapy. I’m grateful for all the expressions of concern and support during that time. And I’ll look better when I have hair, eyebrows, and color.  But I’m working mostly full days and not constrained from fulfilling my responsibilities.
In meeting with board representatives, I was informed a key concern for the board was my relationship to board members and the Commissioner and my unwillingness to adjust to the board’s desired governance structure. Over the last couple of years, I have expressed concern and disagreement with the board in some areas, including the funding allocation plan that distributes state funds to various public universities, business issues at the medical center, and responsibility for managing the selection process for the position of vice chancellor to lead the medical center.
I am a person with strong passions about our university and medical center. Although the Board may view our conflict differently, for me, every disagreement we experienced was rooted in trying to do what was best and fair for our university.
In closing, Lydia and I thank every alumnus, student, staff member, and faculty member for your kindness to us. We intend to serve these last days until the end of my contract on September 14, 2015, with joy and gratitude. The university is in a great position for continued progress on most every measure of success:
  • There is no finer leadership team in higher education than ours, and they will continue the great work that has been instrumental in our growth and progress.
  • We have an outstanding and productive faculty and staff dedicated to the success of our students.
  • We have an incredibly talented student body that is growing in quality and quantity with amazing student leadership.
  • We have a world-class medical center making a difference every day through their programs of clinical care, research, and education.
  • We have a very strong program in athletics with superior leadership.
  • And we have alumni and donors supporting us in unprecedented ways.
Ole Miss is in a great position and will continue to do well.
And so will Lydia and I. As we finish our work here, we will begin exploring what God has next in store for us. So far in our lives, He has provided some pretty unusual and amazing opportunities. We look forward to the next chapter. Wherever we land, we will always be proud Ole Miss Rebels.
Dan Jones
Chancellor

57 comments:

PERS Retirement Is Gonna Be Great said...

Only a fool didn't see it coming. Of course in order to not violate the federal Family Medical Leave Act, the employer was obligated to return him to the job from which he had taken 12 weeks of unpaid leave. Then they were at liberty to jettison his liberal ass. Hopefully the university will divest itself of the lingering remnants of this man's poor management decisions.

And I say this as an avid Bulldog fan.

Anonymous said...

Here you go -
http://www.mississippi.edu/board/

Try to figure the voting lines on this one
Hard to believe Dan got fired without support from Aubrey

Anonymous said...

He obviously made some college board members irate. This could have been handled much more delicately for a man who has had the medical problems and given his life for Ole Miss. Thanks for your service, most of us do appreciate it.

Anonymous said...

A very bad and quite tacky move on the part of the IHL board. Jones moved the university in the right direction.

Anonymous said...

The College Board made the right decision.

Anonymous said...

Damn, just as he was about to rename everything left to rename on campus. The Bears will do just fine without him.

Anonymous said...

Is this because he eliminated the last remnants of the Confederacy that once dominated the image of Ole Miss? Helping to change UM's image to a main line Mid-American university we can all be proud of instead of an embarrassing, nostalgic Confederate remnant that could only make one cringe was long overdue and best for the image of MS as a whole. That's not "liberal", but just common sense for living fully within the United States in the 21st Century. Oh, but the "Black Bear" does need replacing with something better.

Anonymous said...

Save our tradishurnz!!1!11

The colonel, dixie and that damned flag are not coming back. I don't give a shit if you embrace the bear or not, just accept the fact that what's been taken away (for a very good effing reason) will not be returning.

Ever.

Anonymous said...

The backlash against IHL and the cronies who orchestrated this is already underway. Huge mistake. HUGE.

Anonymous said...

First, bad business move. Ole Miss' loss. Second, totally classless given his condition. Somebody in the media needs to get the real story out there.

1988 Pissed Off UM grad.

Anonymous said...

This is likely a "follow the money" story. My guess is that some big-money donors expressed their dissatisfaction with Jones to the governor or some of the IHL directly.

Interestingly (per the C-L coverage), Jim Barksdale was a Jones supporter and made it abundantly clear that he did not agree with IHL's move. Important to note that Barksdale spent a big chunk of time outside the borders of Mississippi - Seattle and Silicon Valley. Having seen the real world, he understands the immense challenges that this state has to overcome in order to retain any relevance at all - starting with our education system. He appreciates Jones' attempt to move Ole Miss away from its role as an anachronistic novelty toward a legitimate and respected university.

If there is other money pushing for Jones' ouster, it is the docs, lawyers and bidness cronies who remain ensconced in their 19th century mindset and whose biggest aspirations are for Ole Miss to win the SEC West.

Maybe there is a load of sh-t behind this story that the naked eye can't see, but from where I sit, this was a pathetic move on the part of the IHL.

Ole Miss class of '91

Anonymous said...

If the people on this page are remotely as "in the know" as they all claim to be, somebody post what the real story is. And don't just post a bunch of rebel vs bear crap. Who drove this call?

Absent more information, I'm pissed.

Anonymous said...

They fired his ass so the South will rise again on gameday?

#1 in something.

Anonymous said...

PERS, as a long time employee of the State of Mississippi, I'm certain Dr. Jones had enough sick leave accrued to cover the time he was off duty and never missed a paycheck. I was in the same situation and my leave time covered the 10 weeks I missed for major surgery.

No, the timing isn't coincidental. Its obvious to me the Board was hoping he wouldn't recover well enough to resume the job. Sick bunch...

Anonymous said...

Back to the 1800s. But not with this alum.

Anonymous said...

Jones can work for Obama is good buddy

Anonymous said...

I think the largest factor was his inabilty to work with the board. He showed inability to work as a team at UMC when he was there as well, hiring several old medical school cronies who were near retirement in their own practices at 300-350k/yr to run interference for him. Good move in my opinion.

Oh...and one last comment...Barksdale and Grisham gave up any right to comment the day they moved away from the great state of MS. I have yet to see a middle of the road kinda guy or conservative complain about his contract nonrenewal.

Anonymous said...

Better dump Oxford real estate soon. The real estate bubble may burst soon after this. With the largest contributors like Jim Barksdale pulling out others will follow especially national corporations who will not be a part of a revival of the Confederate flag. When Bilbo did this in the 1930's they lost accreditation. You can definitely expect they will be taking a long hard look at what is going on especially if IHL appoints a political hack as the replacement.

Anonymous said...

6:32,

Consider me a middle of the road conservative. I hate it. My husband hates it. The only person we know who was for it is my father in law. He's 72.

And now, here's the vote breakdown:

Ed Blakeslee, Mississippi State
Karen Cummins, Delta State
Ford Dye, UNC Chapel Hill
Shane Hooper, Lipscomb (Nashville)
Hal Parker, Mississippi State
Aubrey Patterson, Ole Miss
Alan Perry, Ole Miss
Douglas Rouse, Southern Miss
CD Smith, Mississippi State


Against:

Douglas Rouse, Southern Miss
Robin Robinson, Southern Miss

Shout out to the two USM grads who had the stones to vote against the GOB network. Everybody else on that list should be subject to a very public flogging.

Anonymous said...

6:32 - Are you of the opinion that colleges and universities should refuse donations from alumni who no longer live in their states?

Anonymous said...

07:46 - not at all. You should give money to whomever you desire. Colleges should be able to take donations or refuse donations from whomever. My point is that those two no longer live here and decided at some point that there were greener pastures. Should any out of state person have any say (alumni or not) in affairs intimate to the state?

Anonymous said...

7:07: You have Doug Rouse on there twice. The other trustee to vote no was Bob Evans, who is a Jackson State alum.

Anonymous said...

8:23 PM Alumni should not be running the university period. The schools should be operated for the good of all of the students and people of the state. Their contributions should not influence the policies of what was supposed to be an independent IHL board. If I remmember correctly the Bilbo days are why the board has staggered terms so they would not be subject to political stacking and would fulfill their duties appropriately.

Anonymous said...

Those that worked with him at UMC knew what he would do to push his agenda at Ole Miss and could see all of what he did happening. Many are surprised to see he lasted this long.

Anonymous said...

What goes around comes around.

Col. Reb Sez said...

Everyone is acting all surprised about this, but Wayne Weidie wrote that the board was going to vote not to renew his contract in October, but was persuaded to wait a month. Then Jones got sick.

During the Pete Boone debate, Jones was inflexible, dishonest, and uncivil. For those who chose to look, his behavior provided a real insight into his character, or lack thereof.

Jones has decided to try to fire up his supporters and create a nasty battle over this. I'm sure in his mind he has to show the College Board who is boss. Perhaps he will, but I certainly hope not.

Anonymous said...

What Pete Boone debate? The fan base was pretty united about getting his unimaginative ass out of there. Pete was a terrible AD and had zero vision. There is no comparison between Boone and Bjork. None.

Anonymous said...

Some of the worse people I know are very upset at the non-renewal. They are making the usual race based attacks that progressives go to when they can't argue substance. If that's all I knew about this event, it would probably be enough for me to be comfortable with the decision to let him go. But now that the Board has released a statement and the vote was 9-2 that he has to go in order for the board members to perfrom their jobs, I feel certain it was the right move.

Anonymous said...

Barry Cannada to be next Chancellor and UMMC will no longer be part of the U of M.

Anonymous said...

Dan Jones said one issue with the IHL was "responsibility for managing the selection process for the position of vice chancellor to lead the medical center". Hmmm. Dr. LouAnn Woodward was just appointed to this position. Many who have worked with her at UMC have been surprised by her rapid ascent given her lack of true academic credentials. The former Chair of Emergency Medicine wouldn't make her a full professor. He loses the position. Her buddy, who lacks proper credentials (never even did a residency but put her name on a lot of his research) is appointed chair. You guessed it...she becomes a full professor. Then, just before the department is to be reviewed he gets a promotion out of the job and someone with proper credentials is appointed. This is how UMC rolls. Wasn't it way past time for UMC to bring in a Vice Chancellor who has experience OUTSIDE the UMC system?

Khayat's Ghost said...

For those of you who don't understand federal employment law, accumulated sick leave has nothing to do with this situation. If (and one can assume so) he applied for and was granted Family Medical Leave, under federal statute, the employer is obligated to grant the time off with an obligation to return him to the job he held prior to the leave. The leave can be paid or unpaid but federal law doesn't require pay. Pay while on leave is not the point. Job security while on leave is the point of the law.

Further, for you boneheads whose posts wave the year of your diploma from The Grove, the man was given six months notice. Who the hell else gets half a year's notice of impending termination.

This is not about Confederate street signs or Colonels. It's about poor decisions, elitism, giving the finger to alumni and remaking things in an image more pleasing to himself. Khayat should have enjoyed this same ceremonious dismissal.

Find me five senior staff members on this campus, or for that matter, at UMMC who admired, emulated, respected or looked up to this manager. And list their names. How about three? Two?

Anonymous said...

Exactly 8:02. A nationwide search led to someone who prett much has the experience of running a clinic. The search was just a formality.

Anonymous said...

You have no clue what you're talking about, 8:02.

Jones was fired because of money. He wanted OM to get more, the IHL disagreed. The story about UMC is bogus as the three audits clearly explain.

Bonus points for tradishuns, upset alumni and elitism providing suitable message board cover.

Anonymous said...

Other no vote was Attorney Bob Owens from JSU not Bob Evans.

Anonymous said...

9:45, you are right. I meant to say Owens. I think there is a Bob Evans, who is in the MS House of Reps. Got mixed up there.

Anonymous said...

Great. Just when we get the athletic department run by a professional, instead of an insider political hack, IHL is going to bring in an insider political hack to be chancellor of the University. And the trustees think someone else is guilty of mismanagement? Record enrollment, etc. Yep, fire that guy, he's obviously doing a lousy job. I was not a big Dan Jones fan, but IHL made me one. I'm an absolute opponent of petty, hypocritical, political micromanagement of Ole Miss and all our other universities.

Col. Reb Sez said...

6:08 a.m., you ask "What Pete Boone debate?" You are right that the alumni and fan base were united in wanted a new athletic director. And Jones was nasty, dishonest, and uncivil in dealing with them, finally replacing Boone when it was clear that there was about to be a total revolt.

Jones wrote in one of his many letters that the Forward Rebels movement had threatened to expand their protests beyond the football program. The letter was so poorly written that on casual reading it sounded like Jones was claiming to have been physically threatened. The national press reported this and Jones never corrected the record, preferring to be known as a martyr than an incompetent communicator.

He is a bad and evil person and Ole Miss is better off without him.

Anonymous said...

So Col. Reb Sez does this mean the Confederate flag will be back at the first game of the season and everything else.

Anonymous said...

It's obvious no one commenting knows the reason he was fired. This goes way back to the last chancellor. Doesn't anyone know about the former FBI agent hired to do some investigating on these the former and current Chancellors then suddenly said he didn't want to do it anymore? There is a lot of corruption at the Unv. It's been going on for a long long time. It's amazing how many have no idea what goes on in Oxford.

Anonymous said...

"It's obvious no one commenting knows the reason he was fired. This goes way back to the last chancellor."

Khayat was fired? Do you have a reference or source for that claim? I'm pretty sure he retired.

Anonymous said...

What is so stunning about firing the most controversial, hard-headed, and anti-Ole Miss chancellor in the history of the school? I've rarely heard anyone in the state, among ALL the schools, say they thought Jones was good for Ole Miss. He never loved the school, but only wanted to use his position to re-make it in his own image.
For all those who say he raised a lot of money, we also have to remember how much dissention and loss of funds he caused. His methods were more of a dictator than a chancellor, and he was totally was off the charts with his agenda and devious ways to achieve it.
All other chancellors are hired because they have an innate love for the university that hires them. Not Jones. I'm not sure if I ever found one thing that Jones truly loved about Ole Miss. Other than him getting to be the chancellor. The crooked and rigged mascot election was an outright farce and disgrace. It was deceitful, dishonest, and broke every rule in the book, and was an absolute joke around the state and the SEC. And that was only one of many unethical things he did.
Lastly, I'm mystified why Jones said that he and his wife would always be proud Ole Miss Rebels. They've NEVER been proud Ole Miss Rebels. They've always been ANTI- Ole Miss Rebels. He made this comment even after he announced in late summer that he was phasing out the name Ole Miss.
I've said for a long time that either Ole Miss gets rid of Dan Jones, of Dan Jones gets rid of Ole Miss. Thankfully Ole Miss won.

Anonymous said...

Why do all the comments supporting Jones or demeaning the IHL assume that the replacement for Jones will be a political hack? There have been many new presidents over the past few years by (basically) this IHL board, and haven't seen any of them be political hacks. Why the assumption that Jones' replacement will be different?

Jones may have had differences with some powerful alumni - that goes with the territory of any university head, and probably more so with public universities. But his problem was that he had differences with his Board of Directors - the IHL. Like it or not, they have a constitutionally created role to play and oversight of the executive's actions is one of them. Jones wasn't made a God of his on universe when given his last four year contract. Just like all other employees, one part of his job is to learn to play well with others; particularly his bosses.

Anonymous said...

Proud Ole Miss Rebel or proud univ of mississippi black bear?
Btw: bear mascots are for highly ranked (top 20) California schools not #149. Sorry, get a more appropriate mascot for your place or get rid of the guy who changed it? Ha!
Seriously there are no mountains here and no bear population of consequence.

Anonymous said...

Universities exist for the purpose of educating students and helping communities and states become a better place. Their purpose is not to entertain and satisfy alumni however wealthy they might be. The more I read on this and the more comments I am seeing the more I think this is nothing but a political backroom deal. If so, Ole Miss will sink back down to where it was before Khayat and Jones.

Anonymous said...

6:48 - I assume your comments would apply equally as well to the wealthy alumni of Grisham and Barksdale?

Universities exist for the purpose of educating students. Period. Not sure I even agree with your second purpose.

And the IHL board exists to ensure that the "state's" universities - all of them - operate under the guidelines set by the state that funds the universities.

Not sure it matters what Dunlap or Barksdale think about who the 'chancellor' should be. There are some pretty damn good folks on the IHL board that serve as the overseer of UM, and evidently the person they hired a few years ago didn't feel like he worked for them.

Just like the highly paid coaches at our universities - they are on contract and their performance is measured. If you don't meet the expectations, your contract isn't renewed. Jones has had plenty of opportunities to overcome his issues with the IHL and chose not to change. They didn't fire him - but they were under no obligation to extend his expiring contract either.

Anonymous said...

5:06 is spot on. Agree 100%

Anonymous said...

One more giant leap backward for Mississippi. More Confederate BS, too after 150 years. Our embarrassment is magnified.

Tailgate said...

Wait til this crowd of nincompoops finds out the master plan is a medical center operated out of Jackson State University.

Holy Mission Statement said...

"Universities exist for the purpose of educating students and helping communities and states become a better place."

Where did you manage to find that statement of purpose? You started off making sense but lost me at the conjunction.

Where's The Gong? said...

Where's the fallacy-alert button on this site? All these nincompoops yacking about The Confederacy and The Civil War being the reason for non-renewal of contract....where's any evidence of that. Obviously this 'slow learner' crowd knows nothing about Jones beyond his decision to eradicate a few symbols. How can they possibly support a man about whom they know nothing more than that?

Anonymous said...

This Jones/ Khayt tantrum looks like will hurt their beloved school

Anonymous said...

That article Ronnie Musgrove wrote for Huffington Post sure did connect a lot of the box cars to the money train driven by Barbara, Butler Snow and Bryant.

It might be argued the caboose of the "cash and political scandal express" has been overlooked.

Josh Gregory of "Frontier Strategies" & "Frontier Gulf Coast" is conveniently IHL Board member Ed Blakeslee's newphew.

Anonymous said...

It is about time someone called woodward out on her climbing of the ladder so quickly. a fraud. and terrible physician I have heard so often.

Anonymous said...

No one asked the right questions (or maybe they didn't know to ask) 1) Why didn't the investigation go further than 2009? 2) Why aren't financial records and transparency reports posted prior to 2012? 3) Why was the contract administration department implemented in the first place? Why was it removed from the prior authority? 4) Let's look at all the consultant and supplier contracts and purchases prior to 2012. These are the right questions to ask but oops! they didn't. Oh well.

Anonymous said...

IHL stated Woodward making $658000 - not sure per year or for two year contract - not clear on IHL site. Must be 658K b/c the CEOs, COOs, CFOs, CAOs, Chairman and Execs make excessive salaries - the business execs make more than the people that save your life. This is disappointing. I never want to hear again that MS is out of money.... the taxpayer needs to demand transparency on all the salaries of executives at UMMC, including directors. UMMC is paying these folks close to half a million and more. And we are a poor state.... ppllleeeeaassseeee.

Anonymous said...

Calculate the 15%+ retirement on top of the chancellor's salary - yep that's what we pay for her retirement while we sit back and work our asses off to pay for these executives salaries at IHL and UMMC. Unbelievable!!!! That's why UMMC needs to be under the state and IHL needs to go away! IHL Bounds salary was $358K per year. I mean, really, are they really worth that much?

Anonymous said...

3/22 8:59 "Find me five senior staff members on this campus, or for that matter, at UMMC who admired, emulated, respected or looked up to this manager. And list their names. How about three? Two?"

Find Five? Ha! I can find more than that!!! All the kronies he has put in place at UMMC for the last ten years or promoted and paid those 6 digit salaries to! Ha Ha! Not sure if you could say they admired him .....those execs at UMMC only kissed his AXX because their pockets are deep -- Yessa Mr. Jones, Yessir!!! Now, what politicians are saying "Yes, Mr. Jones"....hhhmm, we'll soon see how this IHL reorg plays out - then we'll see how political it can get.

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