As Ole Miss prepares for homecoming weekend and a winnable Saturday night game against Vanderbilt, the official announcement will be made tomorrow at The Inn at Ole Miss.
Boyce will become the third chancellor in five years at Ole Miss after former Chancellor Jeffrey Vitter stepped down in December with two years remaining on his contract.
For multiple reason – a declining enrollment and endowment, poor performance on the football field and a half-empty stadium, and continuous decisions that alienate a large chunk of a conservative alumni base – this hire was viewed as one that had to be right. Now obviously an Ole Miss board was not the one making the decision, it was the IHL that oversees the eight public universities. Still, Ole Miss faithful could at least hope for the best.
Regardless, and with no foresight into Boyce, what he will do, or what his plans for the university entail, this decision isn’t one that appears to have many people in Oxford celebrating.
Boyce, after all, was hired by the University of Mississippi Foundation to be a consultant in the search. This was with the private foundation however, not IHL. His name was not included in a list of eight candidates that appeared in Mississippi Today earlier this week.
For those that were hoping Ole Miss would step outside of the “good ole boy” system, it doesn’t pass the initial smell test. Rather, it is one that will raise eyebrows and leave more questions than answers. Such as, should a university be able to hire their own leader? Ironically, liberal professors seem as upset as members of the Make Ole Miss Great Again Facebook group.
This will be Boyce’s first involvement with a four-year university. Before running IHL, he was president of the Holmes County Community College, he served on various education-related boards, and he worked in the Rankin County School District.
He received his bachelor’s degree and doctorate from Ole Miss. He received his master’s from Mississippi College.
Mississippi Center for Public Policy