Kenneth Nunn from the University of Florida liked a tweet that read, “If DeSantis wants to pay to help people escape a terrible place, he should start with Mississippi.” 

The University of Mississippi is seeking to fill the position of Dean of its School of Law.

Finalists for the position have been named and campus visits are being arranged as the University would like to have the Dean on the ground and in place by July 1, 2023.

According to an email obtained by Y’all Politics, one of the finalists is Kenneth Nunn, the University Term Professor from the University of Florida (UF). Nunn is a Professor of Law and Associate Director of the Center on Children and Families at UF. He is expected to be on the Ole Miss campus early next week.

On the faculty page at the UF College of Law, Nunn lists as his areas of expertise:

Nunn joined the UF faculty in 1990 and co-founded the Center for the Study of Race and Race Relations, one of a few law school centers that focus on race. He previously worked as a public defender in San Francisco and Washington, D.C. and as a staff attorney at the Southern Africa Project.

Nunn has published a variety of written works, including several book chapters and various articles on topics almost exclusively centered on race, diversity, critical theories – including CRT – and human injustice.

In one of his writings titled “Essentially Black: Legal Theory and the Morality of Conscious Racial Identity” Nunn describes himself as “a Black nationalist and an African-centered scholar.”

Nunn is on Twitter as well. He shares or retweets mostly based on race issues. He often likes tweets, such as this one shared about Mississippi, a state he is currently looking to move to:

“If DeSantis wants to pay to help people escape a terrible place, he should start with Mississippi.”

Nunn also liked these tweets back in June of this year:

“It’s time to expand the [Supreme] court. Who’s with me?” – Rep. Mark Pocan

“To white progressives/Dems and white women today: don’t express your anger with Black people today. #WeTriedToTellYa. About Donald Trump. The GOP. Sen. Joe Manchin. Sen. Susan Collins. Gorsuch. Coney Barrett. Kavanaugh. About WEAK Dem leadership. We’ve seen this before. Papa Pope…” – Roland Martin

“The former KKK has morphed into the modern day GOP. It’s as simple as that. Today’s Republicans are Flaming Racists in search of crosses to burn.” – Ed Hull

Y’all Politics reached out to the Ole Miss School of Law to ask about Nunn being a finalist for the Dean position as well as to inquire into whether the University was aware of Nunn’s extensive writings and opinions on race and if they had a comment on his positions.

Jim Zook, the Ole Miss Chief Marketing and Communications Officer, did not answer the specific questions asked related to Nunn’s consideration, nor would he provide a list of names of others under consideration for the Dean position. Instead, Zook provided this statement:

“The university has not publicly announced the names of any of the candidates who are part of the confidential search for the next dean of the University of Mississippi School of Law. The search committee’s discussions of the candidates and their professional qualifications are confidential and will not be disclosed by the university as the search progresses.”

Late Thursday, concerned law students began questioning the wisdom of bringing in such a potentially divisive figure as Nunn. However, unsurprisingly, none wanted to be quoted or named fearing reprisal.

Established in 1854, the Ole Miss School of Law is the first and only public school of law in Mississippi.

According to the job description posted online by the University, the Law School Dean is responsible for following:

  • long-range strategic planning
  • leading a diverse faculty and student body
  • advancing faculty research and scholarship; encouraging student achievement and success
  • advocating for student wellness
  • facilitating an inclusive climate and promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion within the School of Law
  • fundraising
  • promoting and expanding external and alumni relations for the School.

In addition, the job description says the Dean represents the School within the University and represents the School of Law and the University with external constituencies. The Dean reports to the Provost, and supervises more than 30 full-time faculty members, 56 staff members, and approximately 500 students.

The Dean also facilitates partnership across campus and with the community including collaborations with affiliate faculty and engaging experts as adjunct faculty.