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4/2/2015 - Jackson, Miss.

Over the past several days, the Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning and Dr. Dan Jones made a good faith effort regarding Dr. Jones' continued service as Chancellor of the University of Mississippi. A proposal to extend the contract of Dr. Jones was discussed. Dr. Jones declined that proposal, so the Board of Trustees will move forward with the search for a new Chancellor.

The Board of Trustees is required by law to provide financial oversight to UMMC, just as it provides oversight to all of Mississippi's public universities. As responsible stewards of public funds, the Board asks appropriate questions about the management of every public university and requires the same level of accountability for every institution.

A 2014 audit of UMMC found unauthorized expenditures and contracts, violations of Board policy, and procurement records not readily available to show compliance with state law. The lack of a timely resolution to how these concerns should be addressed led to the Board's decision to seek new leadership.

The audit report highlighted:

  • A failure to maintain proper business records that demonstrate compliance with state laws;
  • A lack of internal controls over purchasing and contracts;
  • Improper purchasing of equipment; and
  • A repeated failure to follow Board policies.

The quality of education and patient care at UMMC is not being questioned; however, the Board cannot overlook its longstanding concerns regarding the Medical Center's business and financial affairs.

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The Mississippi Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning governs the public universities in Mississippi, including Alcorn State University; Delta State University; Jackson State University; Mississippi State University including the Mississippi State University Division of Agriculture, Forestry and Veterinary Medicine; Mississippi University for Women; Mississippi Valley State University; the University of Mississippi including the University of Mississippi Medical Center; and the University of Southern Mississippi.

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