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5/21/2015 - Jackson, Miss.

University of Mississippi Chancellor Dan Jones has made plans to take personal leave beginning June 15. The Board announced today that it has authorized Morris Stocks, UM provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs, to act with full authority on behalf of the chancellor during that leave.

"It's with a mixture of sadness and joy that I make this transition," Jones said. "I'm certainly sad to not continue my role as chancellor but joyful both by the appointment of Provost Morris Stocks as our next leader and joyful for my 30-year association with the university and my 12 years of leadership: six at the medical center and six as chancellor. Provost Stocks is responsible for many of the decisions that led to our rapid growth in enrollment and improvement in important metrics such as our freshman to sophomore retention rate. I know all the constituencies of our great university will support Dr. Stocks' leadership in the coming months."

The Board of Trustees also appointed Stocks as interim chancellor, effective Sept. 15, until a permanent chancellor takes office.

"Dr. Stocks is an exceptional academic leader, and we appreciate his willingness to serve as interim chancellor," said Glenn Boyce, commissioner of higher education. "With 24 years of service at Ole Miss, Dr. Stocks is dedicated to the university and its students. He is certainly the right person to fulfill this important role for the faculty, staff, students and alumni."

Immediately before assuming the provost responsibilities, Stocks served the university as senior vice chancellor for planning and operations and as dean of the Patterson School of Accountancy. During his tenure as dean, the Patterson School was ranked as one of the top 25 accounting programs in the country for the first time in its history. Before his service as dean, Stocks was the associate provost for three years, with responsibilities for the academic budget and undergraduate curriculum.

"I consider it a high privilege to serve the University of Mississippi in a new and exciting capacity over the next several months," Stocks said. "In recent years, our university has experienced tremendous progress and wonderful success in providing outstanding educational and research opportunities. I look forward to helping the university maintain that momentum."

Stocks received his Ph.D. from the University of South Carolina and is a Certified Public Accountant in the state of Mississippi. He has been a member of the UM faculty since 1991 and remains active in the teaching and research missions of the accounting program. He is the 1998 recipient of the university's most prized teaching honor, the Elsie M. Hood Outstanding Teacher Award. Stocks' research considers the impact of financial accounting information on the decision-making process of users. He has published in many of his profession's top academic and professional journals.

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Founded in 1848, the University of Mississippi (Ole Miss) is the flagship university for the state of Mississippi. A world-class public research university, the institution has a long history of producing leaders in public service, academics and innovative research. With more than 23,000 students, Ole Miss is the state's largest university, with a major medical school, a nationally recognized law school and 15 academic divisions. It has been ranked as one of America's best college buys by Kiplinger's Personal Finance and one of the best places to work by the Chronicle of Higher Education.

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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