Ole Miss at a crossroads with Boyce

By BY MARK H. STOWERS COLUMNIST,

Good Mornin’! Good Mornin’!

Rosalynn Carter once said, “A leader takes people where they want to go. A great leader takes people where they don’t necessarily want to go, but ought to be.”

There’s a great divide at my University of Mississippi – Ole Miss. Some students and faculty do not like the newly crowned Chancellor, Dr. Glenn Boyce.

They let their disapproval be known by shouting down a press conference to introduce him as the new chancellor.

Now I don’t know Dr. Boyce. I only know what I’ve read and what I’ve heard. What I do know is that he led Holmes Community College for nearly a decade.

And what I do know is that the state of Mississippi has not had nearly enough money for the JUCO system and that whole realm has been surviving on what little they get and making it work. In working with the recently retired Dr. Nabors at MDCC, I know he had to stretch dollars and folks have had to work harder to get the great results that keep coming out of there.

If Dr. Boyce survived that realm, he certainly had to have learned quite a bit of how to lead and inspire and get more out of folks.

Most recently, he was the Commissioner of Higher Education for the State of Mississippi before retiring in 2018.

That means he knows how each major college and university ticks in the state. That’s eight public universities and an academic medical center. He’s got degrees from Ole Miss and the current commissioner of higher ed, Dr. Alfred Rankins Jr., has said of Boyce, “He has a passion for the university, its students, faculty and administration.”

He’s got a lot to fix as alumni have cut off money due to the quelling and outright stripping away of essential traditions.

The constant recruiting of out of state students has left a bevy of in state student Rebels high and dry.

The town and university are already bursting at the seams with population problems in my opinion. I honestly don’t see anything wrong with some attrition of students and faculty and finding those who actually love and want to be in Oxford and be an Ole Miss Rebel.

The attempts to replace our beloved Colonel Rebel mascot have fallen short and on deaf ears.

I believe a mascot should follow in the shoes of the original Colonel Rebel, Jeff Hubbard, who brought him to life with amazing athletic ability.

Today’s mascots don’t do a whole lot and I’m not seeing any field goal kicking and back flips and dunking. All things that excite and energize a crowd. Hopefully, Dr. Boyce will breathe life back into that but I know he’s got plenty to chew on already on his plate.

I know many have problems with the IHL’s process or perhaps lack of one. Yes, it needs to be fixed and I believe each university and college needs to have its own board that runs them and makes decisions and the IHL needs to be eliminated.

But as they say, even a blind squirrel finds a nut sometimes and a broken clock is right twice a day.

I wish him well, I’ve sent him my support through email.

We need someone to step up and guide the ship back to the center.

We need a leader, one that will take us where we want to go and show us where we may not want to go but ought to be.

We need Dr. Boyce, gosh amighty, to be that man. I know I won’t agree with everything he does or will do but I do honestly believe he’ll do what’s best for Ole Miss, what’s best for the Rebels and I can live with that. Hotty Toddy, Dr. Boyce.

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