The University of Mississippi invites inquiries, nominations, and applications for the position of assistant vice chancellor for student affairs and dean of students.

Founded in 1848, the University of Mississippi, known as Ole Miss and UM, is Mississippi’s flagship university. Included in the elite group of R-1: Doctoral Universities—Highest Research Activity by the Carnegie Classification, it has a long history of producing leaders in public service, academics, and business. With more than 23,000 students, Ole Miss is the state’s largest university and is ranked among the nation’s fastest-growing institutions. Its 15 academic divisions include a major medical school, nationally recognized schools of accountancy, law, and pharmacy, and the Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College, renowned for a blend of academic rigor, experiential learning, and opportunities for community action.

UM is located in Oxford, a vibrant university town filled with unique shops and galleries, eclectic restaurants and clubs, historic landmarks, and comfortable inns.

The Position

ROLE OF THE ASSISTANT VICE CHANCELLOR FOR STUDENT AFFAIRS AND DEAN OF STUDENTS

The assistant vice chancellor for student affairs and dean of students (assistant vice chancellor) reports directly to the vice chancellor for student affairs and serves as a member of the vice chancellor’s leadership team. This visible campus leader, advocate for students, and builder of community is principally responsible for a community of practice that fosters a culture of care, provides critical student support in times of need, maintains standards of student conduct, oversees fraternity and sorority life, and promotes student engagement and leadership development.

The assistant vice chancellor oversees a portfolio that includes the Office of Conflict Resolution and Student Conduct, Office of Fraternal Leadership & Learning, Ole Miss Student Union, and Student Advocacy and Case Management. Additionally, the position is responsible for developing and providing guidance on campus policy, directing and coordinating crisis response, facilitating and supporting efforts to cultivate a more inclusive campus climate, advising students and student organizations, serving as liaison to faculty and staff committees, co-facilitating the Chancellor’s Leadership Class, managing large-scale budgets, developing and writing reports, coordinating various university events and functions, serving as liaison to parents and alumni, chairing the Behavioral Intervention Team (BIT) and the Who’s Who/Hall of Fame committees, and representing the Division of Student Affairs on other committees as assigned by the vice chancellor.

The assistant vice chancellor manages budgets totaling $2 million, supervises five direct reports, oversees approximately 30 full- and part-time staff members, and serves as co-advisor to the Associated Student Body.

HISTORY OF THE POSITION

Many of the functions and services provided by the offices led by the assistant vice chancellor for student affairs and dean of students (assistant vice chancellor) have their origins in the offices of Dean of Men and Dean of Women, when student life was handled separately for men and women. In 1985, Dr. Judy Trott, an alumna who earned undergraduate and graduate degrees at the University of Mississippi, became dean of students after having served in various roles since 1966, including assistant dean of women. When she retired in 2001, Dr. Thomas “Sparky” Reardon, who worked with Trott as associate dean, was named as her successor. Reardon, an alumnus who earned his bachelor’s and PhD degrees at the institution, served as dean of students until his retirement in 2014, after 36 years of service. Both Trott and Reardon are beloved at Ole Miss and have been honored for their significant contributions to the university and the lives of countless students.

A year after joining the university administration as vice chancellor for student affairs in July 2012, Dr. Brandi Hephner LaBanc consolidated student affairs offices into four major areas: University Police and three communities of practice built around the dean of students, wellness and student success, and enrollment management. Following a national search, Dr. Melinda Sutton Noss was named assistant vice chancellor in June 2014. After five years in this role, Sutton Noss will step down at the end of May 2019 to become associate vice president and dean of students at Southern Methodist University, her alma mater where she served previously as associate dean of student life.

With assistance from Spelman Johnson, the University of Mississippi is conducting a nationwide search for next assistant vice chancellor. The university hopes the successful candidate will take office on or about July 1, 2019, or as soon as possible thereafter.

OPPORTUNITIES AND CHALLENGES

The next assistant vice chancellor for student affairs and dean of students will proactively address the following opportunities and challenges:

  • Participate fully in the senior leadership of the division.
  • Promote and champion the new design and alignment of programs and services within the recently reconfigured community of practice.
  • Guide the work of reporting units and ensure that their programs and initiatives are effective in supporting the university’s mission, strategic goals, and commitments to students.
  • Lead efforts to promote the general welfare of students and help them understand that membership in an academic community requires honesty, integrity, respect for people and property, and the responsible use of personal freedom.
  • Envision and implement systematic ways to assess, improve, and renew programs and services, benchmarking them against best practices and gathering the data necessary for informed decision-making.
  • Develop and execute a vision and plan for student leadership development, which includes expanding opportunities for engagement and capacity building.
  • Create more inclusive social alternatives on campus and deepen a sense of belonging, connection, and social responsibility among all students.
  • Find effective ways to balance tradition with contemporary practice, to thrive in a complex organizational structure, to build bridges and consensus, and to prepare students for leadership and service in diverse communities and workplaces.

MEASURES OF SUCCESS

At an appropriate interval after joining the University of Mississippi, the assistant vice chancellor for student affairs and dean of students will have:

  • Earned the confidence and respect of students and the campus community.
  • Established a proactive and highly visible presence on campus that is credible, collegial, and highly effective.
  • Provided leadership, vision, and administrative management to the reporting units, enabling the staff to move forward with a sense of clarity, synergy, and shared purpose in supporting the strategic goals of the division and meeting the evolving needs of students.
  • Strengthened the provision of care and developmental support for students.
  • Advanced a Greek life experience that is student-centered, values-based, and characterized by a healthy balance of academics, service, and social activity.
  • Provided constructive responses to students and student organizations when their behavior is inconsistent with the university’s community values, standards, and expectations.
  • Developed and executed a vision and plan for student leadership development.
  • Supported efforts of the Ole Miss Student Union staff in assessing, revising, and creating policies and programs to improve use of the recently expanded and renovated facility, increase the number and quality of student activities and events, and enhance student engagement and leadership development.
  • Worked across the institution to help strengthen efforts to promote a campus-wide focus on the student experience and create a welcoming and inclusive campus environment in which all students thrive.
  • Become an integral member of the vice chancellor’s leadership team, contributing to the planning, execution, and assessment of initiatives that create an exemplary student experience.

The assistant vice chancellor will ultimately work with Vice Chancellor Brandi Hephner LaBanc to determine specific measures of success and their respective timetables.

QUALIFICATIONS AND CHARACTERISTICS

Requirements include a master’s degree in higher education, student affairs administration, or a related field and seven (7) years of related work experience. Qualified candidates possessing a doctoral degree are strongly encouraged to apply.

This position requires a record of demonstrated effective leadership experience in a college or university setting; experience responding to and managing student crisis situations, utilizing initiative and creativity in dealing with complex and sometimes sensitive issues; evidence of excellent critical thinking and problem-solving skills; proven ability to handle confidential information; leadership in planning, implementing, assessing, and advocating for a wide range of learning opportunities and services with a student-centered approach; experience in financial management and staff development; cultural competence; knowledge of issues and trends in behavioral intervention and case management; knowledge of issues and trends in student learning and outcomes assessment, policy development, and strategic planning; evidence of data-driven analysis and decision-making employed in shaping programs and services; and a proven record of leading a team of diverse colleagues to foster collaboration and engagement between the campus and the broader community.

While no candidate will have all the ideal qualifications, the campus community seeks individuals with many of the following traits, experiences, and abilities:

  • A record of accomplishment as a thoughtful and caring leader, as a seasoned and talented student affairs educator, and as a strategic thinker and administrator.
  • A deep passion for working with and advocating for students—a visible and accessible administrator who finds joy in the company of students.
  • Proven strategic leadership, planning, and change-management skills.
  • Appreciation for the culture and traditions of the institution, balanced with a commitment to innovation and improvement.
  • An effective advocate for the needs and concerns of students, working across the institution to advance a campus-wide focus on the student experience and to strengthen the structures and programs that support a thriving community in which all students can succeed.
  • An ability to promote the general welfare of students and help them understand that membership in an academic community requires honesty, integrity, respect for people and property, and the responsible use of personal freedom.
  • A sophisticated knowledge of best practices in higher education and documented success in creating conditions that improve student engagement, development, and success.
  • Knowledge of the legal environment and evolving regulatory standards affecting higher education and student affairs.
  • Exceptional interpersonal skills, including the ability to exercise a high degree of diplomacy and discretion.
  • A collegial, inclusive, and approachable style that inspires trust and invites collaboration, transparency, and mutual support.
  • An ability to drive innovative thinking, anticipate and solve problems, and deliver results that consistently meet or exceed expectations.
  • A person who leads by example and engages staff in a way that challenges them to reach for possibilities, supports their professional development, and reinforces among them a sense of common purpose and shared experience.
  • An ability to assess crisis situations quickly, coordinate critical response systems, and connect students and their families with appropriate support and resources.
  • Familiarity with the mental health needs of today’s college students; able to develop programs and operating protocols based on data-driven assessment results and best practices in campus mental health.
  • An effective steward of financial resources, adept at budget planning, management, and accountability.
  • Ability to serve as an agent of change while simultaneously bringing others onboard, building broad support, and being respectful of history and tradition.
  • A demonstrated commitment to diversity in all its forms and a proven track record of support and advocacy for students with diverse identities, histories, backgrounds, and experiences.
  • Ability to cultivate a vibrant Greek life experience that is student-centered and values-based, an awareness of the national dialogue with respect to fraternity and sorority life, and some understanding of Panhellenic expansion.
  • A sophisticated understanding of how to gather, analyze, and use data to develop and assess programs.
  • Superb written and oral communication skills as well as an ability to communicate effectively with a variety of audiences, including students, parents, faculty, staff, alumni, and donors.
  • An ethical leader who acts with integrity, treats others fairly, and demonstrates empathy, emotional intelligence, resiliency, political savvy, gravitas, and grace under pressure.
  • Ability to be an effective spokesperson and staunch advocate for the Division of Student Affairs, staff that contribute to the work of the division, and the students served by the division.

DIVISION OF STUDENT AFFAIRS: AN OVERVIEW

The Division of Student Affairs is a team of highly competent and professional educators that is committed to enhancing the out-of-class experience for students at the University of Mississippi. From the first tour of campus to graduation day, students will find Student Affairs partnering with them to become better acclimated to campus, to find a safe place to live, to keep them healthy while attending classes, and to build leadership and career-specific skills. We work hard to support the co-curricular, emotional, physical, and financial needs of our students.

While students attend college to pursue an academic major and attain a degree, a great deal of learning occurs beyond the classroom walls. Student Affairs staff assist students with this important educational aspect of their college career. Students and their families are invited to get involved because the more invested they become with the Ole Miss culture, the more successful the student is likely to be academically.

Student Affairs Vision Statement

Student Affairs is a vital component in providing an environment in which University of Mississippi students can succeed. We are dedicated educators and passionate student advocates who provide extraordinary support services and learning opportunities. We believe in and model respect for all members of the university community. We are innovative and future-focused. Our fulfillment comes in helping students reach their full potential for the betterment of society and the world.

Leadership

Dr. Brandi Hephner LaBanc, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs

The vice chancellor for student affairs provides leadership and direction for all of the departments encompassed by the Division of Student Affairs. The goal of Student Affairs is to be educators outside of the classroom, as well as provide services, facilities, and programs that will facilitate student success.

Dr. Brandi Hephner LaBanc was appointed vice chancellor for student affairs in July 2012. Prior to coming to the University of Mississippi, she served Northern Illinois University for six years, most recently as their associate vice president in the Division of Student Affairs and Enrollment Management. She also worked at Kent State University, Arizona State University, University of North Carolina at Wilmington, Baldwin-Wallace College, and the University of Akron in myriad student service roles.

She earned her bachelor’s degree in Accounting at the University of Akron, her master’s degree in higher education administration and student personnel at Kent State University, and her doctorate in adult and higher education at Northern Illinois University.

She is an associate professor in the Department of Higher Education and her research interests include competency development and professional preparation of student affairs professionals, transitional experiences of graduate students, and crisis response and management.

Her partner, Dave, also works at Ole Miss, and they truly enjoy taking advantage of all of the amazing activities the campus and community offer.

Senior Administration of the Division of Student Affairs

Dr. Brandi Hephner LaBanc, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs

  • Ray Hawkins, Chief of Police, University Police Department
  • Pam Barefield, Executive Assistant
  • Melinda Sutton Noss, Assistant Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs and Dean of Students
  • Tracy Murry, Director of Conflict Resolution & Student Conduct
  • Alexa Arndt, Interim Director of Leadership & Advocacy
  • Arthur Doctor, Director of Fraternal Leadership & Learning
  • Bradley Baker, Director of the Ole Miss Student Union
  • Diane McNulty, Administrative Secretary II
  • Leslie Banahan, Assistant Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs
  • Peter Tulchinsky, Director of Campus Recreation
  • Quinton Edwards, Director of Counseling Center
  • Kyle Ellis, Director of the Center for Student Success and FYE
  • Toni Avant, Director of Career Center
  • Travis Yates, Director of Health Center
  • Stacey Reycraft, Director of Student Disability Services
  • Diane McNulty, Administrative Secretary II
  • Lionel Maten, Assistant Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs and Director of Housing
  • Laura Diven-Brow, Director of Financial Aid
  • Patrick Perry, Director of Luckyday Programs
  • Whitman Smith, Director of Admissions
  • Samantha Payton, Director for Research, Assessment & Planning
  • Merrill Magruder, Coordinator of Family Programs & Special Events
  • Brett Barefoot, Development Officer

Organizational Chart of the Division of Student Affairs

Institution & Location

THE UNIVERSITY OF MISSISSIPPI: AN OVERVIEW

Institutional History

When it chartered the University of Mississippi on February 24, 1844, the Mississippi Legislature laid the foundation for public higher education in the state. The university opened its doors to 80 students four years later and for 23 years was Mississippi’s only public institution of higher learning. For 110 years, it was the state’s only comprehensive university.

UM established the fourth state-supported law school in the nation (1854) and was one of the first in the nation to offer engineering education (1854). It was one of the first in the South to admit women (1882) and the first to hire a female faculty member (1885).

Ole Miss also established the state’s first college of liberal arts; schools of law, engineering, education, and nursing; accredited school of business administration; graduate school; and accredited bachelor’s and master’s accountancy programs. It has the only schools of medicine, pharmacy, dentistry and health-related professions in Mississippi.

From its first class of 80 students, Ole Miss has grown to a doctoral degree-granting university with 15 academic divisions and more than 23,000 students. Located on its main campus in Oxford are the College of Liberal Arts; the schools of Accountancy, Applied Sciences, Business Administration, Education, Engineering, Journalism and New Media, Pharmacy, and Law; and the Graduate School. The Medical Center in Jackson trains professionals in its schools of Medicine, Nursing, Health Related Professions, Dentistry, and Graduate Studies. Ole Miss continues to expand academic courses and degree offerings on its regional campuses in Southaven, Tupelo, Grenada, and Booneville.

In all, more than 100 programs of study offer superior academic experiences that provide each graduate with the background necessary for a lifetime of scholastic, social, and professional growth. Strengthening and expanding the academic experience are the Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College, Croft Institute for International Studies, and Lott Leadership Institute.

Recognizing UM’s outstanding academic programs, Phi Beta Kappa selected the university in 2001 to shelter a chapter of what is recognized as the nation’s oldest and most prestigious undergraduate honor society. UM was the first—and remains the only—public institution of higher education in Mississippi chosen for this honor.

Also reflecting the quality education Ole Miss provides, its students regularly are chosen for prestigious scholarships. UM’s 25th Rhodes Scholar was named in 2008, and since the Honors College opened in 1998, the university has produced seven Truman, 10 Goldwater and 10 Fulbright scholars, as well as one Marshall, one Gates Cambridge, and two Udall scholars.

The university admitted its first African-American student, James Meredith, in October 1962, and has worked since to promote inclusiveness in all its endeavors. More than 20 percent of UM students are minorities, and Ole Miss students come from more than 70 countries. The university observed the 50th anniversary of its integration in 2012-2013 with a series of lectures, films, public forums, and other events.

UM’s research enterprise—including programs in acoustics, atmospheric physics, health care, remote sensing, Southern studies, space law, and pharmaceutical sciences—is renowned internationally. The university holds more than 40 patents for inventions including a fire ant trap, an algal herbicide, novel drug-delivery systems, a thermoacoustic refrigeration device, immune system stimulators, and possible treatments for cancer, malaria, pain, and infections. This work takes place across the university, which is home to more than 20 major research centers. In addition, the university is a center for Faulkner studies, offering one of the finest collections of the Nobel Prize-winner’s work and maintaining his Rowan Oak home as a literary shrine.

At the UM Medical Center in Jackson, surgeons performed the world’s first human lung (1963) and heart (1964) transplants. Physiologists at the health sciences campus defined the role of the kidneys in controlling blood pressure. The Medical Center is collaborating with Tougaloo College and Jackson State University on the Jackson Heart Study, the world’s largest study of cardiovascular risk factors in African-Americans.

Four specialized hospitals on the Jackson campus include the only children’s hospital in Mississippi, a women and infants’ hospital, and a critical care hospital. UMHC offers the state’s only level-one trauma center, only level-three neonatal intensive care nursery, and only organ transplant programs.

About Oxford, Mississippi

Nestled in the rolling hills of north Mississippi, the city of Oxford has received numerous distinctions over the years. Smithsonian magazine listed it as one of the “20 Best Small Towns in America,” praising the town’s arts, culture, and social life. American Express singled Oxford out as one of the 10 “Best Small Towns for Business in America,” noting its literary history, thriving retail and dining businesses, and strong population growth over the past decade. Livability.com also named Oxford the nation’s second-best college town. Oxford offers the amenities of a big city borough while still maintaining its small-town charm.

An hour south of Memphis, this diverse college town has drawn students, alumni, visitors, tourists, and residents. The Oxford Square remains the hub of activity, where many shops, galleries, and restaurants are located, including the South’s oldest department store and one of the nation’s most renowned independent bookstores. Oxford boasts an affordable cost of living, low crime rate, and quality health care. With two strong public school systems that rank among the best in the state and two private schools that offer unique, focused programs for their students, there is a school to meet each resident’s educational needs.

Touted as the “Cultural Mecca of the South,” Oxford encourages the creative life with writers, artists, and musicians calling it home. The arts are an important part of Oxford’s sense of place, and museums, galleries, and performing arts venues showcase talent from Oxford and around the globe. One of the “20 Best College Art Museums” and the world’s largest blues music archive are housed on the university campus along with the Gertrude C. Ford Center for the Performing Arts. The town also has many events that celebrate its culture throughout the year, including the Oxford Film Festival, Double Decker Arts Festival, Conference for the Book, and the Faulkner and Yoknapatawpha Conference.

Nobel Prize-winning author William Faulkner made his home here and found inspiration in the people and places of Oxford and Lafayette County. Many writers have followed in Faulkner’s footsteps, making Oxford their home over the years, including Willie Morris, Barry Hannah, Larry Brown, and current Oxford residents Ace Atkins, Beth Ann Fennelly, and Tom Franklin. Also on that list is UM law school graduate and bestselling author John Grisham. He and his wife, Renee, sponsor a writer-in-residence program through the university, where emerging writers are selected on the strength of their writing and provided housing close to campus. They teach one class each semester and are given ample writing time, continuing the legacy of the writers before them.

Oxford and Lafayette County were formed from lands ceded by the Chickasaw in the Treaty of Pontotoc Creek in 1832. The county was organized in 1836, and in 1837 three pioneers—John Martin, John Chisom, and John Craig—purchased land from Hoka, a female Chickasaw landowner, as a site for the town. They named it Oxford, intending to promote it as a center of learning in the Old Southwest. In 1841, the Mississippi legislature selected Oxford as the site of the state university, which opened in 1848.

Oxford, MS Chamber of Commerce

Visit Oxford

Mission and Vision

Mission

As Mississippi’s first comprehensive, public university and academic medical center, the University of Mississippi transforms lives, communities, and the world by providing opportunities for the people of Mississippi and beyond through excellence in learning, discovery, healthcare, and engagement.

Vision

The University of Mississippi aspires to be a preeminent public international research university and a leading force for innovation and opportunity in Mississippi, the United States, and the world.

Strategic Plan

The University of Mississippi (UM) has embarked upon a bold path of ever-increasing excellence in making a positive difference in society through higher education. Every day, across all our campuses, we see the power of higher education at work — in inspiring excellence, discovering new knowledge, advancing health and wellness, and making our world a better place. The power of higher education can truly transform lives, communities, and the world. FLAGSHIP FORWARD, the strategic plan of the University of Mississippi, is our roadmap to doing so.

This strategic plan focuses on the main campus in Oxford and its regional campuses in Tupelo, Southaven, Grenada, and Booneville, which we collectively refer to as UM Oxford. FLAGSHIP FORWARD also leverages some university-wide transformative initiatives for UM as a whole, which includes the University of Mississippi Medical Center (UMMC) in Jackson and other venues in Mississippi.

Download the strategic plan

Leadership

Larry Sparks, Interim Chancellor

Larry Sparks became interim chancellor of the University of Mississippi on Jan. 4, 2019, following his appointment by the Mississippi IHL Board of Trustees.

A native Oxonian, Sparks joined the administration in 1997. He has served as director of internal audit, director of Project DISCOVER (a comprehensive administrative reengineering project), interim director of procurement services, assistant vice chancellor for finance, and associate vice chancellor for administration and finance. Before his arrival at Ole Miss, Sparks served 10 years in several positions with the Mississippi Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning, including deputy assistant commissioner for finance and administration.

Sparks served as the university’s vice chancellor for administration and finance since 2006, with responsibilities including accounting, airport operations, budget, bursar, campus mail, contractual services (bookstore, food services, ID Center, laundry, licensing and vending), controller and financial operations, facilities management, facilities planning, golf course, human resources, laboratory services, landscape services, parking and transportation, procurement services and sustainability.

Sparks also serves as president of the University of Mississippi Educational Building Corporation and as the university representative on the Joint Committee on Investments, which oversees the endowments for the University of Mississippi, University of Mississippi Medical Center, and the UM Foundation. He is a member of the IHL-UMMC Partnership and Affiliation Review Committee and the UM Foundation Audit Committee. In addition, Sparks is on the executive council of the Board of Trustees for the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

He has several years’ experience auditing colleges and universities, serving as a practicing CPA, and being involved in the retail industry as a business owner. Early in his professional career, he worked in the Ole Miss accounting office in the area of sponsored-program accounting.

Sparks earned his Bachelor of Accountancy from UM and a Master of Business Administration from Mississippi College. He is a certified public accountant licensed in Mississippi.

He is married to Jacky Hedgepeth Sparks, and they have three adult children and five grandchildren (with No. 6 on the way!).

Dr. Noel Wilkin, Provost

Noel E. Wilkin is provost and executive vice chancellor for academic affairs, professor of pharmacy administration, and research professor in the Research Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of Mississippi. Wilkin is a pharmacist and scientist who earned both his BS degree in pharmacy and PhD degrees at the University of Maryland, Baltimore.

Since joining the University of Mississippi in 1996, Wilkin has been awarded substantial grant and contract support and has published in numerous peer-reviewed and professional journals. Wilkin has taught at both the graduate and undergraduate levels and has presented his research and talked on the topics of leadership and innovation in pharmacy to educators, pharmacy students, and pharmacists nationwide.

Additionally, Wilkin has served his discipline in national roles as editor of the Journal of Pharmacy Teaching and as a member of a national advisory panel to outline educational outcomes for pharmacy education. Wilkin has been recognized for his service contributions to the School of Pharmacy and the University, and he has been recognized as the school’s teacher of the year three times.

Prior to assuming provost responsibilities, Wilkin served the university as senior associate provost, during which time he chaired the Strategic Planning Council, worked on the Crisis Action Team, and acted as secretary of the Council of Academic Administrators. In addition, Wilkin assisted the provost in matters dealing with the academic budget, operational planning, academic issues, office space, non-resident admissions applications, human resource issues, and research centers. Before joining the Office of the Provost, Wilkin served as chair of the Department of Pharmacy Administration and director of the Center for Pharmaceutical Marketing and Management in the School of Pharmacy.

University Organizational Charts

https://irep.olemiss.edu/organizational-charts/

The Student Body

The University of Mississippi enrolled 23,258 students across its six campuses for fall 2018 – fourth-highest enrollment in the university’s history – while its first-year retention rate climbed to 86 percent, second-highest in school history.

Total 2018 enrollment reflects a 2.2 percent decrease from last year. At the same time, the university continues to rank among the nation’s fastest-growing universities, according to The Chronicle of Higher Education, as national demographic trends have produced a 5.2 percent decrease in the number of college and university students across the country since 2010.

During a decade of unprecedented growth, the university has adopted a series of progressive steps to manage growth to maintain the quality of the student experience and the expected level of service. As a result, the university is attracting a higher proportion of well-prepared students to its excellent academic programs while maintaining its commitment to access.

This year’s freshman class of 3,455 students delivers on several indicators that reflect the university’s ongoing focus on academic excellence. Over the last five years, the average ACT score has increased from 24.1 to 25.1. Likewise, the average GPA has grown from 3.46 in fall 2013 to 3.57 – a testament to the outstanding programs created by UM faculty that attract high-quality students.

This year’s first-time students include 84 class valedictorians, 48 salutatorians, 96 student body presidents, 100 Eagle Scouts and nine Girl Scouts who achieved the Gold Award, the organization’s highest youth honor.

The university continued to attract high-achieving students from across the state and nation.

This fall, the Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College enrolled a record 1,605 students, a 7.2 percent increase over last year’s class and more than double the enrollment of 781 students from fall 2008. This includes 416 new Honors College enrollees, with 55.8 percent of them Mississippi residents.

The Honors College class posted an average ACT of 31.5 and an average high school GPA of 3.98.

The Provost Scholars program, which recruits and rewards high-achieving students with special seminars, workshops and other academic opportunities, has enjoyed significant growth from 394 students when the program was established in 2010 to 2,704 scholars this fall.

The freshman class also includes seven Stamps Scholarship recipients, among the largest and most prestigious scholarships in the state. Funded through the Stamps Family Charitable Foundation, the 13th class of Stamps Scholars includes 230 students nationwide selected from almost 300,000 applicants. UM is among only 41 universities nationally that is able to admit Stamps Scholars.

Along with exceptional scholars, the university attracts students uniquely interested in being campus leaders in the short term and state, national and global leaders in the long term, according to Brandi Hephner LaBanc, UM vice chancellor for student affairs.

“The Ole Miss experience provides flagship academic programs coupled with personalized and transformative engagement programs where students develop holistically and excel as leaders,” Hephner LaBanc said.

Undergraduate Enrollment by Ethnicity

African American: 12.8%

American Indian: .3%

Asian: 4.4%

Hispanic or Latino: 3.5%

Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander: .1%

Two or More Races: 2.2%

Unknown: .05%

White: 76.7%

Benefits Overview

The University of Mississippi offers competitive fringe benefits as part of a comprehensive total rewards package. Click here for the benefits booklet.

Application & Nomination

The University of Mississippi has retained Spelman Johnson to assist with this search. Review of applications is underway and will continue until the position is filled. To apply for this position please click on the Apply button, complete the brief application process, and upload your resume and position-specific cover letter. Confidential inquiries and nominations should be directed to Jim Norfleet at jmn@spelmanjohnson.com. Applicants needing reasonable accommodation to participate in the application process should contact Spelman Johnson at 413-529-2895.

Visit the University of Mississippi website at www.olemiss.edu

The University of Mississippi is an EOE/AA/Minorities/Females/Vet/Disability/Sexual Orientation/Gender Identity/Title VI/Title VII/Title IX/504/ADA/ADEA employer.

The University of Mississippi provides equal opportunity in any employment practice, education program, or education activity to all qualified persons. The University complies with all applicable laws regarding equal opportunity and affirmative action and does not unlawfully discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment based upon race, color, gender, sex, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, religion, citizenship, national origin, age, disability, veteran status, or genetic information.