By WLOX Staff
JACKSON, MS (WLOX) - Dr. Dan Jones, the man leading the University of Mississippi's school of medicine in Jackson, is the College Board's preferred candidate for chancellor at Ole Miss.
"I'm grateful to be part of the University of Mississippi now, on its health science campus, and I'm very excited about the future opportunities with the University of Mississippi," Jones said.
The board made the announcement Tuesday. Jones would succeed Chancellor Robert Khayat.
"Chancellor Khayat has done a wonderful job of leadership. It's frightening to anybody to think about following in his footsteps and taking on the large responsibility of leading the university, but I'm very excited about the opportunity."
Jones will visit the Oxford campus June 15 to meet with various constituent groups. The College Board will take a final vote later that day.
A native Mississippian, Dr. Jones graduated from Mississippi College and earned his M.D. and completed residency training at the University of Mississippi Medical Center. He had a private practice in Laurel, Mississippi until he went to Korea in 1985 as a medical missionary. In 1992, he returned to the University of Mississippi Medical Center as a faculty member, and has been there ever since.
Also on Tuesday, the College Board announced that Hank Bounds is the preferred candidate for commissioner of higher education. Bounds currently is superintendent of the state's public schools.
Bounds is a 1985 graduate of Forrest County Agricultural High School. He earned his bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Southern Mississippi and his doctorate from the University of Mississippi. He was principal at Lumberton High from 1996-2001 before spending two years as principal at Pascagoula High School. He became Pascagoula schools superintendent in 2001.
Governor Haley Barbour released a statement of support for both men Tuesday.
"I congratulate Dr. Hank Bounds and Dr. Dan Jones, both of whom are very well known and respected here in Mississippi and across the country for their devoted service to education. Each has made a real difference in his current position. I know they will continue with the same high level of successful public service in their new positions," Gov. Barbour said.
Mississippi's senators also applauded the board's recommendations.
Sen. Roger Wicker said in a statement, "Dr. Jones has done an exceptional job as Vice Chancellor at the University of Mississippi Medical School and will be able to hit the ground running in Oxford from day one. I have worked closely with him over the years and have always valued that relationship. I am excited about the opportunity to work with him in this new capacity to help advance the mission of higher education in our state."
Of Dr. Bounds, Sen. Thad Cochran said, "I am pleased that Hank Bounds has been chosen to lead Mississippi's Institutions of Higher Learning as its next Commissioner. Dr. Bounds has been an innovative and visionary leader as our State Superintendent. Mississippi's universities will benefit from his leadership."