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Vitter meets with alumni, faculty

Dr. Jeffrey Vitter, the new University of Mississippi chancellor, addressed alumni and faculty Thursday morning at the Inn at Ole Miss.

“I’m really struck by how much Mississippi feels like home, and it’s my highest aspiration to come back to the South and play a role as chancellor of the University of Mississippi,” he said. “This is my dream job. Ole Miss is a gem of a university. It has a strong sense of community and pride, a rich tradition of academic and medical excellence, and it’s an economic driver for the state.”

Vitter was eager to talk about his vision for leadership that he said combines four aspects — academic, research, business and executive leadership.

“The hallmark of any great university is that it constantly and continually seeks to get better and better,” he said.

Vitter said his four leadership values and principles include: integrity to do the right thing with accountability and transparency, entrepreneurial vision, listening and learning, and he encourages collaboration and innovation.

“I see firsthand the incredible power of what people can accomplish when they work together,” he said. “It’s my desire to be a transformational chancellor here at Ole Miss.”

Vitter said he’d like to see the university become a national leader in research.

“One of the opportunities to do that is to partner with the medical center,” he said. “Right now, the medical center and this campus are regarded as separate campuses in that classification. I think there is a great opportunity to combine forces and to think of this university as one.”

About LaReeca Rucker

LaReeca Rucker is a writer, reporter and adjunct journalism instructor at the University of Mississippi's Meek School of Journalism and New Media.

A veteran journalist with more than 20 years of experience, she spent a decade at the Gannett-owned Clarion-Ledger - Mississippi's largest daily newspaper - covering stories about crime, city government, civil rights, social justice, religion, art, culture and entertainment for the paper's print and web editions. She was also a USA Today contributor.

This year, she received a first place award from the Mississippi Press Association for “Best In-Depth Investigative Reporting.” The story written in 2014 for The Oxford Eagle chronicles the life of a young mother with two sons who have epilepsy, and details how she is patiently hoping legalized cannabis oil experimentation will lead to a cure for their disorder.

Her website is www.lareecarucker.com.

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