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UPDATE: UM communications director resigns job

Public Relations director Danny Blanton released a statement this afternoon on Facebook about resigning from his position as director of media and public relations for the University of Mississippi on Friday, claiming it was the “best decision” for him personally and professionally; however he did not state a direct reason for his resignation.

He did, however, hint that there might be some other plans for him in the near future.

“I am deeply honored to have served the University of Mississippi, and I look forward to new opportunities on the horizon to serve not only Ole Miss, but this great state I call home,” Blanton wrote on his Facebook.

Blanton was hired in 2012 with more than 24 years of experience in military, corporate, political and nonprofit sector public relations. Ole Miss is his alma mater.

“After graduating from Ole Miss as an undergraduate, I have always made a commitment to help not only the University of Mississippi, but also this great state.” He said. “Even after taking a detour from residing in Mississippi while serving overseas with the United States military, I always looked forward to coming home and hoped someday to have the opportunity to serve the flagship University of Mississippi.”

Blanton said he is proud of Ole Miss and progress it has made over recent years in its commitment to better serve the education of its youth and young adults at all levels.

“Education is key for our state to continue the progress it has seen in recent years,” he wrote. “The University of Mississippi has recently introduced new programs including our neuroscience in education program, increased funding to our medical and pharmaceutical fields, and novel opportunities within our engineering programs with the addition of the Haley Barbour Center for Manufacturing Excellence. The (university) is one of the fastest growing research universities in not only the SEC, but among all public research universities in the country.”

Before coming to Ole Miss, Blanton served as NATO’s public affairs adviser to the Afghan Ministry of Defense.

His other military experiences include serving as information operations officer for the 155th Brigade Combat Team in Iraq and with the 102nd Public Affairs Detachment in Bosnia. He also was an officer in the 155th Infantry Battalion during Operation Desert Storm and spent eight years as public affairs officer for the Mississippi Military Department.

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Faculty at the University of Mississippi were greeted this morning with an email stating that Director of Media and Public Relations Danny Blanton has resigned and that Jon Scott, project manager, will serve as interim director.

No official press releases were issued this morning from the university.

Tom Eppes, the chief communications officer, is out of town until Wednesday, according to University Communications.

While it’s stated he resigned, an email sent to his Ole Miss address bounced back as undeliverable this morning. At 3 p.m. Sunday, Blanton Tweeted about the Ole Miss women’s basketball game with the hashtag #HottyToddy.

Blanton was hired in 2012 with more than 24 years of experience in military, corporate, political and nonprofit sector public relations. Ole Miss is his alma mater.

He served as NATO’s public affairs adviser to the Afghan Ministry of Defense.

His other military experiences include serving as information operations officer for the 155th Brigade Combat Team in Iraq and with the 102nd Public Affairs Detachment in Bosnia. He also was an officer in the 155th Infantry Battalion during Operation Desert Storm and spent eight years as public affairs officer for the Mississippi Military Department.

Blanton could not be reached for comment this morning.