Ole Miss Interim Chancellor gives first statement on statue vote

Published 10:10 am Thursday, March 7, 2019

The Lyceum has released its first comments regarding the unanimous vote by the University’s Associated Student Body to relocate the Confederate statue.

On Tuesday, the Ole Miss ASB voted 47-0 in favor of Resolution 19-4, calling for the statue to be moved from the Lyceum-Circle to the Confederate cemetery behind the Tad Smith Coliseum. In response to the decision, Interim Chancellor Larry Sparks gave his first statement on Thursday morning.

“We appreciate the thoughtful and deliberate consideration that the student groups have given to formulating, debating, and passing their resolutions recommending relocation of the monument,” Sparks’ letter read. “This is an important decision and issue for our university. We understand that other campus constituents are considering resolutions, and once received, we will take those under consideration as well.”

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Sparks sent the letter to University faculty, staff and students via the UM Today System.

Once passed, authors of the resolution was signed and sent to the Lyceum for University officials to approve. This is the first, in what Sparks noted in his letter, of many steps needed to be taken before the statue can be moved.

“In order to relocate the monument, the university would need to submit an agenda item to the Board of Trustees of the Mississippi State Institutions of Higher Learning for consideration,” the letter continued.  “Prior to that, the university would need to develop its justification that the cemetery is a suitable location, as required by the statute, and consult with the Mississippi Department of Archives and History due to the landmark status of the monument. We anticipate hearing from other campus constituents in the coming weeks.”

The Faculty Senate is meeting on Thursday to discuss a possible resolution regarding the statue.