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Jeffrey Vitter named top choice as chancellor of the University of Mississippi

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OXFORD, Miss. -- On Monday, the University of Mississippi announced it had selected its top candidate for the next chancellor.

"The board's preferred candidate for the next chancellor for the University of Mississippi is Jeffrey S. Vitter," announced Alan Perry, the IHL President at the news conference.

Dr. Vitter is the current provost of the University of Kansas and brother of U.S. Senator David Vitter from Louisiana.

The IHL Board announced Vitter as their top choice out of eight candidates who were interviewed.

But this announcement was just the first step.

"He will come to campus and talk with key constituencies. Those constituencies will in turn talk to IHL and say this is how we feel about him," explained student Alex Borst.

Borst was very involved when students rallied around former Chancellor Dan Jones, who resigned following the controversy surrounding finances at the Medical Center.

Borst said he hopes Vitter can connect with students and help heal the mistrust many still have for the board.

"I don't think the campus as a whole knows who this guy is, what he's about. But I think we're in this interim period right now, and students are ready for a very solid leadership."

Dr. Vitter will come to campus Thursday, October 29 to meet with students and faculty.

A final decision based on feedback from those interactions should be made by the board that same day.

"By 5:30 or 6 we will have it ready. The board will come for a special meeting. Assuming that there is no question, then we can act pretty quickly. If there's a question, it takes time," said Perry.

Even if he is offered the position and accepts next Thursday, the school said he would not officially start until February.