OXFORD, Miss. — Tension is heating up on the Ole Miss campus as students are going toe-to-toe with the state's college board.
Students at the University of Mississippi said the college blind-sided them by hiring the man who was leading the search committee for chancellor as chancellor.
Chants and protests sounded through campus Monday over the appointment of educator Glenn Boyce as the school's new chancellor.
Dozens of students held signs, and many are calling the Boyce appointment by the Institutions of Higher Learning (IHL) corrupt and illegitimate.
"We're here because this isn't the first time the IHL has run a sham chancellor at the University of Mississippi or elsewhere in the state," one student said.
"The IHL board is not interested in attracting the best and the brightest to the University of Mississippi, they're interested in maintaining their good ole boy network," another student said.
The state college board selected Boyce more than a week ago, but protesters claimed the appointment appears suspicious because Boyce was involved in the search earlier after the school's private foundation hired him to meet with influential individuals about what they sought in the next Ole Miss leader.
"Boyce was paid $87,000 to find our school's next chancellor," a student said. "Instead of picking one of the eight candidates from two weeks ago, Boyce chose himself."
Protesters are now calling for Boyce and board members to step down
"We want the resignation of Glenn Boyce from chancellor of University of Mississippi," student Matuh Abron said. "We want the current Board of Trustee members to resign, and we want to reopen the search for chancellor."
Until that possibly happens, the students are calling this protest a movement for change.
"This is a movement that's sustaining," student Cam Calisch said. "We came out today on Glenn Boyce's first day to show we aren't happy and taking a stand, and we're active."
WREG reached out to Ole Miss to get a response about the protesters and their demands, and we received a statement Monday afternoon from the school saying, "Chancellor Boyce is aware of the concerns that have been raised. He is focused on getting up to speed on the affairs of the university and will outline his priorities for the university at an appropriate time."