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The University of Mississippi

Updates to Campus Community on Monument Relocation

Last updated: Jan. 22, 2020

Index

Messages from University of Mississippi leadership:


Update on Monument Relocation Plan – Feb. 17, 2020

Dear UM students, faculty and staff,

This message is part of our continuing commitment to keep you apprised on the process to relocate the Confederate monument to a more suitable location on campus.

Since I last wrote you on Jan. 16, 2020, we have been working diligently on the progress report requested by the IHL Board regarding the recommendations of the Chancellor’s Advisory Committee on History and Contextualization (CACHC), which included recommendations specific to the cemetery next to Tad Smith Coliseum. Once complete, we will provide the board with this report, which is required before we can re-submit our relocation proposal for future consideration. We’re committed to working with the board to accomplish our goal of relocating the monument.

On a related note, I want to express my personal sadness about the death of our colleague and friend, Dr. John Neff, Associate Professor of History and Director of The Center for Civil War Research. His sudden passing on Jan. 30 marks a tremendous loss to the university. He played an integral role in the work of the CACHC and the ongoing efforts involving the cemetery and our plan to relocate the monument. His loss will require some adjustments to maintain progress, but we remain committed to continuing this work in no small part to ensure that we honor his memory and dedication to this important matter for our university.

We pledge to keep you informed and provide further updates as this process continues.

Glenn F. Boyce
Chancellor

 

Update on Monument Relocation Plan – Jan. 16, 2020

Dear UM students, faculty and staff,

Today, the board of the Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning (IHL) pulled from its January meeting agenda the university’s proposal to relocate the monument to the cemetery, a more suitable location on our campus. 

As part of this procedural action, the IHL board did not vote on the proposal and asked the university to provide a full report on progress made toward implementing the recommendations of the Chancellor’s Advisory Committee on History and Contextualization, which included recommendations involving the cemetery. We will provide this report to the board members and work with them to address any concerns that they have.

Our governing body – the IHL board – has exclusive authority to relocate the statue. A report to the board is required before we can re-submit our relocation proposal for future consideration.

We are committed to working with the board to accomplish our goal of relocating the monument. We appreciate all of the work that our campus constituents and others have put forward on this important issue for our university.

Our university leadership will keep you informed and provide further updates as this process continues.

Glenn F. Boyce

Chancellor

 

Update on Monument Relocation Plan – Dec. 6, 2019

Dear UM students, faculty and staff,

This message is an update on the process to relocate the Confederate monument on campus.

Today, the Mississippi Department of Archives and History (MDAH) notified the university that its board unanimously approved the proposed relocation plan. This plan included descriptions of the administrative, architectural and engineering specifications required for work on historical structures. We appreciate the work to develop the required documentation for this submission and ensure that the plan abides by state rules, regulations, and policies governing construction projects on our campus. We also appreciate MDAH for its review and approval of our proposed plan.

As mentioned in previous messages to our campus community, the next step involves the submission of an agenda item from the university to the Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning (IHL) to request approval to proceed with the relocation. MDAH approval was required before the request could be submitted to IHL. With MDAH approval in hand, we will move forward.

Our university leadership will keep you informed as the relocation process continues and will provide further updates moving forward.

Glenn F. Boyce

Chancellor

 

Update to UM Community on the Confederate Monument – Oct. 15, 2019

Dear UM faculty, staff and students,

We have committed to be transparent about the monument and its relocation. Last Monday (October 7), I received confirmation from our Facilities Planning Department that Mississippi Department of Archives and History (MDAH) has the monument slated to be on its December agenda.

Based on when we submitted the request, MDAH had initially anticipated it being on its December agenda. MDAH has informed us that, “with the complexity of the move, both the development and the review of the specs have taken longer than we had anticipated.” MDAH has indicated that they are “on track for December.”

If we receive any further updates, we will let you know.

Noel E. Wilkin, Ph.D.
Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs

 

Message to UM Community From Interim Chancellor Larry Sparks – Aug. 28, 2019

Dear students, faculty and staff,As we begin the academic year, it is important for you to know about the progress that has been made to relocate the Confederate monument to the cemetery on campus, which is a more suitable location. The steps to relocate the monument are as follows.

  • Submit a letter of intent to the Mississippi Department of Archives and History (MDAH) – Completed March 20, 2019
  • Review meeting with MDAH – Completed April 2, 2019
  • Contract with a firm to develop necessary plans – Completed June 3, 2019
  • Develop the relocation and placement plans and drawings, and conduct site work to the required administrative, architectural, and engineering specifications – Completed August 27, 2019
  • Submit relocation and reinstallation plans to MDAH for consideration – Completed August 27, 2019
  • Remaining steps – consideration and decision by MDAH; if approved by MDAH, submission of agenda item to Institutions of Higher Learning (IHL) that includes MDAH approval; hire a contractor to perform the work

I am pleased that the plan and necessary drawings are complete, and I appreciate all of the work to develop the required documentation for submission. As we move toward this important change for our university, the university administration remains committed to abiding by the state rules and laws and IHL policies that govern all construction projects on our campus.

We are following the steps necessary for successful relocation and will maintain steady and committed progress to accomplish this relocation. I reiterate that this will place the monument in a more suitable location, one that is commensurate with the purpose that is etched on its side.

I wish you all a successful academic year as we continue efforts to make our campus a positive, productive, and welcoming educational environment for every student who joins our community of scholars seeking truth, knowledge, and wisdom.

Sincerely,
Larry D. Sparks
Interim Chancellor

 

Chancellor’s Statement On The Monument – March 21, 2019

Shortly before spring break, the Associated Student Body, Graduate Student Council, Faculty Senate, Staff Council, and other campus constituents carefully considered the Confederate monument and its location on our campus. The recommendations made by these University entities, and sent to us by other internal and external groups, indicate that the most suitable campus location for this monument is not its current site on University Circle.

The shared governance process has demonstrated that our campus constituents are in alignment, and we agree that the monument should be relocated to a more suitable location. University leaders have consulted with the Mississippi Department of Archives and History and the staff of the Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning, and we have a clear understanding of the steps and approvals necessary for relocation.

The university has submitted a notice of intent to the Department of Archives and History. The process to secure the necessary approvals for this relocation will require some time.

We will work diligently toward this goal by respecting and abiding by state rules, regulations, and policies that govern the process of relocation, and by continuing to provide updates to the university community as the process moves forward.

This is an important decision for our university. The monument, its meaning, and its location have been a point of discussion and debate for many years. Thank you for the thoughtful and diligent consideration of this matter and your recommendations.

Sincerely,

Larry D. Sparks

Interim Chancellor

 

Statement from Interim Chancellor Larry Sparks on Student Resolutions – March 7, 2019 

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. 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.

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. 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.

Larry D. Sparks

Interim Chancellor