KU provost Jeff Vitter is poised to be Ole Miss chancellor

Jeff Vitter
Jeff Vitter

University of Kansas provost Jeffrey S. Vitter is heading south later this month.

The University of Mississippi, Ole Miss, this week named Vitter as its preferred candidate for chancellor.

Vitter is now scheduled to visit the Oxford, Miss., campus on Oct. 29 to talk with select members of the campus community. They will make recommendations to the Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning, which governs eight campuses in the Mississippi public university system.

Trustees will decide later on that day whether to officially name Vitter as chancellor or go back to the search process.

“His credentials and experience are stellar,” said Alan Perry, president of the trustees board. “He has demonstrated tremendous leadership at a number of exceptional institutions and has been recognized as a leading researcher in the field of computer science.”

KU officials expressed support for Vitter.

“We are pleased that Jeff is being recognized for the work he has done at KU and wish him the best as the selection process continues at the University of Mississippi,” said Tim Caboni, KU vice chancellor for public affairs.

Vitter had also been named a finalist in the ongoing University of Arkansas chancellor search. But he said he withdrew from the search to lead the University of Arkansas because of his interest leading Ole Miss.

Prior to assuming the provost’s post at KU in 2010, Vitter, 59, was vice president of research at Texas A&M from 2002-2008. He is the brother of David Vitter, a U.S. senator from Louisiana who is running for governor of that state.

At KU, Vitter serves as provost and executive vice chancellor and is the Roy A. Roberts distinguished professor. He teaches in the department of electrical engineering and computer science and is a member of the Information and Telecommunication Technology Center.

If trustees approve, Vitter will replace Daniel W. Jones, whom the board voted in March to release when his contract expired last month.

Mará Rose Williams: 816-234-4419, @marawilliamskc