Three potential candidates to become the next chancellor at the University of Mississippi have now made public statements regarding their involvement in the job search, with one candidate openly saying he’s interested in the job.

As first reported by Mississippi Today, eight candidates were invited to participate in an interview for the job after a search committee reviewed applications and resumes from potential candidates.

Frederick Slabach, the president of Texas Wesleyan University, sent a detailed statement to the Daily Journal outlining his “deep ties” to Mississippi and touting his accomplishments while at Texas Wesleyan University.

“Outside of Ole Miss, I’ve not considered any other opportunities for the last nine years,” Slabach said in the statement. “The work we are doing at Texas Wesleyan University has been the pinnacle of my professional life. However, the prospect of returning home is one that my family and I would like to explore.”

Slabach said he and his wife are from Mississippi, and they met at Ole Miss. Both of Slabach’s twin sons are students at the university.

“Serving as president of Texas Wesleyan University is a great honor, and I am proud of the incredible momentum we have experienced over the past decade,” Slabach said. “This momentum is the direct result of our talented faculty and staff, who, with the support of our board of trustees, alumni and friends, are changing the world by changing lives — one student at a time.”

While Slabach has openly come out in support of wanting to interview the job of chancellor, two other candidates have now removed themselves from the hiring process.

Robert Robbins, president of the University of Arizona, in a statement said he is not a candidate for the chancellor position “contrary to some media reports.”

“Moreover I have not received a formal invitation to interview for the position,” Robbins said. “To paraphrase a famous quote, I shall not and would not seek this position. I love the University of Arizona and firmly believe that our best days are yet to come.”

Kelly Damphousse, the chancellor of Arkansas State University, did confirm to a new site that he explored the opportunity to participate in an interview for the job, but he is withdrawing his name from consideration.

Officials at the state Institutions of Higher Learning, the organization which governs public universities in the state, has previously said they plan to name a preferred candidate for the job by the end of the month.

Other candidates for the job include Michael Benson, the president of Eastern Kentucky University; Bill Hardgrave, provost and senior vice president of academic affairs at Auburn; Chris Howard, president of Robert Morris University; Sharon Graber, president of the University of Toledo and Cal Mayo, founding partner of Mayo Mallette law firm in Oxford.

taylor.vance@journalinc.com

Twitter: @taylor_vance28

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