ASU’s Damphousse invited for interview at Ole Miss; will decline offer

by George Jared ([email protected]) 1,781 views 

The University of Mississippi, Ole Miss, has whittled its search for a new chancellor down to eight candidates and Arkansas State University Chancellor Kelly Damphousse is among those chosen, according to multiple published reports in Mississippi.

In a statement released to Talk Business & Politics by ASU, Damphousse said he will decline the offer.

“Some of you may have already heard that I was recently approached by the University of Mississippi about its open chancellor position. I explored the opportunity and I was invited for an interview there later this week. After considerable deliberations with my family, however, I withdrew my name from consideration this past weekend. We have many great things happening here at A-State and I remain committed to our shared future,” Damphousse said.

The nonprofit news organization Mississippi Today first reported that Damphousse had been selected for an interview. He and the other candidates were culled from a pool of 32 applicants.

A timetable for those interviews has not been released. Mississippi Today reported that others to be interviewed include:

Michael Benson, president of Eastern Kentucky University since 2013; Sharon Gaber, president of the University of Toledo since 2015; Bill Hardgrave, provost and senior vice president of academic affairs at Auburn since 2018; Chris Howard, president of Robert Morris University since 2016; Cal Mayo, founding partner of Mayo Mallette PLLC in Oxford; Robert Robbins, president of the University of Arizona since 2017; and Fred Slabach, president of Texas Wesleyan University since 2011.

Before taking the job at Toledo, Gaber was the top academic officer at the University of Arkansas. Hardgrave was also a staffer in the UA’s Sam M. Walton College of Business and was a member of the Northwest Arkansas Business Journal’s 2003 Forty Under 40 class.

Damphousse has been ASU’s chancellor since he was hired in the spring of 2017.

Prior to his ASU stint, Damphousse has served as dean or interim dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Oklahoma in Norman since 2013. The college is the university’s largest and most diverse, with an annual budget of $100 million, 31 academic and research units offering 60 degrees, 1,000 full-time faculty and staff and more than 9,000 students. He previously served as associate dean of the college for nine years. He has worked as OU’s faculty athletics representative to the Big 12 Conference and NCAA since 2012.

Former Ole Miss Chancellor Jeffrey Vitter resigned in November 2018. The school has been searching for a permanent replacement ever since.