/College board to approve relocating Confederate monument at Ole Miss

College board to approve relocating Confederate monument at Ole Miss

Nonprofit Mississippi News: The Institutions of Higher Learning’s board of trustees will be meeting on Thursday to approve and consider a plan for the University of Mississippi to relocate the Confederate Monument. According to several sources, IHL board members will approve the university’s plan for moving the monument during its Thursday morning meeting. This is despite nationwide protests and nationwide demonstrations over racial inequities and Confederate iconography. The meeting will take place virtually and the agenda will be made public on Wednesday. In 2019, several representatives of University of Mississippi undergraduate, graduate, faculty, and staff voted to move the monument to an on-campus cemetery. The monument’s relocation was also approved by top university fundraisers, including Keith Carter, Athletics Director. The final step in the process is approval by the IHL board. At the university’s main entrance, visitors are greeted by the 30-foot monument of a Confederate soldier who is ready to fight. It was erected by the United Daughters of the Confederacy in 1906. The cemetery on campus is home to hundreds of Confederate soldiers, although it is not visible to students and visitors. The student-led, administration-sponsored plan to move the monument was unanimously approved in December by the Mississippi Department of Archives and History, which must sign off on substantial changes to historic districts. The IHL board stopped the relocation plan from moving in January after Tommy Duff, a board member, stated that he needed more information from the university. The former Republican Governor has appointed all 12 members of the board. Phil Bryant is a Sons of Confederate Veterans member. A group of students came up with the idea of moving the monument last academic year. They claimed that it didn’t reflect the current values of the student body. Their resolution was passed by the student government senate. Later, the faculty senate and graduate student council as well as the top brass of the university approved the measure. This is a complex undertaking for the University of Mississippi, a school steeped in Confederate symbolography and plagued by a racially violence history, ongoing racist and sexist incidents, as well as endowed by wealthy, powerful white alumni who have resist efforts to rid the school of this problematic symbolism. There has been much national debate about the presence of similar statues within public spaces. Several neoconfederate groups marched to Oxford to protest the loss of the Southern iconography. The students tried to block their efforts by conservative power brokers in Washington and Jackson, but the university, which was then governed by interim Chancellor Larry Sparks approved their plan. The college board appointed Glenn Boyce as permanent chancellor to oversee the relocation of the monument. He said that he wouldn’t stand in the way of the plan being approved by the university administration. Boyce has repeatedly stated in public statements that his office is working towards relocating the monument.