- Associated Press - Thursday, October 29, 2015

OXFORD, Miss. (AP) - The latest on University of Kansas Provost Jeffrey Vitter being named chancellor at the University of Mississippi (all times local):

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3:15 p.m.

College Board trustees have voted to name Jeffrey Vitter as the next chancellor of the University of Mississippi.

The vote came Thursday afternoon after Vitter met with campus groups Wednesday at the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson and Thursday in Oxford.

Trustees said Vitter was the clear front-runner after initial interviews with eight candidates. They ended the process early to pursue Vitter, who was a finalist to lead the Fayetteville campus of the University of Arkansas.

Vitter has said he hopes to start by Feb. 1 and says he will spend time on campus before year’s end.

A computer scientist and brother of Republican Sen. David Vitter of Louisiana, Vitter replaces former Chancellor Dan Jones. Trustees declined to renew Jones’ contract this spring, prompting widespread protest.

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12:29 p.m.

Hours away from a vote to hire him to lead the University of Mississippi, Jeffrey Vitter says he’ll focus on five areas. They include building academic excellence, international ties and research efforts at the 24,000-student university, while seeking to improve funding and diversity.

College Board trustees are scheduled to vote Thursday afternoon on hiring Vitter, now provost at the University of Kansas, as chancellor at Ole Miss. Vitter was named trustees’ sole preferred candidate last week, and his last hurdle is a set of meetings Wednesday and Thursday with campus groups.

Thursday’s sessions came in the aftermath of interim Chancellor Morris Stocks’ decision to remove the state flag Monday, saying its Confederate battle emblem was unwelcoming to some and had become a point of contention.

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6:50 a.m.

The University of Mississippi is likely to have a new leader by the end of Thursday.

Jeffrey Vitter, now provost of the University of Kansas, is meeting on the Oxford campus with faculty, staff, students and alumni. He met Wednesday with campus groups at the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson.

College Board trustees named Vitter their preferred candidate to take over the 24,000-student university last week. They ended their search early, deciding Vitter was the clear-cut leader. The board moved to bring him to Ole Miss while he was a finalist to lead the Fayetteville campus of the University of Arkansas.

Vitter, a computer scientist and brother of Louisiana Republican senator David Vitter, would replace former Chancellor Dan Jones. Trustees declined to renew Jones’ contract this spring.

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