Texas Wesleyan President Frederick Slabach announced Tuesday that he will interview for the chancellor’s position at the University of Mississippi.
Slabach arrived at Texas Wesleyan in 2011. Since then, the university sold its law school to Texas A&M, made more than $50 million in capital improvements, and resumed its football program. The university says its endowment has doubled under Slabach, and enrollment is up 15%.
The university responded to a request for an interview with Slabach by releasing a written statement, which said he was recruited to interview for the position. Slabach said in the statement that he has not considered any other job opportunities outside Texas Wesleyan since he arrived eight years ago. He received his juris doctor degree from the Ole Miss School of Law.
Mississippi Today, a nonprofit news organization that covers the state, first reported Slabach’s candidacy on Sunday. He is one of eight candidates who received invitations to interview for the position. The candidates were selected in a closed-door meeting, but Mississippi Today said multiple unnamed sources with knowledge of the search effort passed along the names.
The Mississippi Institutions for Higher Learning Board, which governs the University of Mississippi System, started its search for a chancellor in May.
A spokeswoman for the Higher Learning Board declined to comment until the search committee has selected a preferred candidate. The university has held eight “listening sessions” with the Ole Miss community since June, with the most recent on Sept. 4.
The other candidates named by Mississippi Today:
- Michael Benson, president of Eastern Kentucky University since 2013.
- Kelly Damphousse, chancellor of Arkansas State University since 2017.
- Sharon Gaber, president of the University of Toledo since 2015.
- Bill Hardgrave, provost and senior vice president of academic affairs at Auburn University in Alabama since 2018.
- Chris Howard, president of Robert Morris University in Pennsylvania since 2016.
- Cal Mayo, founding partner of Oxford, Mississippi, law firm Mayo Mallette.
- Robert Robbins, president of the University of Arizona since 2017.
Before joining Texas Wesleyan, Slabach was the executive secretary of the Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation. He was also a former dean and professor of law at the Texas Wesleyan School of Law from 2003 through 2006.