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Nine of 12 members of the state College Board voted not to renew Ole Miss chancellor Dan Jones’ contract in a meeting Friday.Two disagreed. One was absent.Those voting not to renew Jones’ contract: Ed Blakeslee, Karen Cummins, Ford Dye, Shane Hooper, Hal Parker, Aubrey Patterson, Alan Perry, Douglas Rouse and C.D. Smith. Bob Owens and Robin Robinson voted to renew it. Christine Pickering was absent.In a press release, IHL Commissioner Jim Borsig said a meeting Thursday between Jones and the Board was the resumption of s series of meetings to address financial concerns at UMMC that had started before Jones’ cancer diagnosis last year. Jones returned to his duties as chancellor last week.“The Board had discussed these and related concerns with Dr. Jones over a lengthy period of time and these matters were not corrected to the satisfaction of the Board of Trustees,” Borsig said. “The Board cannot directly manage an institution or replace employees other than the institutional executive officer; therefore, the only practical remedy available to the Board was a change in leadership at the Chancellor level.”The release did not offer much detail on the nature of the Board’s financial concerns at UMMC. Individual board members have either declined comment, not returned messages, or referred questions to Borsig.“However, we want to make it very clear that the Board has no concerns over the personal integrity or honesty of Dr. Jones or any other employee of UMMC,” Borsig said in the release. “Dr. Jones has provided strong leadership in many facets of the University of Mississippi during his tenure. However, the Board cannot overlook its longstanding concerns regarding the business and financial affairs at UMMC. The University of Mississippi is one of the great public universities in our nation. The Board of Trustees is committed to selecting the best possible leader to take the university to even greater levels of achievement.”The vote has already produced more than a day’s worth of criticism.Author John Grisham, who has a law degree from Ole Miss, said Saturday afternoon that the College Board’s decision not to renew Ole Miss chancellor Dan Jones’ contract was “a rotten thing to do.”“Dan’s health aside, his leadership has continued the remarkable success of Robert Khayat,” Grisham said. “Record enrollment, record applications, record fund-raising, a reasonably happy faculty – and the Board decides to fire him? It makes no sense. Dan raised a ton of money, and this will chill big donors.”Former Netscape CEO and Ole Miss mega-donor Jim Barksdale led it off, calling the College Board’s move “an unforgivable decision” Friday afternoon.By Saturday afternoon, that kind of outrage had established a big viral presence. A change.org petition calling for Jones’ contract to be extended, per his wishes, had earned nearly 2,700 signatures. A Facebook page dedicated to Jones’ reinstatement had surpassed 2,000 likes.“Dan Jones gave me a chance to lead our Rebel football program and be a part of the Ole Miss family,” football coach Hugh Freeze said in a statement. “I will forever be grateful for his leadership and vision. Chancellor Jones is a great leader in higher education and gave his heart and soul to Ole Miss. He led us to new heights never seen before. Everyone in our athletics program will miss him dearly!”Saturday was the third anniversary of athletic director Ross Bjork’s hire. On Friday, he told The Clarion-Ledger that Jones “was the best situational leader I’ve ever encountered in higher ed.”There will be a protest Wednesday at noon, either in front of the Lyceum (where Jones’ office is) or in the area in front of the building known as the Circle.Alex Borst, one of the organizers, said that by Saturday evening, more than 1,100 people had committed to attend. A 20-year-old sophomore international studies major from Madison, Borst said that whatever issues Jones had with the College Board, he was still an Ole Miss “icon.”“Over the past 6 years, he has managed the historic growth of the university and fought for race relations, LGBT issues, and a break in the university’s controversial past. He has opened his door to students and community members alike to voice their concerns and he has always been open to new ideas and ways to improve the university. The students, faculty and alumni of Ole Miss love and respect Dr. Jones and won’t rest until he is reinstated as chancellor.”Contact Clay Chandler at (601) 961-7264 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @claychand on Twitter.