Hayes-Anthony says she wants to be permanent president at Jackson State

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Jackson State University acting president Elayne Hayes-Anthony, Ph.D., said she wants to be a part of the process as Mississippi’s Institutions of Higher Learning makes decisions for the future of the school.

She made those comments Thursday as the IHL went into executive session to discuss personnel matter for the school.

“I am here. I am a Jacksonian. Whatever I need to do to help my university to make things move ahead, I will do that,” Hayes-Anthony said. “Oh yeah, I would like to be the next president.”

Hayes-Anthony is in her new role after Thomas K. Hudson was placed on administrative leave three weeks ago by the IHL and subsequently resigned last week.

Hudson has declined a opportunities to comment since then.

Meanwhile, Hayes-Anthony has been put in the position of leading the HBCU of around 7,000 students through a period of declining enrollment without being able to say how long she will be in this role.

“Whatever the board decides to do, I support them,” Hayes-Anthony said Thursday. “As I have said before. I am going to be here and I am on board for the long term.”

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She said that she has not been told when the IHL will make any announcements regarding a search.

Hayes-Anthony is the seventh president or interim for the university in the past 14 years.

“I will tell you that I am excited about the future,” she said. “We had a town hall meeting (Wednesday) and heard from the community. They wanted to hear from me and are very supportive- of the university. They are also anxiously awaiting the decisions the IHL will make.”

The IHL went into executive session Thursday for the express purpose of dealing with "personnel issues" with Jackson State and Delta State. However, the IHL adjourned immediately after its executive session with no news to report.

In the case of Delta State, it had been expected that the IHL might name a new president after having a separate executive session on Wednesday dealing specifically with DSU.

The IHL removed former president William LaForge, who had served as the president of Delta State since 2013. He departed DSU at the end of June of 2022.

The change was a sudden move by the IHL as LaForge said he wasn’t aware of the idea of change until it had happened.

Butch Caston has served as interim president of DSU since July 31, 2022.

In the case of Jackson State, many had the expectation that the IHL would address how it would move forward in a search to replace Hudson. However, it did not.

This article originally appeared on Mississippi Clarion Ledger: Elayne Hayes-Anthony wants to be permanent president at Jackson State