The IHL is the governing body that sees over all public universities in Mississippi. They have a 12 member board that votes on items such as contracts just like any other town has.
Here is a quote of the reason behind the non-extension vote in a statement from the Commissioner of the IHL Dr. Jim Borsig:
"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."
Previous Ole Miss Chancellor Robert Khayat - while I didn't think did THAT great of a job (see any Ole Miss athletics post prior to Pete Boone going bye-bye and anything banned while he was there) - is wise in his own rights. When it came to education, Khayat did put Ole Miss on the map in such. He helped made Ole Miss look like a 5-star hotel with all of its plants to add to the already in place charm to make Ole Miss worth coming to and getting the best students over to Oxford.
While he admits he knew at best an understanding as to what the UMMC does, he knows firing Jones is a huge mistake based as to why. Here is his quote in his guest column to The Clarion-Ledger:
Since the Board press release laid the decision on "concerns about the Medical Center" it may be helpful if I provide a little information on that subject. When I appointed — and the IHL Board approved — (Jones') appointment as Vice Chancellor for Medical Affairs and Dean of the School of Medicine, he confronted great challenges in the UMMC Hospital. The physical facilities, morale, and the reputation of the Center were in dire need of improvement. Dan immediately selected a management team, a new director of the hospital, and led a change in the culture from acceptance of mediocrity (or worse) to aspirations to become excellent and nationally respected. From the financial difficulties and quality of health care and research he inherited, he and his team changed the culture, balanced the books, became profitable, and sailed through at least two independent audits ordered by the Board.
The truth is that former Commissioner Hank Bounds (now moved to Nebraska) and then Vice Chancellor Jones disagreed about management of the Medical Center. (Bounds), an Education major did not have the background and experience to begin to understand the Medical Center. And to be fair I must tell you that not a single Chancellor, including me, other than Dan Jones ever fully understood the intricacies of the operation of the complex world of medicine. I spent one day a week at UMMC for fourteen years and have, at best, a superficial understanding of the Center. Dr. Jones is the only Chancellor in my lifetime who understands the medical center. And the Medical Center prospered under his leadership.
Perhaps this evil deed — clearly motived by personal and/or political reasons and not on performance — will prompt someone in a leadership position to initiate a move to transform the current dysfunctional and wasteful IHL system and authorize each university to have its own board.
Jones had a hand in hiring current Ole Miss Athletic Director Ross Bjork and hired Hugh Freeze, the current Ole Miss Football coach. Remember Pete Boone was AD when the hire was made and Boone wished not to make a decision when he (was forced to) retired from the job.
Bjork has since in turn hired Matt Insell who has just seen their first postseason tournament (and currently still) in the WNIT in the third round. Bjork has since of course done a tremendous job turning around an athletics program that participated in the first "New Year's Six" bowls of the College Football Playoff, has seen Andy Kennedy go to two NCAA Tournaments, the first two since 2002, saw Mike Bianco go to Omaha for the first time since 1972, witnessed OHS alum Sam Kendricks win two NCAA Pole Vaulting titles, and watched the rise in other programs as well such as Ole Miss Women's Soccer.
In turn of the success of the Ole Miss Athletics program, it has seen a rise in popularity and of course that means more air time for Ole Miss in the national spotlight. Going to national tournaments and postseasons will do that. Ole Miss arguably has one of the consistent "Big 3" programs right now in the nation. The Rebels are the only team to have made a "New Year's" Bowl, made it to Omaha, and made the NCAA Tournament. Pretty hard to top.
And all this was started because of Dan Jones (and a little help from the peanut gallery).
It should be worth noting the IHL voted during the same session to renew the contracts of the Chancellors at Southern Mississippi, Delta State, and Jackson State. Interesting enough, the IHL had nice long articles on their website as to what those three had accomplished while saying nothing as to why Dan Jones was basically fired. You can find these articles here:
It's a shame that such a small economical reason at the UMMC is the reason why Jones won't be at Ole Miss come next Fall. But just like Khayat said, personal and politics get in the way - and far too often. Similar to how I felt two years ago when Jamie Perkins was basically fired after he had just won the 5A State Championship in Boys Soccer was for not being a "Yes, man" - it wasn't because of OHS because obviously he did a great job and did what was best for the kids, it was because of outside politics like what this firing appears to be.