University of Arizona President Robert C. Robbins on Tuesday quashed rumors that he is vying with several other candidates to be the next chancellor of the University of Mississippi.
Mississippi Today, a nonprofit online news organization, reported Monday that the Institutions of Higher Learning, which oversees the state’s eight public universities, had whittled down the number of candidates the board of trustees plans to invite for interviews, which are scheduled to occur later this week. The report was based on anonymous sources.
Robbins was listed in the story as one of the eight candidates, but he told the Arizona Daily Star that he isn’t interested in going back to the University of Mississippi, where he got his medical degree and did his general surgical training.
Robbins grew up in rural southern Mississippi and received his bachelor’s degree from Millsaps College in Jackson.
“Contrary to some media reports, I am not a candidate for the position of Chancellor of the University of Mississippi. Moreover, I have not received a formal invitation to interview for the position,” Robbins said. “To paraphrase a famous quote, I shall not and would not seek this position. I love the University of Arizona and firmly believe that our best days are yet to come.”
Robbins is in his third year as UA president. He makes about $1 million a year.
The University of Mississippi is seeking a new chancellor to replace Jeff Vitter, who resigned from the position in January.
Star reporter Joe Ferguson contributed to this story.