Former UMMC Vice Chancellor, Dr. James Keeton wells with emotion when he talks about Ole Miss Chancellor Dan Jones.
"Hell of a guy. I'm not happy and he's a hell of a physician and great integrity." said Keeton.
Keeton says when Jones became Vice Chancellor of the Medical Center in 2003, he made leadership changes that improved the delivery of healthcare and its reputation.
"I can tell you ten years ago, you wouldn't be in this room. You wouldn't care. You wouldn't have this many people sitting here caring about us. You care about us now because we're damn important." said Keeton.
Keeton says, in 2003, the medical center had a half a billion dollar budget. It's now, 1.5 billion. College Board Member Alan Perry, who voted not to renew Jones' contract says an audit noted a lack of oversight of contracts and not seeking board approval for those over 250,000 dollars.
"What we are talking about is inefficiency and ineffectiveness, and I would think that it needed a different structure that's more responsible to the business realities of the day." said Perry.
Keeton says the audit didn't find fraud, but paper record keeping was the problem. He explained they've spent million of dollars creating an office to electronically manage contracts. Keeton says, he hopes Jones' contract is renewed.
"I would hope that this issue could be resolved soon than later. We need to move on. There are too many good things that have to be done both in Oxford and here in Jackson, and I would like to see resolution of this issue soon." said Keeton.
Keeton officially retired March first and is working part-time as a distinguished professor. Dr. LouAnne Woodward is the new Vice Chancellor at the medical center.