On Thursday, Ole Miss announced that athletics director Ross Bjork was named the school’s vice chancellor for intercollegiate athletics, while also receiving a contract extension through June 30, 2020.
Bjork’s extension was agreed upon this summer. His promotion was approved Thursday by the Board of Trustees of the State Institutions for Higher Learning. Bjork’s new contract reaches the four-year maximum allowed by the state.
“The success of our athletics program is unprecedented and is directly attributable to Ross’ leadership,” Ole Miss chancellor Jeffrey Vitter said in a release. “Naming him as the vice chancellor for intercollegiate athletics will continue that momentum. I expect under Ross’ leadership that athletics will continue to be an integral part of our growth and increased visibility.”
Ole Miss also noted that it is the fifth SEC school to give its AD the designation of vice chancellor, which involves a more all-encompassing role.
“The idea is that this puts the AD at the table with the provost and other academic leaders on campus on a regular basis,” said Ron Rychlak, Ole Miss professor of law and faculty athletics representative, said in a release. “That facilitates communication between athletics and academics, which is good for all parts of the university.”
Since Bjork arrived to Ole Miss in 2012, the athletics budget has increased from $57 million to $105.5 million for the 2016-17 season.