OXFORD, Miss. – Lee Tyner, who has served as university attorney at the University of Mississippi since 2003, has been named the new chief of staff for Chancellor Dan Jones.
When he assumes the position July 1, Tyner will replace Andy Mullins, who retires June 30 after 19 years on the Ole Miss administrative staff. Tyner will retain his responsibilities as the university’s chief legal officer.
“I am pleased that Lee has agreed to take on these new responsibilities as chief of staff,” Chancellor Dan Jones said. “He is a gifted attorney and serves us well as chief legal officer, but he has other skills and insights that are quite valuable. He has a keen ability to analyze problems and help develop solutions in a variety of situations.”
The added responsibilities will provide new challenges and opportunities, Tyner said.
“I am very thankful that the chancellor has the trust and confidence in me that I can help others and help the university,” he said.”I really view myself as a utility player to help the chancellor, others on the leadership team and the university to be successful.”
Tyner said he also looks forward to working more closely with Provost Morris Stocks and Larry Sparks, vice chancellor for administration and finance, in his new role.
“There’s a great leadership team and a great chemistry here, a group of outstanding people who see serving the university as their greatest role,” he said.
A Columbus native, Tyner came to Ole Miss as a Carrier Scholar in 1983. He earned a bachelor’s degree in economics and history before going to Budapest, Hungary, for a year as a field worker for the American Southern Baptist Church.
While in Hungary, Tyner decided to pursue a law degree, so he enrolled at the University of Virginia School of Law after returning to the U.S. He worked six years as a litigation attorney for Butler Snow in Jackson upon completing his degree and then returned to Oxford in 1998 to work for then-University Attorney Mary Ann Connell. He became university attorney when Connell retired in 2003.
Among his other duties, Tyner has helped overhaul the university’s alcohol policies as part of the Alcohol Task Force in 2006-07, assisted the chancellor with transitions in the Department of Athletics last year and helped lead the University Communications division on an interim basis in 2011. As special assistant to the chancellor for external affairs, he has worked with Jones to align efforts of the university’s alumni, communications, government relations and development operations since 2011.
Tyner stays connected to students by teaching honors sections of business law and communications law. He hopes to be able to continue teaching at least a course or two a year.
“I really like teaching,” he said. “It keeps me connected to the core mission of the university, and I like getting to know the students. Students really make my experience richer here at the university.”
An elder at Christ Presbyterian Church in Oxford, Tyner has been involved in establishing congregations in Memphis and Ridgeland. He also remains active in local and overseas missions.
He and his wife, Susan, have five children.