Robert Khayat served as the 15th Chancellor of the University of Mississippi from 1995 until 2009. He is a former College Football All-Star, All-Pro Kicker for the Washington Redskins, law professor and President of the NCAA Foundation.
An Academic All-American football and baseball player at Ole Miss, Chancellor Khayat has degrees from Ole Miss and Yale. He has received the NFL Lifetime Achievement Award and the National Football Foundation Distinguished American Award.
Under Dr. Khayat’s leadership, the University of Mississippi experienced a renaissance. Enrollment increased by 43.6 % (minority enrollment increased 78.5%). Operating budgets grew from $500 million to over $1.5 billion. Financial aid for students grew from $16.5 million to $138.5 million. The number of National Merit Finalists in the freshman class more than doubled. The endowment grew from $114.3 million to $472.4 million. Research and development grants topped $100 million each of the last eight years of Dr. Khayat’s tenure. The university produced its 24th and 25th Rhodes scholars. It also produced five Truman, eight Goldwater and six Fulbright scholars, plus one Marshall and one Udall scholar. Ole Miss also received the Grand Award for the country’s best-maintained campus from a national landscaping society.
Innovative and meaningful programs such as the Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College, the Croft Institute for International Studies, the Trent Lott Leadership Institute, the William Winter Institute for Racial Reconciliation, the Jackson Heart Study and others pumped new life into the University. The University was selected to shelter a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa and was named 23rd among the nation’s public universities. Dr. Khayat’s administration orchestrated and hosted the first Presidential Debate between Senators Obama and McCain. Recently, the University was ranked in the top ten places to work in higher education.
Dr. Khayat serves on the Sanderson Farms Board of Directors and the Freedom Forum Foundation Board. He and his wife Margaret live in Oxford. They have two children, Margaret and Robert and three grandchildren.
His memoir, The Education of a Lifetime (Nautilus Publishing), will be released on September 15, 2013.