Robert Conrad Khayat was the 15th Chancellor of the University of Mississippi. He was appointed in 1995. Khayat, a former student of the University of Mississippi, is the only Chancellor of the university to be a member of the Student Hall of Fame there. He has B.A. and J.D. degrees from the University of Mississippi and a LL.M. degree from Yale University. Khayat played American football in the National Football League as a kicker for the Washington Redskins.
In one of his first acts as chancellor, Dr. Khayat arranged for a $5.4 million gift from Jim and Sally Barksdale to establish an honors college at the university.
In 1996, with enrollment declining, Chancellor Khayat retained the public relations firm, Burson-Marsteller, to conduct a survey of public perception – including university symbols. When The New York Times reported on the review, which included the Confederate Flag and other Old South symbols, a media frenzy ensued.
On January 6, 2009, Dr. Khayat announced his retirement effective June 30, 2009. He was succeeded by Dr. Daniel “Dan” Jones on June 15, 2009. Chancellor Khayat’s memoir, The Education of a Lifetime, was published on September 10, 2013.