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Ole Miss Chancellor: Campus Preparing For Debate As Planned

This story was written by Nicole Spinuzzi, Daily Mississippian

The University of Mississippi is prepared for a debate on Friday despite presidential candidate John McCains request to postpone it.

Chancellor Robert Khayat issued a statement at approximately 3:30 p.m. in which he stated that the university has received no notification of any change in the timing or venue of the debate and therefore is proceeding as planned.

"We are ready to host the debate, and we will proceed as planned," Khayat said. "We have been notified by the Commission on Presidential Debates that we are proceeding as scheduled."

Andy Harper, special assistant to the chancellor for media relations, said he believes that this is a political ploy and the debate will go on. However, whether the Presidential Debate Commission decides to postpone the debate or continue on with it Friday, the university is prepared.

Were prepared for a debate, we work with the campaign on the debate commissions, thats our job, Harper said. We work this with them. Any of these decisions are up to the debate commission. Were working as hard as we can to make this the best debate we can.

Harper said the university has not been contacted from representatives on either Sen. Barack Obamas side or McCains.

Until the university is further instructed to postpone the event, they are continuing on as planned.

Were paying close attention to all that, but in the end it doesnt change our mission, he said. Were less then 48 hours away and were just making sure the campus is ready, the Ford Center is ready. Were continuing our events. It doesnt change any of our preparation.

Harper said he cautions everyone to be slow to react until an official decision is made and will be surprised if anything significant changes.

Gloria Kellum, vice chancellor for media relations, told Fox News that plans are moving forward despite the breaking news.

The commission is moving forward just like we are, Kellum said. Were going to have a debate and were ready for it to come.

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