Meridian Star

February 8, 2013

Bennett named president of USM

From staff reports
The Meridian Star

MERIDIAN —     The Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning announced the unanimous decision Thursday to name Dr. Rodney Bennett president of the University of Southern Mississippi.

    “I am humbled and honored that the Board of Trustees has selected me to lead this great university,” Bennett said in a news release from IHL. “The University of Southern Mississippi has a rich history as an excellent research institution and a leader in the Gulf South region. I look forward to working with all members of the USM family to build on its history and provide opportunities for all students. I also look forward to working with leaders throughout South Mississippi to help both the university and the region to thrive.”

    Bennett is currently serving as vice president for student affairs at the University of Georgia in Athens.

     “I hope the Southern Miss family will join the Board of Trustees in welcoming Dr. Bennett to our great university,” said Trustee Ed Blakeslee, president of the Board of Trustees. “The university needs a leader who understands the most critical issues facing higher education today and has the experience and skills necessary to address all facets of the university’s mission, including education, research and service. Dr. Bennett’s experience and his commitment to students demonstrate that he is the right person to lead the university at this time.”

    Bennett serves as chair of the UGA Athletic Association NCAA Recertification process, including the institutional self-study. In addition, he was a member of the on-site committee for the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, reviewing compliance areas related to student life and student affairs.

    Bennett holds a Doctor of Education Degree in Educational Administration from Tennessee State University in Nashville, a Specialist in Education Degree and a Master of Education Degree in Educational Administration from Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro, and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Mass Communication from Middle Tennessee State.