University of Southern Mississippi President Martha Saunders announced today that Dr. Pat Joachim is retiring as associate provost after leading the university’s Gulf Coast operations for more than four years.
Her retirement is effective June 30, 2010. A national search for a successor will begin in January.
“This university owes a huge debt of thanks to Dr. Joachim. She came to us at a time when we were most in need and fought with all her strength to re-open a devastated campus,” said Saunders. “Her success in that endeavor saved the educational plans of hundreds of students. I shall miss her optimism, her persistence, and her tireless professionalism and wish her a long and happy retirement.”
Dr. Joachim received her doctorate in educational leadership in 1998 from Southern Miss. She also earned a master’s degree in administration and supervision at the Gulf Park campus in 1993 and a bachelor’s degree in elementary education in 1976 from Southern Miss.
In addition to having served as coordinator of programs for Educational Leadership and Research at Southern Miss Gulf Coast from 1999 to 2001, Joachim had extensive administrative experience in education within the Gulf Coast’s school districts. Before serving as principal at Central Elementary School in Gulfport, she was assistant principal at Fernwood Junior High School in Biloxi. Joachim was also the assistant superintendent of personnel with the Ocean Springs School District.
Joachim returned to Southern Miss on Aug. 22, 2005, just one week before Hurricane Katrina devastated the university’s Gulf Coast operations. While overseeing their reopening in just six weeks after the storm, Joachim has since continued to guide restoration of the campus and teaching site facilities.
Enrollment has also continued to rise under her leadership with 3,066 students this fall, the largest in Southern Miss Gulf Coast history.
Joachim has provided leadership for the Cross Creek Master Planning Committee as Southern Miss prepares to expands educational opportunities for the region with a new campus at Cross Creek, along the I-10 corridor in Harrison County.
“I am grateful to have what I view as a capstone career experience,” said Joachim. “I have shared the excitement of tremendous growth at Southern Miss Gulf Coast with people who have the same passion for higher education. Giving back to my alma mater, a university that prepared me so well for my careers in education, has been rewarding.”
The search committee for Dr. Joachim’s replacement will be chaired by Dr. Joe Paul, vice president for Student Affairs. This process will include listening sessions on the coast and in Hattiesburg to gather input from stakeholders.
Dr. Pat Joachim
The University of Southern Mississippi, founded in 1910, is a comprehensive doctoral and research-extensive university fulfilling its mission of being a leading university in engaging and empowering individuals to transform lives and communities. In a tradition of leadership for student development, Southern Miss is educating a 21st century work force providing intellectual capital, cultural enrichment and innovation to Mississippi and the world. Southern Miss is located in Hattiesburg, Miss., with an additional campus and teaching and research sites on the Mississippi Gulf Coast; further information is found at www.usm.edu.
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