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Released April 15, 2004

EXECUTIVE STOCK OPTIONS FOCUS OF BUSINESS PRESENTATION

HATTIESBURG -- The University of Southern Mississippi Department of Economics, Finance and International Business and the Center for Financial Services will host a Boardman Lecture Series presentation on Friday, April 23, at 2 p.m. in Joseph Greene Hall, Room 212. The presenter is Dr. Don Chance, the William H. Wright Endowed Chair for Financial Services at the E. J. Ourso College of Business Administration at Louisiana State University. He will be presenting a paper focusing on the issues behind expensing executive stock options. His topic has been in the news a great deal lately and should be of interest to people in all business disciplines.

Chance was formerly the First Union Professor of Financial Risk Management at the Pamplin College of Business at Virginia Tech. Prior to his academic career, he worked for a large southeastern bank. Chance has published numerous articles in academic and practitioner publications and "An Introduction to Derivatives and Risk Management," recently released in its sixth edition, the new "Analysis of Derivatives for the CFA Program," and "Essays in Derivatives." He currently writes a regular column for the bimonthly "Financial Engineering News" and is on the editorial boards of several journals. He is frequently quoted in the media on matters related to derivatives and risk management as well as financial markets and the economy in general. He holds a doctorate in finance from LSU and is a C.F.A. charterholder.

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ENTREPRENEURSHIP THE FOCUS OF TALK BY SONIC DRIVE-IN CEO

HATTIESBURG-- Buddy McClain, chief executive officer of the McClain/Harvey Sonic Group based in Ridgeland, Miss., will speak about entrepreneurship during a presentation on Tuesday, April 20, at the Southern Miss College of Business and Economic Development. The talk is set for 9:30 a.m. in Joseph Greene Hall, Room 216, and the public is invited. Joining McClain will be Skip Russell, regional director of operations for the Hattiesburg/Laurel DMA, and Southern Miss alumna Joni Rowell, director of marketing. The McClain/Harvey Group owns 80 Sonic drive-ins and employs more than 2,000 people in Mississippi, Alabama, Florida and North Carolina. It is the third largest Sonic franchise group in the United States.

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WLPC HOSTS INAUGURAL COUNCIL MEETING AT GULF PARK

HATTIESBURG -- The University of Southern Mississippi's Workplace Learning and Performance Center (WLPC) hosted its first Advisory Council meeting March 28-29, 2004, at the Gulf Park campus in Long Beach. Founded in 2003, the WLPC is a research and outreach center for best practices in workplace learning and performance. Under the direction of Dr. Cyndi Gaudet, coordinator and associate professor of workforce training and development, the WLPC provides leadership to regional, national, and international organizations to achieve work-related competence through effective workplace learning.

The first WLPC Advisory Council seats an impressive panel of 19 experts from public and private organizations, many world renowned in the field of human capital development. Council members from across the nation traveled to the Southern Miss Gulf Park campus to provide guidance to the WLPC in its academic and research efforts. WLPC academic offerings include an executive format master's program, a certificate program, and research support for the international development doctoral program. WLPC research and outreach efforts include the Geospatial Technology Apprenticeship Program (GTAP), the Geospatial Workforce Development Center (GeoWDC), return-on-investment accountability for training and human resource development programs, and support services for the U.S. affiliate of the Linux Professional Institute. Council members are interested in engaging in a dynamic partnership with the WLPC to integrate their expertise and international contacts with the center.

For further information on the WLPC, visit www.usm.edu/wlpc.

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April 20, 2004 5:35 PM

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