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Released August 5, 2003

SOUTHERN MISS ESTABLISHES AFFILIATE RELATIONSHIP
WITH OPEN SOURCE SOFTWARE INSTITUTE

HATTIESBURG - The University of Southern Mississippi announced today that it has formed an affiliate relationship with the Open Source Software Institute (OSSI), a nonprofit organization that promotes the development of software technologies within academic and government entities.

To initiate the relationship, OSSI has relocated its administrative offices to Southern Miss' Hattiesburg campus from its former location in Oxford.

"We are delighted to establish a close working relationship with The University of Southern Mississippi," OSSI founder and chairman John Weathersby Jr. said. "We believe that by affiliating with Southern Miss, we will benefit not only from access to the university's broad range of academic assets, but from our association with its administrative leadership."

A nonprofit (501 c 6) organization composed of corporate, government and academic representatives, OSSI was established to serve as a forum for the exchange of information and promotion of ideals embodied in open-source software.

OSSI serves as a facilitator and coordinator of R&D projects, systems and application evaluation and development and academic studies regarding technical, policy, economic/market and legal aspects of open-source software.

"Open Source is a 'must know' for producing cutting edge research graduates," said Dr. Angeline G. Dvorak, Southern Miss' vice president for Research and Economic Development. "This affiliation positions our university to provide greater opportunities for students and faculty, and to build a network of open source application companies who partner with Southern Miss."

Weathersby said Southern Miss' "outstanding reputation as a research university" was one of the primary reasons for the establishment of the affiliation. He added: "But what really got our attention is Southern Miss' experience at transcending research programs into successful development and implementation programs. The prime example is its polymer research program. We want to build a similar enterprise with our open-source software technologies."

Southern Miss President Dr. Shelby Thames said the affiliation with OSSI is another step toward realizing the university's goal of becoming an integral partner to business and industry. "Our affiliation with OSSI is a further example of how workforce development can lead to technological development, which in turn leads to economic development." Thames said.

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April 20, 2004 4:09 PM

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