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Released August 16, 2005

Long Beach A recently retired administrator with the Ocean Springs School District has been selected to lead The University of Southern Mississippi’s Gulf Coast campus and teaching sites.

Dr. Patricia Joachim will assume duties as Southern Miss associate provost for the Gulf Coast, effective immediately, serving a two-year interim appointment. A national search for a permanent replacement will be conducted at a later date.

“I’m very excited about her coming out of retirement to take this position,” said Southern Miss Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Jay Grimes. “Dr. Joachim is well-respected. The business community thinks highly of her, and educators admire her for her leadership and dedication. She’ll do a wonderful job working with all of our constituents on the Gulf Coast.”

As associate provost, Dr. Joachim is responsible for academic affairs on the coast campus and teaching sites, which include the Gulf Park campus in Long Beach, the Gulf Coast Research Laboratory, the Stennis Space Center and the Jackson County campus. Southern Miss also provides educational opportunities at Keesler Air Force Base in Biloxi and a public outreach center at the Scott Aquarium.

In addition to serving as coordinator of Programs for Educational Leadership and Research at USMGC, she also has 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. Most recently, Dr. Joachim was the assistant superintendent of personnel with the Ocean Springs School District. Both chairing and serving on several review teams, Dr. Joachim has a wealth of experience with accreditation issues involving the Southern Association of Schools and Colleges (SACS).

“This is an exciting time for us on the Gulf Coast with great opportunities for growth,” Dr. Joachim said. “Educationally, Southern Miss definitely wants to be a pioneer rather than a follower.”

Along with increasing student enrollment on the coast, Dr. Joachim said other goals include expanding partnerships between the university and businesses in the southern part of the state.

“I’ll work hard to make sure as a dual campus we have a seamless operation in which students have the same curriculum and quality of education on all campuses,” she said.

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 Coast campus in 1993 and a bachelor’s degree in elementary education in 1976 from Southern Miss.

For more information, contact the Office of the Provost at (601) 266-5002.


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August 16, 2005 2:25 PM