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Released June 25, 2004

By Angela Cutrer

HATTIESBURG -- Carl Russell "Rusty" Postlewate has been named director of physical plant operations and Russell Willis has been named director of human resources at The University of Southern Mississippi.

Postlewate, 58, a native of Hot Springs, Ark., said he's excited about joining the Southern Miss family. "It's great to be coming back (to the South) after a lot of time overseas," he said. He and his wife, Margie, have traveled the world, and their three daughters were each born in a foreign country - one in Japan, one in Morocco, and one in Korea.

"The people in the South are one of the nicest things about (the area)," he said. "When you've been around and have seen a lot of folks - the courteous nature of the people of the South (stands out). Everyone treats each other so nicely and it's a great place to live and work."

Postlewate has a bachelor's in industrial engineering from the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville and a master's in systems management from the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. He is currently associate vice president for facilities management at Oakland University in Rochester, Mich., where he is responsible for the leadership, strategic planning and administration direction for all facilities management of the university complex. The 1,500-acre campus supports more than 16,000 students.

Postlewate has also served as director of engineering and technical services for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in San Francisco and Atlanta, where he directed the functions of planning, engineering, construction, operations and real estate through district offices to provide support to facility managers in a five-state area with a total operating budget average of $200 to $400 million a year.

He has also been employed as director of facilities, engineering and housing at the European headquarters of the United States Army in Germany. In this position, he was responsible for the functions of master planning, maintenance, repair, capital improvement and operation of facilities and utility systems. He supervised 80 technical and management personnel in a program serving more than 8,000 personnel, performing facilities management for the physical plant at more than 300 locations throughout Europe, with a total annual facilities and housing budget of nearly $1 billion.

Before that, he was deputy chief and chief of engineering and construction for the Corps of Engineers overseas and in Tulsa, Okla., and Savannah, Ga. In this capacity, he provided direct planning, engineering, design and construction managing services to facility managers at campuses and installations in the United States and overseas. He also held the position of deputy director of facilities management, chief of the engineering division and chief of the engineer resource management division at military installations at Ft. Harrison, Ind., Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas and in Korea. These leadership positions involved managing the spectrum of activities involving the planning, maintenance and operation of the physical plant of an installation with an education function.

Postlewate is a registered professional engineer in Wisconsin and is a member of the Michigan Association of Higher Education Facilities Officers and the Society of American Military Engineers, where he has held the position of post president and regional president and was awarded the President's Medal and honored as a Society Fellow.

Postlewate's plans for The University of Southern Mississippi include making sure service is the number one priority. "The overriding idea is to make sure we provide responsive, quality service to the campus community," he said. "That's the main thing - we are going to try to do that in the most cost-effective way we can. We are going to look at the processes we are using and the methodologies to see if there are more cost-effective ways to do that, but the main goal is to provide quality service, because without that, low cost doesn't matter."

Postlewate and his Texan wife are glad to be heading toward home; two of the Postlewates' daughters are living in Georgia and Florida, though the youngest will stay in Michigan one more year to finish nursing school.

"Our families are all down there (in the South)," Postlewate said. "We've lived in a lot of beautiful places in the world, but there's just no place in world like the United States, and no better place than the South. A lot of folks can't appreciate how nice it really is, but when you've been other places, you know."

Postlewate assumes his duties July 12.

Willis, 37, has been at Southern Miss since 1992; first in admissions and recruitment, and then as associate director of human resources. A native of Pensacola, Fla., where his family still resides, Willis has a bachelor's degree from Southern Miss in political science and a juris doctorate from the University of Florida.

"I'm thrilled to be the director of human resources because this is truly a wonderful university and I'm glad to be here," Willis said. "I see the good, hard-working people here who have dedication to the university and it's a good place to be in to see that dedication. You get to help people who want to be a part of it."


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July 6, 2004 12:34 PM