A President's University Council consisting of faculty, staff and
students will be created at The University of Southern Mississippi
before the end of the spring semester. The idea for the newly created
council came from a meeting between President Shelby Thames and the
deans of the five academic colleges.
them for their suggestions about how we could improve communication
across every facet of our campus and gather new and innovative ideas
that can be implemented to make our university stronger," Thames
The deans proposed
a structure for the council, along with the purpose for its creation.
of the council will be asked to share information and provide input
to the president that will help move the university forward and
foster communication across all groups," said Dr. Rex Gandy,
dean of the College of Science and Technology.
will not be a governing body and will not replace the Faculty Senate,
Student Government Association or the Staff Council.
the proposed President's Council is a step in the right direction,"
said College of Business and Economic Development Dean Harold Doty.
"Clearly, we are a campus that will benefit from better communication
among faculty, staff, students and administrators. This council
can play an important role in facilitating those communications."
solicit nominations from their faculty, staff and students. Representatives
will also be chosen from the Gulf Park campus. From the pool of
nominees, the deans will select one representative from each group,
giving the council a total membership of 18 people. To ensure fair
representation of both graduate and undergraduate students, the
deans decided that the College of Arts and Letters, the College
of Science and Technology and College of Business and Economic Development
will be represented by undergraduate students while the College
of Health, College of Education and Psychology and the Gulf Park
Campus will be represented by graduate students.
Dr. Joan Exline,
interim dean of the College of Health, said, "This is a time
to heal and move forward. This council creates an opportunity for
all constituencies (faculty, staff and students) to sit at one table
and talk with the president about how to do that."
Pood, dean of the College of Arts and Letters, said that he felt
it is important to begin taking steps, "even small steps,"
to begin rebuilding trust and communication between all elements
of the university. "This is a good first step," Pood said.
it's important to get this group rolling as soon as possible,"
said Dr. Willie Pierce, dean of the College of Education and Psychology.
"I think the potential of this group of people is limitless
and will be of great assistance to Dr. Thames and the entire institution."
The first meeting of the council will take place at 10 a.m. on Wednesday,
appreciate the time, thought and planning the deans took to create
this idea," Thames said. "I wholeheartedly embrace the
deans' proposal and look forward to working with this group of faculty,
staff and students in advancing our university." I believe
this is one of the first steps toward moving our university past
the issues of the last few months.