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Released October 29, 2003

By Angela Cutrer and David Tisdale

HATTIESBURG - The process of selecting permanent deans for the colleges of Heath and Education and Psychology is moving forward, as selection committees have met to prepare for the interview process slated to begin early next year.

Dr. Rex Gandy, dean of the Southern Miss College of Science and Technology, and Dr. Elliot Pood, dean of the Southern Miss College of Arts and Letters, are chairing the committees for selection of a dean for the colleges of Health and Education and Psychology, respectively.

"This is one of the finest, most cooperative group of people I've had the pleasure of working with," Pood said of his search committee. "In a very short period of time, we were able to reach a consensus on advertising copy and qualifications (for candidates). The ad is complete and we anticipate it appearing in appropriate professional journals in the next few weeks."

Dr. Gandy said he and his committee are dedicated to finding the "very best College of Health dean that we can recruit. We hope to bring three to four candidates to campus for interviews in the January-February time frame. We hope to have a dean announced by March."

Dr. Joan Exline and Dr. W.L. Pierce have been serving as interim deans of the colleges.

"At Southern Miss, we were fortunate to find such able and engaged colleagues willing to guide these new colleges during this transition," Southern Miss Provost Tim Hudson said. "The decision to start with national searches for each of these dean (positions) is in no way an indictment of the work being done by the current interim deans. Quite the contrary, others and I want to encourage Dr. Exline and Dr. Pierce to become candidates for these positions."

Members of the College of Education and Psychology search committee include the following:

" Dr. Elizabeth Haynes, Library and Information Systems
" Dr. Edward Mann, Technology Education
" Dr. Mitch Berman, Psychology
" Dr. Ann Blackwell, Child and Family Studies
" Dr. Margaret Smith, Educational Leadership and Research
" Dr. Rene Falconer, Curriculum, Instruction, and Special Education
" Susan King, Staff Council representative
" Mary McNeese, Southern Miss Gulf Coast representative
" Patricia Condon, graduate student representative
" Matt Quinn, Student Government Association representative
" State Rep. Mike Lott, community/alumni representative
Members of the College of Health committee members include the following:
" Dr. Amal Khoury, Community Health
" Dr. Bonita Reinert, Nursing
" Dr. Henry Teller, Speech and Hearing
" Dr. Wayne Billon, Nutrition
" Dr. Joyous Bethel, Social Work
" Dr. Ben Velasquez, Human Performance
" Dr. Carol Beck, Medical Technology
" Dr. Patty Anderson, Southern Miss Gulf Coast representative
" Stephen Rey, Recreational Sports, staff representative
" Murugi (Christine) Ndirangu, graduate student representative
" Erin Gilder, undergraduate student representative
" Diane Reidy and Ora Shaheed, community member representatives

Dr. Gandy and Dr. Pood said both of the new deans must have a proven record as an administrator; in promoting excellence in scholarship, teaching and community service; in implementing and supporting diversity initiatives; in successfully establishing community partnerships; and in securing external funding. Applications are expected to be reviewed in early December.

"It is now time to begin the process of filling these important positions on a permanent basis," Dr. Hudson said. "It is our plan to move quickly with this process and to engage as wide an audience as possible."


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April 20, 2004 4:09 PM