University of Southern Mississippi President Martha Saunders has appointed Russ Willis Vice President of Administrative Affairs, pending approval by the IHL Board of Trustees.
Willis has served as interim vice president since August 2010. Following approval, his appointment will take effect July 1, 2011. His duties include the overall financial management of the university and its physical plant.
“Russ Willis has been highly regarded as an ‘up and comer’ on campus for some time,” explained Saunders. “He is respected by all who know him and works tirelessly for our University. I am honored to have him on my team.”
Willis is a Pensacola, Fla., native and a 1989 Southern Miss graduate having earned a degree in political science. He also holds a J.D. degree from the University of Florida Levin College of Law. In 1992 he joined the Southern Miss staff working first in Student Affairs then moving to Human Resources as associate director in 1997. He spent eight years as Director of Human Resources before adding the position of interim vice president. The University will conduct a national search for a new Director of Human Resources.
“I am grateful and humbled to be named the Vice President for Administrative Affairs at the University of Southern Mississippi,” declared Willis. “It is a privilege to be able to serve the university in this capacity. As both a student and employee, I have been associated with Southern Miss for more than 25 years, and I have a deep and abiding loyalty and respect for this institution. I look forward to working with President Saunders, executive cabinet, faculty, staff and students in ensuring that the university’s fiscal and human resources, as well as its physical assets, are managed in the most effective way to ensure its success as we embark on our next 100 years.”
Willis will be assisted in his position by Assistant Vice President for Financial Affairs, Allyson Easterwood, and Director of Physical Plant Division, Chris Crenshaw.