From the Dean

Greetings from the College of Business and Economic Development at Southern Miss!

Dean GilbertWhat is today’s picture of business success? It is among the most important questions we continually consider at The University of Southern Mississippi’s College of Business and Economic Development (CBE). After all, our success is determined by how well we educate Southern Miss students so that they may lead companies and communities not only across south Mississippi, but also to all corners of the state, all regions of the country, and nations around the world.

It is a great time to be part of the Southern Miss family and we are looking to this exciting year ahead. The College of Business and Economic Development continues to accomplish innovative steps in the curriculum, to establish global connections to enhance student abilities, and to positively impact the Gulf South Region. We are redefining our look and focusing on the legacy elements that make USM and the CBE a signature program.

The College of Business and Economic Development launched a new Graduate Certificate in Business Foundations that includes four online classes in accounting, finance, management and marketing. This innovative Graduate Certificate will connect with students in nursing, nonprofit management, and medical technologies among other fields. We also secured waivers of the GMAT entrance exam for students who already have a Master’s degree or, with application, those with five years of managerial experience, and changed the foundation courses for the MBA to accounting, finance and statistics. These innovations connect us to the professionals who want an accredited MBA program provided in person, through hybrid and/or online delivery options. The USM MBA is in Hattiesburg, the Gulf Park campus, and online, which makes courses available throughout the world.

Our students have travelled to Japan, London and Panama for study abroad opportunities. Last year, we hosted two visiting scholars: Dr. Tsien from China and Dr. Lazar from India and infused the curriculum with global applications. Our students also completed applied projects for the Mississippi River Coalition, the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation, and nonprofit organizations throughout the Gulf South and beyond. We added a Certiport Certification Center accessible by our community and targeted to our students. Over thirty students achieved certification in EXCEL, thus reinforcing our focus on engaged learning of the analytics required for success. We are currently providing a course in SAP for management professionals and our finance students continue to master Bloomberg certification.

Thus, we’ve come to a conclusion—a definition of business success that is inspired by our mission and guided by our vision. We believe business success is measured not only in terms of how well you do for yourself but also in terms of how you affect the people in the world around you. We understand that the value of a dollar is multiplied when it is invested well and we know that business can change people, communities and the world for the better. We are committed to guiding the next generation of leaders toward this view of business success.

We’ve hired the best and most innovative faculty, and we’re offering a challenging curriculum that is balanced with applied experiences to connect our programs to real business problems. The truth is, we need partners to help us define success and the world needs us to tell our story well. Our conviction is strong and backed by our integrity, sense of community and determination.

Business can change the world. Southern Miss students and alumni can change the world. At the College of Business and Economic Development, we’re educating men and women to do just that—successfully.


Faye W. Gilbert, Ph.D.