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USM welcomes back Dr. John “Bret” Becton as Dean of the College of Business and Economic Development

Thu, 08/01/2019 - 15:08pm | By: Kendra Ablaza

Dr. Bret Becton, Dean of the College of Business and Economic Development

Dr. John “Bret” Becton has been selected as the new dean of The University of Southern Mississippi’s College of Business and Economic Development. He officially began his work on July 1.

Becton was previously the dean of the B.I. Moody III College of Business Administration at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. Before taking on a dean and professor role at UL Lafayette, he was an associate dean for operations and accreditation at USM’s former College of Business, now the College of Business and Economic Development, from 2014 to 2017, and a faculty member within USM’s School of Management, beginning in 2008.

Provost Steven Moser said Becton is an exceptional leader who has demonstrated all the attributes of a great dean over his last two years at UL Lafayette.

“I look forward to working with Dr. Becton as we leverage the many opportunities we at Southern Miss have for expanding our profile and adding value for our stakeholders in South Mississippi and across the region,” Moser said.

Becton anticipates nurturing the College's engagement with the regional business community by expanding USM’s entrepreneurship and economic development activities. He also aims to enhance the University’s national reputation through high-impact scholarly activity and innovative academic programs that provide students with real-world experiences and credentials. 

"I am honored to be the next dean of the College of Business and Economic Development at The University of Southern Mississippi,” Becton said. “Southern Miss is a very special place, and I am excited about the opportunity to work with the dedicated faculty, staff, alumni and supporters as the College becomes a national leader in business education.”

Becton has a Ph.D. in Management with a dual emphasis on HRM/Organizational Change from Auburn University, a master’s degree in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from the University of Tulsa, and a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from The University of Southern Mississippi.