Office of the President
Office of the President
Dr. Joseph S. Paul began his service as the 11th President of The University of Southern Mississippi on November 1, 2022, after having served in the interim role since July 16th.
A well-known Southern Miss alumnus who previously dedicated 40 years of service to his alma mater as a student affairs administrator, Dr. Paul’s priorities include advancing student recruitment, continuing to re-invigorate student life in a post-pandemic environment, aggressively sharing the Southern Miss story, supporting intercollegiate athletics as a new member of the Sun Belt Conference, and helping to push the University’s $150 million capital campaign over the top.
Dr. Paul holds a Ph.D. in administration of higher education from the University of Alabama and was named the university’s Most Outstanding Doctoral Student in the field in 1985. The Bay St. Louis native earned a bachelor’s degree in communication and political science from USM in 1975, graduating magna cum laude from the University Honors College, and received a master’s degree in communication and management from Southern Miss in 1978. He was inducted into the University of Southern Mississippi Alumni Hall of Fame in 2000.
Beyond his work at Southern Miss, Dr. Paul has presented seminars and training in management and leadership for business, industry and education. He was a senior consultant with The Atlanta Consulting Group, a Fortune Top 50 management consulting firm. Clients Paul has worked with include UPS, RJR Nabisco, Ohio-Edison, Stennis Institute, US Navy, Accenture and Horne CPA Health care group.
Among many civic activities Dr. Paul has served two terms as president of the United Way of Southeast Mississippi. He has served as Board Chairman for the greater Hattiesburg Area Development Foundation and as a Board Trustee for the Mississippi Public Employees Retirement System. He has also been president of the Hattiesburg Area Education Foundation, on the Board of Directors for the Hattiesburg Boys and Girls Club and has been a trustee for the Hattiesburg Public School District. He is co-founder of the Hattiesburg Leadership Pinebelt program and has served on a statewide basis in leadership positions with the Mississippi Economic Council.
Dr. Paul and his wife Meg reside in Hattiesburg, MS and are active members of Trinity Episcopal Church. They have two grown children and two grandsons.