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Office of the Provost

Dean Search: College of Nursing and Health Professions

Asbury Hall


The University of Southern Mississippi
Hattiesburg, Mississippi
Dean, College of Nursing and Health Professions


The University of Southern Mississippi (USM) is seeking a visionary leader to serve as its next Dean of the College of Nursing and Health Professions. This dean will lead a growing college and an accomplished faculty and become a member of a progressive, collegial academic leadership team. The university, deeply committed to student success and research excellence, is located in one of the Gulf South’s most livable cities. 

The College of Nursing and Health Professions seeks to prepare graduates at the baccalaureate, masters, and doctoral levels of education who are ready to advance the professions of nursing, public health, athletic training, kinesiotherapy, therapeutic recreation, and speech and hearing sciences. The next Dean will play an integral role in ensuring the college’s mission of enhancing the health and well-being of the people of the state of Mississippi. The successful candidate will assume leadership of a successful college housed in a new premier state-of-the-art 81,000 square foot facility that will accommodate future growth of its programs.



  1.  Position Specification
  2.  About the University
  3.  Mission, Vision & Values
  4.  Institutional Strategic Goals
  5.  University Leadership
  6.  About the College
  7.  Responsibilities of the Position
  8.  Qualifications
  9.  About the Community
  10.  Application Procedure



Founded in 1910, The University of Southern Mississippi is a comprehensive doctoral and research-driven university with a proud history and a promising future. In just 100 years, USM has grown from a small teachers’ college into a premier research university. USM takes pride in being classified by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching as an R1 Research University (“very high research activity”) among doctorate-granting universities and has an annual external funding portfolio of approximately $70 million.

USM combines innovation, diversity and inspiration to provide a rich, dynamic educational environment fostering student success. USM has a diverse student body of approximately 15,000 students from all 50 states and 70 foreign countries, and more than 180 undergraduate and graduate degree programs across four degree-granting colleges (Arts and Sciences, Business and Economic Development, Education and Human Sciences, and Nursing and Health Professions). USM also boasts the sixth oldest public Honors College in the nation.

As a dual-campus university, USM serves students on campuses in Hattiesburg and Long Beach. The Hattiesburg campus sits on 300 acres in the heart of the Pine Belt. More than 180 buildings dot a landscape that has been transformed into a pedestrian-friendly environment for students, employees and visitors. On the Gulf coast, the Gulf Park campus’ main location is in Long Beach, with beachfront views sitting among historic oak trees. The Gulf Park campus also offers several additional teaching and research sites bringing higher education to the three coastal counties of Mississippi. Also, as the state’s designated marine research university, USM operates one of the largest coastal and ocean research enterprises in the Gulf and is poised for further growth on the coast. See

Southern Miss participates at the NCAA’s Division I level in 17 sports. The Golden Eagle football team has won five Conference USA Championships and appeared in bowl games in each of the last three seasons, including the 2017 Independence Bowl. The baseball team has captured the last two Conference USA regular season championships and two of the last three tournament titles, hosting its second regional in school history in 2017. The softball team recently captured the Conference USA West Division Championship, and the men’s and women’s basketball teams are regular participants in postseason play. 

Lucas Administration Building



The University of Southern Mississippi is a community of engaged citizens, operating as a public, student-centered, doctoral-granting research university serving Mississippi, the nation, and the world. The University is dedicated to scholarship and learning, integrating students at all levels in the creation and application of knowledge through excellence in teaching, research, creative activities, outreach, and service. The University nurtures student success by providing distinctive and competitive educational programs embedded in a welcoming environment, preparing a diverse student population to embark on meaningful life endeavors. 


The University of Southern Mississippi aspires to be a model student-centered public research university that prepares students to thrive in a global society by providing high-quality programs and transformative experiences in a community distinguished by inclusiveness.


The mission of the institution is supported by the following values:

  • research and instructional excellence focused on student success at all teaching Southern Miss Rose Gardensites and through campus-based and distance education
  • student engagement that fosters personal growth, professional development, and a lifelong commitment to wellness
  • an inclusive community that embraces the diversity of people and ideas
  • institutional governance that respects academic freedom and faculty inclusion
  • a campus culture characterized by warmth and mutually supportive connections among students, faculty, staff, and alumni
  • an approach to academics, research, and personal conduct based on integrity and civility
  • an evolving curriculum that fosters lifelong curiosity and critical thinking
  • community participation that promotes social responsibility and citizenship



  • support student success to foster retention, progression, and graduation
  • promote excellence in teaching, research, and creative excellence
  • strategically expand undergraduate and graduate enrollment
  • strengthen economic and community partnerships
  • invest in faculty and staff to maximize their potential
  • promote a culture of inclusiveness of people and ideas
  • enhance physical, technological, and financial infrastructure to support the University’s mission, vision, and values
  • improve efficiency and effectiveness of institutional processes and systems



Rodney D. Bennett serves as the chief executive officer and principal educational officer of The University of Southern Mississippi. Under his leadership, the University has invested in new faculty positions, expanded coastal operations, and worked to increase access to quality education and research programs to serve the needs of the state of Mississippi and beyond.

President Bennett’s vision is for The University of Southern Mississippi to become the model for public higher education across the country. His key institutional priorities include improving quality across the board while ensuring student success, expanding enrollment strategies, enhancing academic instruction, fostering greater focus on research, bolstering economic and community partnerships, and maximizing human potential.

Steven R. Moser is the Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs at The University of Southern Mississippi. The provost is charged with the oversight of The University of Southern Mississippi’s graduate and undergraduate academic programs as well as curriculum development, program assessment, and university accreditation. Under his leadership, the university has expanded and enhanced its student success focus and initiatives. He is also responsible for leading the formulation and implementation of university-wide academic affairs policies related to faculty hiring, retention, tenure, promotion, and development. Since his appointment, Provost Moser has overseen the restructuring of admission and retention programming at the university, and in 2016 he began a university-wide dialogue to restructure academic units under the Plan for Academic Reorganization: Vision 2020. The academic reorganization, a bold plan that will foster operational efficiency and intellectual collaboration, is in its second year of implementation.



LoftyWith programs offered in Hattiesburg and Long Beach, the College of Nursing and Health Professions has, for over five decades, provided quality educational programs. The College of Nursing and Health Professions nursing programs are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) and approved by the Board of Trustees of Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning. The nurse anesthesia program is also accredited by the Council on Accreditation (COA) of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs. The College of Nursing and Health Professions bachelor's program in education of the deaf is accredited by the Council on Education of the Deaf. The master's degree program in speech-language pathology and the doctoral program in audiology are accredited by the Council on Academic Accreditation of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, and they are recognized by the Council on Post-Secondary Accreditation and the United States Office of Education. The College of Nursing and Health Professions athletic training program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE) and the kinesiotherapy program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP). The Master of Public Health (MPH) program is accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health.

The College of Nursing and Health Professions’ administrators and faculty are visionary and committed to preparing its graduates to practice safely and compassionately. Modes of instructions for delivery of programs include online, hybrid, traditional and executive formats, to meet the needs of students and provide accessibility for higher education. In the fall of 2019, the College of Nursing and Health Professions’ enrollment totaled 2,308 students which included 1937 undergraduate and 371 graduate students taught by approximately 70 full-time faculty members.

The college, recently reconfigured under the university’s bold academic reorganization, Vision 2020, consists of the Schools of Health Professions, Leadership and Advanced Nursing Practice, Professional Nursing Practice, and Speech and Hearing Sciences.


The College of Nursing and Health Professions at the University of Southern Mississippi is an engaged interdisciplinary community of diverse students, staff, faculty, and external partners dedicated to excellence in research, teaching, and service. Through innovative and evidence-based practices, the College creates an educational environment that supports student success and prepares highly qualified professionals to improve health at the local, state, national and global levels.


The College of Nursing and Health Professions aspires to be recognized for excellence in advancing health through exemplary academic programs, interdisciplinary research, and the quality of graduates.

Strategic Goals and Initiatives

  1. Cultivate an environment for student success
  2. Deliver quality academic programs
  3. Strategically grow our presence 
  4. Enrich community and clinical partnerships 
  5. Enhance the quantity and quality of research and scholarship

The College of Nursing and Health Professions currently admits students to the following undergraduate and graduate programs:





As the senior academic and administrative officer of the College, the Dean is responsible for all matters related to academic leadership and administration, including curriculum, budgeting, facilities, external development, faculty, staff and students. The Dean works closely with the Provost to provide strategic vision and operational leadership for all aspects of the College. The following are among the most important responsibilities of the Dean:

  • Promote an understanding, both internally and externally, of the College, its purposes, and objectives
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the functioning of a multi-campus university
  • Guide the College of Nursing and Health Professions in conjunction with the University’s strategic plan
  • Facilitate high quality, relevant, and innovative curricula
  • Provide mentorship to faculty, staff and students
  • Promote undergraduate and graduate research, scholarship, and service among the faculty
  • Enhance the undergraduate research experience by promoting and supporting student-faculty research collaborations through the Drapeau Center for Undergraduate Research Center
  • Promote student learning and retention through quality recruiting, counseling, internships, advising, and placement
  • Promote collaboration between university and medical communities to facilitate development of educational curricula to be relevant to job market needs and national trends
  • Foster new partnerships and existing relationships, and articulate a vision that generates investment and support from the community, private donors, and alumni



The successful candidate will hold a terminal research degree in nursing with academic credentials commensurate with an appointment at the rank of Full Professor. In addition, it is preferred that candidates possess the following skills and characteristics:

  • The ability to attain a license to practice nursing in Mississippi (as mandated by the state Institutions of Higher Learning)
  • At least five years of academic administrative experience working with undergraduate and graduate nursing programs
  • At least two years of clinical experience
  • Experience or familiarity with health-related disciplines
  • Experience or familiarity with accreditation processes
  • Experience with curriculum development and assessment, including online course delivery, engaged learning, simulation, and use of instructional technology
  • The ability to build upon strengths to help realign mission and relevance in the region
  • Experience promoting the growth of research and scholarship in the faculty
  • The financial acumen to aid the University in matching aspirations with available resources to move the college forward
  • Evidence of promoting diversity amongst faculty, administration, staff, and students
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills
  • Commitment to leading in a shared governance environment
  • A working knowledge of national trends in nursing education, health professions education, and higher education
  • Previous experience or familiarity with private and public fundraising



The City of Hattiesburg’s population is around 52,000, while the Hattiesburg Metropolitan Statistical Area has a population of about 150,000. Hattiesburg blends a college-town atmosphere with an upscale entertainment district downtown and numerous outdoor, recreational, research, and educational amenities. Indeed, Hattiesburg (known as the Hub City) serves as a “hub” of shopping, dining, and entertainment for smaller communities in the southeast area of the state. Hattiesburg is also a medical hub for the Pine Belt region; three comprehensive medical centers complement numerous physician and specialty medical facilities.

Hattiesburg is also a military hub, with Camp Shelby (the largest reserve component training site in the country) nearby. Keesler Air Force is just east of the Gulf Park campus. And Southern Miss, with its Center for Military Veterans, Service Members and Families, is nationally recognized as the top Military Caring University in Mississippi and has earned designation as a Purple Heart Institution. In addition, USM is a Military Times Top-20 “Best for Vets” academic institution. USM academic research on military issues predominates in programs such as the School of Humanities’ Dale Center for the Study of War and Society.

In addition, Hattiesburg has a thriving arts community that complements University arts events with numerous venues for live music that continue a rich history of blues and rock. Through the University’s Arts Institute of Mississippi, the campus community collaborates with arts organizations in the city and throughout the state to enrich cultural offerings in Mississippi.

The Midtown Hattiesburg district adjacent to campus has been designed as “a walkable, workable, mixed use community that connects people to living, shopping, dining, entertaining, educational, medical, cultural, and recreational venues.” An upscale hotel, shops, and restaurants have just opened and created a highly successful, sustainable, and thriving neighborhood just steps from the Hattiesburg campus.

Town Square Park, HattiesburgThe public-school systems in the greater Hattiesburg area rank among the best in Mississippi. Outdoor and recreational facilities are similarly outstanding. With its mild climate and its proximity to New Orleans and the Gulf Coast, Hattiesburg is a singularly “liveable” community. Indeed, the city has been recognized by numerous publications and rankings as a retirement destination because of the area's amenities, low cost of living, and comprehensive health care services.

For more information about Hattiesburg, visit and the Chamber of Commerce at



Application Procedure: The screening committee will begin accepting applications and nominations immediately and will begin reviewing applications January 15, 2020 (priority deadline), continuing until the position is filled. Questions and nominations should be directed to Dr. Maureen Ryan, chair of the screening committee, at 601-266-4905 or at Maureen.RyanFREEMississippi. Applicants should submit a letter of interest, complete curriculum vita, and contact information for at least five references through the Southern Miss website at


As an Affirmative Action/Equal Employment Opportunity employer/Americans with Disabilities Act institution, The University of Southern Mississippi encourages minorities, women, veterans and persons with disabilities to apply.


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