• Honorary Degree Nominations
    Nominations for honorary doctoral degrees to be awarded by Mississippi State at the spring commencement ceremony are being accepted until January 9, 2016. Nominations, including supporting materials, should be sent to the Honorary Degree Committee in care of the Office of the Provost and Executive Vice President.

    The Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning authorized state universities to begin awarding the degrees in 1999 and generally allows each institution to give up to two each year. Mississippi State has awarded twenty-seven honorary degrees since then.

    Under IHL guidelines, persons eligible for the doctor of laws, doctor of science, doctor of humane letters, doctor of creative and performing arts, or doctor of public service must have demonstrated nationally recognized sustained achievement in scholarship, public service, creative and performing arts, or professional activity. Faculty, staff, and administrators of the university and elected or appointed public officials are ineligible for an honorary degree until one year after leaving their position. Candidates for public office also are ineligible.

    Those who are eligible to submit nominations are MSU faculty, staff, students, and alumni. All information that nominators wish to present to the Honorary Degree Committee should be provided along with the nomination by the January 9 deadline. The Honorary Degree Committee will evaluate nominations, develop additional information about nominees, and verify information submitted. The committee will recommend to the President candidates for degrees to be presented at May 2016 commencement ceremonies. The state College Board must approve honorary degrees at least two months prior to their announcement. Names of nominees will be kept confidential until they are approved.

    Prior recipients of honorary degrees at Mississippi State are John H. Bryan, Jr., former chairman of the board and chief executive officer of Sara Lee Corp.; Leo W. Seal, Jr., chairman and CEO of Hancock Bank in Gulfport; Harry Charles F. Simrall, dean of engineering at Mississippi State until his retirement in 1978; Dave C. Swalm, retired petroleum products company owner; G.V. "Sonny" Montgomery, former 3rd District congressman from Meridian; Hunter Henry, retired Dow Chemical Co. executive; Bobby Martin, president of The Peoples Bank in Ripley; Jack Cristil, radio play‑by‑play announcer for MSU football and basketball games for more than 50 years; Charles B. Cliett, head emeritus of the aerospace engineering department; Hartley D. Peavey, owner and chief executive officer of Peavey Electronics in Meridian; James Worth Bagley, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Lam Research Corporation; Will D. Carpenter, retired Vice President and General Manager, New Products Division, Monsanto Company; Myrna Colley‑Lee, acclaimed theatrical designer; William G. Riley, Meridian physician and philanthropist; Fred E. Carl, Jr., founder of the Viking Range Corp; Richard C. Adkerson, president and chief executive officer of Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold, Inc.; Bobby S. Shackouls, retired chairman, president, and CEO of Burlington Resources, Inc.; Earnest W. “Earnie” Deavenport, retired head of Eastman Chemical Co.; Richard Holmes, the first African American student to attend Mississippi State who went on to hold a distinguished career in medicine; Robert B. Deen, Jr., a founding member of The Phil Hardin Foundation and The Riley Foundation; James L. Flanagan, distinguished electrical engineer and National Medal of Science winner who made significant contributions to the field of digital communications technology; the Honorable William F. Winter, former governor of Mississippi; Robert V. M. Harrison, architect who was instrumental in establishing MSU’s architecture academic program; Ertharin Cousin, executive director of the United Nations World Food Programme; Sebastião Barbosa, an executive administrator in EMBRAPA in Brazil and a champion for fighting global poverty and food insecurity; Charles W. “Tex” Ritter, former president and CEO of Attala Mills in Kosciusko; and Tommy E. Dulaney, founder of Structural Steel Services Inc. in Meridian.
  • Applications for Sabbatical Due January 9, 2016
    In order for us to submit our sabbatical recommendations for the coming 2016-17 academic year to IHL for their consideration in early 2016, please forward the appropriate paperwork for faculty seeking sabbaticals to the provost office by January 9, 2016. This will allow us to include their names on the IHL Board agenda.

    Sabbaticals are an opportunity for faculty members to expand their expertise in teaching, research, or outreach. This is a privilege and, as such, should be well-documented and justified in order to be given full consideration for possible approval.

    IHL Board of Trustees Policy 408.03 dictates that no more than 4% of the faculty should be on sabbatical at any given time. Although this does not restrict numbers in any given department, please keep in mind that having more than one person on sabbatical leave in a single unit could present logistical challenges.

    Please remind those wishing to take a Sabbatical that a report of their activities during Sabbatical should be forthcoming to the Office of the Provost and Executive Vice President immediately upon return.
  • Nominations for William L. Giles Distinguished Professors
    TO: Deans and Department Heads
    FROM: Jerome A. Gilbert,Provost and Executive Vice President

    It is time to begin preparing nominations for faculty whom you wish to be considered for selection as William L. Giles Distinguished Professors. The criteria for nomination and selection appear in AOP 13.02. The format for recommending faculty for distinguished professor should be the same as that used for promotion.

    For your information, a checklist used by the Distinguished Professors Review Committee is attached to this announcement. The deadline for nominations and supporting material to be in the Office of the Provost and Executive Vice President is January 31, 2016. Deans will be set earlier deadlines for their respective colleges.

    Attached file › Distinguished_Professor_Evaluation_Form.doc
  • 2016 Grisham Master Teacher Award and the 2016 Alumni Association Awards
    This is a general call for applications for the 2016 Grisham Master Teacher Award and the 2016 Alumni Association Teaching Excellence Awards. Interested faculty must submit an electronic application in PDF form to the Office of the Provost and Executive Vice President (e-mail by October 16, 2015. All current full-time faculty members at Mississippi State University with the required years of service, regardless of rank, are eligible to apply for these awards. Late applications will not be accepted.

    Eligibility Requirements:
    • You must be teaching at least one course during either Fall 2015 or Spring 2016 to allow for in-class observation, which is required to be eligible for any award.
    • To be eligible for the Grisham award, applicants must have at least 7 years of experience at MSU teaching primarily undergraduates.
    • To be eligible for the Alumni Association Early Career Undergraduate Teaching Excel-lence Award, applicants must have 3 to 6 years of experience at MSU teaching primarily undergraduates.
    • To be eligible for the Alumni Association Graduate Teaching Excellence Award, appli-cants must have a minimum of 3 years of experience at MSU teaching primarily graduate students.

    Applicants will be evaluated on criteria such as: engagement of students in learning, assessment of teaching and learning, clarity and organization of teaching, variety of teaching methods, enthusiasm, scholarship of teaching, and neatness of the application. Finalists will be observed in actual classes during the Fall 2015 or Spring 2016 semester. An application cover sheet may be found below.

    After careful review, the UIIC will select and announce the winners before the end of the Spring 2016 semester. Strongest consideration will be given to those applicants who carefully follow the application packet requirements and succeed in clearly documenting and demonstrating their mastery of outstanding teaching. Application packets of prior Grisham Master Teacher winners are displayed in the Special Collections section in the Mitchell Memorial Library and may be re-viewed by potential award nominees and/or nominators.

    We are deeply grateful to Mr. and Mrs. John Grisham and to the Mississippi State University Alumni Association for their longstanding support of these highly prestigious teaching awards.

    Attached file › 2016 Teaching Awards cover page_form.pdf
  • New Attendance Tracking System
    To: Faculty, Instructors of Record, and Departmental Users
    From: Dr. Jerome A Gilbert, Provost and Executive Vice President

    As has been communicated in the past, student attendance is a strong predictor of success in the classroom. In order to offer more options for faculty to report student attendance, Information Technology Services (ITS) has developed a new attendance tracking system that will become operational on August 11. The new system will provide features not available in the current absence reporting system including:
    . Tracks attendance for each class meeting date
    . Records attendance detail including present, unexcused absence, excused absence, or late
    . Available to instructors of record and departmental users
    . Works with or without attendance scanning hardware

    If you decide you prefer the current absence reporting system, you can still use it. At the beginning of a new term, you will need to designate for each of your course sections whether you will use the new attendance tracking system or the old absence reporting system.

    Overview sessions will be held to provide faculty and others general information on the upcoming changes to attendance tracking and absence reporting. Faculty are encouraged to attend an overview session to learn more about the features of the new system. If you decide to use the new attendance tracking system, then I also encourage you to attend one of the hands-on training sessions. These sessions will give more in-depth training and experience in using the system.

    ITS has scheduled several overview and hands-on sessions for you to attend at your convenience. A complete listing of these sessions is available at: Registration is not required to attend an overview session, although seating is limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis. You can register for the hands-on training sessions at:

    The new system will go live on August 11, thus we encourage you to attend one of the overview sessions and, ideally, a hands-on training session.
    We are excited about the new attendance tracking system and the opportunities the system will provide in tracking student attendance. If you have questions or concerns, please contact the ITS Help Desk at 662-325-0631, toll free at 888-398-6394, or by email to If you require special assistance relating to a disability to attend one of these events, please contact Steve Parrott at 325-7790.
  • Syllabus Template (new Title IX requirement)
    We have a new syllabus template for faculty to follow when creating a syllabus for future semesters. It can be found on the website of The Center for Teaching and Learning.

    Also attached is a copy of the document.

    New to this template is the requirement that we place a Title IX statement at the bottom. There is also a requirement that there be a reference to the Honor Code and Student Support Services. Please alert other faculty to the fact that a Title IX statement must appear on future syllabi.

    Thank you for your assistance with this matter.


    Jerry Gilbert
    Provost and Executive Vice President

    Attached file › Syllabus Template Final Draft REVJan 2015.docx