• Applications for Sabbatical Due January 9, 2015
    In order for us to submit our sabbatical recommendations for the coming 2015-16 academic year to IHL for their consideration in early 2015, please forward the appropriate paperwork for faculty seeking sabbaticals to my office by January 9, 2015. 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 Due January 31, 2015
    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, 2015. Deans will set earlier deadlines for their respective colleges.

    Attached file › _ Dist Prof Evaluation Form.doc
  • Honorary Degree Nominations Due January 9, 2015
    TO: Faculty, Staff, and Students

    FROM: Jerome A. Gilbert, Provost and Executive Vice President

    SUBJECT: 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, 2015. 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-five 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 2015 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; and Sebastião Barbosa, an executive administrator in EMBRAPA in Brazil and a champion for fighting global poverty and food insecurity.
  • Academic Affairs to lead admissions, enrollment
    On October 1, the units of Admissions, Scholarships, Enrollment Marketing, Orientation and Events, Student Recruitment, and Financial Aid are all moving to the Division of Academic Affairs from Student Affairs. Dr. John Dickerson will serve as Interim Director of Enrollment after Dr. Phil Bonfanti departs MSU for another opportunity.

    Even though these units will no longer be in Student Affairs, we will continue to work closely with Student Affairs in recruiting, enrolling, and retaining students. Continued enrollment growth will be essential to increasing our net revenue and will enable us to continue our strategic efforts to improve faculty and staff salaries and increase the overall quality and prestige of Mississippi State.

    I thank Dr. Bonfanti for his great service to MSU and wish him the best. I look forward to working with Dr. Dickerson in his interim role and welcome the new units to Academic Affairs.

    Jerry Gilbert
    Provost and Executive Vice President
  • 2015 Grisham Master Teacher Award and the 2015 Alumni Association Teaching Excellence Awards
    NOTICE: The deadline has been extended to October 27, 2014.

    This is a general call for applications for the 2015 Grisham Master Teacher Award and the 2015 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 13, 2014. 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.

    Eligibility Requirements
    • You must be teaching at least one course during either Fall 2014 or Spring 2015 to be eligible for any award, to allow for in-class observation.
    • 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 Excellence 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, applicants 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, etc. Finalists will be observed in actual classes during the Fall 2014 or Spring 2015 semester, and videos of these classes may be used by UIIC members as part of their overall evaluation of candidates. An application cover sheet and instructions may be found at: under the announcements section.

    After careful review, the UIIC will select and announce the winners before the end of the Spring 2015 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. The winner of the Grisham Master Teacher Award will submit a paper copy of the application suitable for display in the Mitchell Memorial Library. Application packets of prior Grisham Master Teacher winners are displayed in the Special Collections section in the Mitchell Memorial Library and may be reviewed by potential award nominees and/or nominators. We encourage nominees who were not selected in previous years to apply again, as each year there are many outstanding candidates for these awards, and many eventual winners do not win in the first year they are nominated.

    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 › 2015 Teaching Awards cover page 8-2014.doc
  • Hodges, Pearson serve as co-interim deans for MSU-Meridian
    Office of Public Affairs News Bureau (662) 325-3442 Contact: Harriet Laird September 05, 2014

    STARKVILLE, Miss.--Julia Hodges and Allison Pearson will serve as co-interim deans for Mississippi State University's Meridian Campus beginning Saturday [Sept. 13].

    The two veteran MSU Starkville Campus employees are filling the vacancy created by the departure this month of MSU-Meridian Dean Steven Brown, who recently was named dean of arts, social sciences and humanities at the University of West Florida.

    "I'm very pleased that Drs. Hodges and Pearson have agreed to take on this very important interim role. They both have tremendous experience in transition leadership and will do an excellent job," said Jerry Gilbert, MSU provost and executive vice president.

    For more than 30 years, Hodges has been an MSU faculty member and now serves as associate vice president for academic affairs in the Office of the Provost and Executive Vice President. In 1997, she was named head of the computer science and engineering department and remained in that role for 12 years before accepting her current position.

    Hodges holds a bachelor's and two master's degrees from Mississippi State and received her doctoral degree in computer science from the University of Louisiana-Lafayette. She is a senior member of the Association for Computing Machinery and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. She also is a member of the IEEE Computer Society and the American Society for Engineering Education.

    A 21-year faculty member at Mississippi State, Pearson currently serves as special assistant to the provost. The William L. Giles Distinguished Professor of Management holds the distinction of "Grisham Master Teacher" at the university and teaches principles of management and production. She also holds the Jim and Julia Rouse Professorship in the College of Business.

    Pearson received her bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Southern Mississippi and earned her doctorate in organizational behavior at Auburn University. She has more than 70 research publications and presentations to her credit and has served in previous university leadership roles as interim co-executive director of academic outreach and continuing education, and as director of the Day One Leadership Community.

    Gilbert said, "These administrators are committed to MSU-Meridian's success."

    In fall of 2015, MSU-Meridian will introduce a kinesiology program with an emphasis in clinical exercise physiology. The new degree program is supported by an $11 million Riley Foundation grant, which also is providing for renovations to the campus' downtown Kress Building and equipment, furnishings and technology.

    Last year, the new Phil Hardin Foundation Library opened at the MSU-Meridian College Park Campus. A $1.25 million gift by this foundation made possible the new 1,860 square-foot facility created through renovation of existing space.

    For more information on MSU-Meridian, visit
  • Faculty Coffee with the Provost
    To: All Faculty

    From: Jerry Gilbert, Provost and Executive Vice President

    Subject: Faculty Coffee with the Provost

    I would like to invite you to join me at the first Faculty Coffee with the Provost on Wednesday, September 24 at 3:00 PM. This is an opportunity for an informal discussion in a small faculty group setting, modeled after the Department Heads Coffee with the Provost meetings. Coffee and light refreshments will be provided.

    To allow for informal discussion, space is limited. Please RSVP to Martha Thomas ( no later than Wednesday, September 17 if you would be interested in attending. Any faculty interested but unable to attend this meeting due to space will be placed on a waiting list for another meeting to be scheduled later in the semester.

    I look forward to visiting with you.