Messages from the Provost

  • January 2016
    We are off to a busy start with the beginning of the spring semester! For the first time in many years, Mississippi State University has begun a new semester without Dr. Jerry Gilbert on board. Many of you attended a reception hosted by the President’s Office in Dr. Gilbert’s honor in the Union ballroom prior to the holidays. Those of us remaining in the Provost’s Office, as well as our new addition of Dr. Allison Pearson as Interim Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs, will have to work very hard to meet the standards that were set by Dr. Gilbert. But we also wish him the very best as he takes the reins as President of Marshall University.
     
    Our current enrollment has set a new record for spring enrollments, and we may very well be headed to a new enrollment record for the Fall 2016 semester as well. Certainly we will be happy to see the new classroom building finished so that we will have new classrooms to help us meet the increasing demand for teaching space. In my most recent conversation with one of the architects for this building, I was told that the contractor expects to have the building completed late in the spring semester. For now, we are taking the cautious approach of not scheduling any classes in that building for the fall in case we encounter some unexpected delays. If the building should be completed in time, however, it will certainly be feasible for us to move some classes into the new building.
     
    The Student Success Program continues to have a positive impact on our ability to retain our students. With that said, let me reiterate the importance of taking attendance and reporting it in Banner. That allows programs such as Pathfinders and Student Success to provide some guidance to those students who are accumulating excessive absences. Also remember that you can post progress grades at any time, not just at midterm. Our experience with doing this last fall indicates that more frequent feedback is beneficial to the students and their success in their classes. We ask that you post progress grades at least twice during the semester (February 22 and March 24) in addition to posting final grades (due by noon on May 9).
     
    Also, please remember that we have our Spring General Faculty meeting at 3:00 on Monday, February 1, in Ballroom U of the Colvard Student Union.

    Julia Hodges, Ph.D.
    Interim Provost and Executive Vice President
    Mississippi State University