A periodic update for faculty from President Robert H. "Doc" Foglesong
April 24, 2007
Budgeting for Next Year
We presented our budget proposal for 2007-08 to Commissioner of Higher Education Tom Meredith and the IHL Board of Trustees last week, outlining the three-tier approach I shared with you earlier. We are committed to funding as much of the plan as possible, although it has not been determined what our share of state appropriations will be. Our level of state funding, in turn, will help determine the size of a likely tuition increase. The anticipated merit pay raises for faculty and staff averaging 5% appear to be on track, although we don't yet have IHL approval for the increases.
As noted previously, our approach to the coming year's budget includes: Tier 1 - merit pay raises averaging 5% for faculty and staff; Tier 2 - new faculty positions, start up packages for faculty research, library resources, recruiting and retention, and faculty development; Tier 3, more new faculty positions, more start up packages for research, repair and renovation, and marketing.
Vice Presidents Named
As you may have read in today's papers, we have recommended to the Board of Trustees candidates for Vice President for Development and Alumni and Vice President for Research and Economic Development.
Following a successful round of interviews with faculty, staff, alumni and other constituent groups, we will recommend next month that John Rush be named Vice President for Development and Alumni. John has been director of major gifts at MSU since 2004 and a campus fund raiser since 1997. We appreciate the work of Bill Kibler and a search committee of faculty, staff, students and alumni in identifying candidates for the position.
Dr. Kirk Schulz will be recommended to the Board of Trustees to assume, on a permanent basis, the role of Vice President for Research and Economic Development. Thanks to provost Peter Rabideau and the search committee that identified candidates for this position.
African-American Studies Program
Unfortunately, the individual who twice agree to accept the position as director of African-American Studies had a last minute change of heart. We will renew the search.
The Board of Trustees last week authorized us to award the honorary Doctor of Creative Arts to Myrna Colley-Lee of Charleston and the honorary Doctor of Science to Dr. William G. Riley of Meridian during upcoming commencement ceremonies. Ms. Colley-Lee is a nationally acclaimed theatrical costume designer and an enthusiastic supporter of the arts in her adopted state, including service on the Mississippi Arts Commission. Last year, her papers and numerous costume creations were donated to the MSU Libraries. Dr. Riley is a Lauderdale County physician and philanthropist. He and his brother Richard led in creating the Riley Foundation, which was a major benefactor in creating the MSU Riley Center for Education and Performing Arts in downtown Meridian.
Two husband-and-wife teams of distinguished MSU graduates will give the commencement addresses on the main campus on May 4 and 5. Gray and Mary Swoope of Madison will speak at the 7 p.m. ceremony on May 4 and Mark and Rhonda Keenum of Alexandria, Va., will be featured at the 10 a.m. program on May 5. Gray Swoope is executive director of the Mississippi Development Authority, and Mary Swoope is a veteran educator and is now a real estate agent.
Mark Keenum is former chief of staff to Sen. Thad Cochran and a current Under Secretary of Agriculture. Rhonda Keenum until recently was director of the White House Office of Public Liaison and deputy assistant to the president and is now a founding partner of The WIT Group, a Washington, D.C., public affairs firm.
Almost 1,000 degrees will be awarded at each of the main campus ceremonies, while 137 students are scheduled to graduate at the Meridian Campus and 54 degrees will be presented in the separate College of Veterinary Medicine ceremony. Our 27 Bachelor's degree candidates with 4.0 GPAs, our speakers, the honorary degree recipients, and their guests will be honored at a pre-commencement dinner on May 4.
With our first Maymester session set to begin May 11, enrollment as of this week is a respectable 922, and students continue to register. By comparison, our final Winter Intersession attracted 162 students.
Enrollment updateApplications and admissions continue to be ahead of last year's rate. It is too early for precise predictions, but we are optimistic about a healthy increase for fall 2007.
The President's Commission on the Status of Women presented its annual outstanding women awards to Dr. Jacquelyn Deeds, Outstanding Faculty Woman; Alison Buehler, Outstanding Community Woman; Ruth Prescott, Outstanding Executive, Administrative, Managerial Woman; Ruth Ann Brooks, Outstanding Service Maintenance Woman; Yamilka Baez-Rivera, Outstanding Graduate Woman; Lauren Springer, Jan Batchelder Memorial Outstanding Undergraduate Woman; Betsy Jones, Outstanding Non-Faculty Woman; and Gloria Blankenship, Bettye Douglas Memorial Outstanding Secretarial/Clerical Woman.
Dr. William A. Hay, assistant professor of history, recently co-edited a book entitled Is There Still a West? The Future of the Atlantic Alliance. Dr. Hay also is a Senior Fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute in Philadelphia, Pa.
Dr. Philip Bushby was named the Marcia Lane Endowed Professor in Humane Ethics and Animal Welfare, which is the first endowed professorship in the College of Veterinary Medicine.
Michael Patilla, assistant professor of music and classical guitarist, is receiving a Fulbright Scholar Award to teach guitar for four months at the National Autonomous University in Tegucigalpa, Honduras.
Dr. Robert Damm, associate professor of music education, has just received a service award from the Mississippi Art Alliance for Education.
Alan Marcus, history professor and department head, recently wrote "The Future is Now: Science and Technology in America since 1950," a book about the evolution of America's science and technology policies, with Amy Sue Bix, an associate professor of history at Iowa State.
Dr. Sarah A. Rajala, head of electrical and computer engineering, is to receive the American Society for Engineering Education ECE Division Educator of the Year Award and become Fellow of the ASEE.
NSF CAREER Awards have been won by Dr. Keith Walters, assistant professor of mechanical engineering, and Dr. Adrienne Minerick, assistant professor of chemical engineering.
Dr. Alicia M. Beatty, assistant professor of chemistry, recently received an NSF CAREER Award.
Dr. Scott Willard, interim department head, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, received the Young Animal Scientist Award in Research from the Southern Regional American Society of Animal Sciences.
Drs. Wanda Cheek and Phyllis Miller, associate professors in the School of Human Sciences, received the Fulbright-Hays Scholarship for their work entitled the Fabric of Indian Life in Delhi, India from December 2006 to January 2007.
Dr. Raja Reddy, research professor in Plant and Soil Sciences, was named a Fellow in the Crop Science Society of America.
Dr. Nancy Reichert, interim department head, Biological Sciences, was named a Fellow in the Society for In-vitro Biology.
Sheran Watkins, 4-H Youth Agent in Harrison County, received the 2006 National Association of 4-H Agents Air Force Aim High Award.
Dr. Stephen Grado, professor of forestry, has been elected as a Fellow of the American Society of Foresters.
Dr. Darren Hudson, professor of agricultural economics, was one of three educators nationally named to the initial class as a Farm Foundation Fellow.
The MSU Extension Service Distance Education Program recently won two national awards and a state award, including an Award of Excellence from the American Distance Education Consortium, the best practices Bronze Award from the U.S. Distance Learning Association, and the second place Best Practices in Technology Award from the Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning.
Faculty and staff members who are Asian Pacific Islanders will be honored at a May 1 reception to mark Asian Pacific American Heritage Month. Everyone is invited to the event at the John Grisham Room of Mitchell Memorial Library, 2-4 p.m. Asian Pacific Islanders who have worked at MSU for 25 years or more will be recognized.
Faculty members in the College of Art, Architecture and Design have received recent honors. Professor Anijo Mathew won the Architectural Research Centers Consortium New Researcher of the Year Award. Professor Beth Miller received the 2006 Educator Medalist of the American Society for Interior Designers. Dr. David C Lewis, Dr. Rachel McCann and Professor Waanda Dye are Co- Recipients of the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture Creative Achievement Award. Professor David Perkes, Director of the School of Architecture Gulf Coast Community Design Studio, received a Design Award of Merit from the American Institute of Architects. Two prizes, the "Second Award" and the "Loew-Cornell Award," were awarded to Professor Brent Funderburk, whose work was submitted to the 38th Annual Spring Competitive Exhibition of the Visual Arts League in Denton, Texas. A Silver Award was awarded Professor Jamie Mixon's submission to the 2006 American Design Awards' International Design competition; she also received a Silver and Bronze at the 2006 International Summit Creative Awards Design Competition.
Dr. Louis R. D'Abramo, professor of wildlife and fisheries, received a meritorious award from the National Shellfisheries Association. Dr. Debbie Gaddis, associate extension professor forestry, is the Mississippi Wildlife Federation's Forest Conservationist of the Year. Dr. Tor P. Schultz, professor of forest products, is a new fellow of the American Chemical Society's Cellulose and Renewable Materials Division. Dr. Tim Traugott, professor of forestry, received the outstanding service award of the Mississippi Society of American Foresters and was named Extension Forester of the Year by the Forest Landowners Association.
Be Careful Out There
Since the semester is winding down and many of you will be leaving campus for research, travel, or other activities before the next issue of STATE-GRAM appears (when we have more definite budget news), let me take this opportunity to wish you a productive and safe summer—with an emphasis on keeping safe.