FACULTY HANDBOOK

II. ADMINISTRATIVE ORGANIZATION


A. Board of Trustees

The Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning consists of twelve members who, according to a constitutional amendment of 1944, are nominated by the Governor and confirmed by the Senate. Each Governor appoints four members who serve for twelve years. The Board has general supervision of the affairs of all the public senior institutions of higher learning. By policy, it contracts with all teaching personnel and heads of budget units for their services.

The Board elects one of its members president and one vice president for one year or until successors are named. The Board appoints a non-member as Commissioner of Higher Education. Other office personnel of the Board are appointed by the Commissioner upon the approval of the Board.

By statute, the Board is required to hold two regular meetings annually, one in June and the other in January. It holds as many special meetings as are necessary. Usually, the Board meets each month in Jackson on the third Thursday; as a general rule, official meetings of the Board are open.

Further information concerning policies of the Board can be found in the By-laws and Policies, Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning, State of Mississippi (continually revised). The Board office is located in the Education and Research Center, 3825 Ridgewood Road, Jackson, Mississippi 39211, phone 601-432-6972.

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B. The President

The President of Mississippi State University is the sole agent of the Board of Trustees on the campus. Full authority to manage the institution is conferred upon the President, in accordance with policies and procedures established by the Board and with certain laws specifically applicable to the institution. In conferring full authority, the Board requires full responsibility; the President alone reports to the Board; and, in turn delegates limited and specific authority to several administrative officials, each with responsibility commensurate with the delegated authority. The President's specific responsibilities include financial management of the institution; the physical plant and real property; recruiting, contracting with, and supervising all personnel; recruitment, admission, and instruction of all students; and relationships with people or units outside the institution. All functions of the University as it conducts teaching, research, and services are the President's responsibilities.

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C. Other Senior Administrative Positions

Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs

The Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs is responsible for leading and administering the academic programs of the university. The Provost prepares, allocates, and administers the academic budgets; administers all academic personnel procedures, including affirmative action, recruitment, appointment, retention, and promotion and tenure; provides leadership for deans, directors, faculty, and support staff to meet stated goals; encourages faculty research and scholarly activities; ensures that academic procedures preserve academic freedom; manages academic facilities and support services, including the Library; Information Technology Services; Registrar's Office; the University Academic Advising Center; the Office of Planning, Evaluation, and Institutional Effectiveness; Career Services; the Honors Program; and the Summer Developmental Program. In the absence of the President, the provost serves as the chief executive officer of the university.

Vice President for Agriculture, Forestry and Veterinary Medicine

The Vice President for Agriculture, Forestry and Veterinary Medicine is responsible for providing administrative leadership and coordination of the units making up the division of Agriculture, Forestry, and Veterinary Medicine: the Forest and Wildlife Research Center, Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station, Mississippi State University Extension Service, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, College of Forest Resources, and College of Veterinary Medicine. Responsibilities for instructional programs are shared with the Vice President for Academic Affairs.

Vice President for Development and Alumni

The Vice President for External Affairs is primarily responsible for coordinating the operations and activities of the MSU Foundation, Alumni Affairs, University Relations, and the University Television Center. The primary function of these units is to influence alumni, friends, opinion leaders and the general public concerning the value of the contributions of the university to the State of Mississippi and beyond, and to raise private financial support. The Vice President also plans, coordinates, and monitors efforts to promote the interests of the university in the public sector and to secure private funds, ensuring that university programs are matched and coordinated with sources of private funds most appropriate to meet these needs. The university golf course, university aircraft operations, and WMSV campus radio station also report to the Vice President for External Affairs.

Vice President for Research and Economic Development

The Vice President for Research and Economic Development has administrative responsibility for research and externally sponsored activities in the academic division of the University, including the School of Architecture and the Colleges of Arts and Sciences, Business and Industry, Education, and Engineering, as well as biomedical research activities in the College of Veterinary Medicine. All activities concerned with the development and coordination of basic and applied research are coordinated under the Vice President and include formally organized research centers and institutes, as well as individual faculty research. The Vice President supervises and administers operation of university level centers and institutes, the Mississippi State Chemical Laboratory, the Office of Sponsored Programs Administration, Regulatory Compliance, Facility Security, and Intellectual Property and Technology Licensing.

Vice President for Student Affairs

The Vice President for Student Affairs is in charge of planning, implementing, and administering services to meet students' out-of-class needs and providing programs to help students develop psychologically, emotionally, physically, and intellectually. The vice president supervises and administers the Division of Student Affairs; establishes the philosophy and the tone for the operation of the Division and determines, in consultation of other professionals, the areas of emphasis, administrative style, educational focus, organizational structure, and programs and services to be provided for students.

Chief Administrative Officer

The Chief Administrative Officer of the University is responsible for providing administrative leadership and coordination of the units making up Administrative Affairs. The Chief Administrative Officer is responsible for fiscal planning and the development of budgets for support services, human resources management, the operation and maintenance of the physical plant, custodial services, campus landscape, the university laundry/cleaners, dining services, and university-owned faculty and staff housing.

Chief Budget and Financial Officer

The Chief Budget and Financial Officer of the University is responsible for providing administrative leadership and coordination of the units making up the Office of Budget and Finance. The business and financial functions of the university are centralized in the Office of Budget and Finance, which is responsible for receiving, managing, and disbursing funds from all sources; and for fiscal planning and the development of budgets for the university. The Chief Budget and Financial Officer is also responsible for fiscal planning and the development of budgets for the office of the controller and treasurer; accounts payable and travel; property control and receiving; procurement and contracts; and printing services, mail services, and office supply.

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D. Administrative Councils

The President is advised and assisted in administering the affairs of the University by these principal committees:

  1. The Administrative Council

    The Administrative Council is chaired by the President and consists of the Vice Presidents, the Chief Budget and Financial Officer, the Chief Administrative Officer, the college Deans, Directors of MSU-ES and MAFES, the Athletic Director, the Chair of the Faculty Senate, the Chair of the Staff Council, the President of the Student Association, the Associate Provost, Associate Provost for Information Services, Assistant Vice President for Academic Affairs, and University Counsel. The official function of the council is to "advise the president on matters which he presents to it" and "act with the consent of the president on matters brought before it."

  2. The Executive Council

    The Executive Council is chaired by the President consists of the Vice Presidents, the Chief Budget and Financial Officer, the Chief Administrative Officer, the Athletic Director, the Chair of the Faculty Senate, the Chair of the Staff Council, and the President of the Student Association. It also has a non-voting staff consisting of the University Counsel, the Director of Planning, Evaluation, and Institutional Effectiveness, and the assistants to the President. Minutes of the council are on-line at http://msuinfo.ur.msstate.edu/~farrisj/exec/.

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E. Academic and Research Councils

1. The Academic Council
The Academic Council, chaired by the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, advises the Provost on academic policies and procedures and serves as a communication link with major university offices. Members of the Council include the Associate Vice Provosts and the Assistant Vice President for Academic Affairs, all academic deans and directors, and other invited University administrators whose offices directly affect, or are affected by, academic regulations and decisions.

2. The Academic Deans Council
The Academic Deans Council provides leadership in establishing academic policies and procedures, in making decisions about academic programs, and in recommending new degree programs. This body participates in developing long-range plans for the University. The Academic Deans Council is chaired by the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, and includes the Associate Provosts and Assistant Vice President for Academic Affairs, the deans of the schools and colleges, the Dean of Continuing Education, the Dean of University Libraries, the Dean of the Meridian Campus, the Vice Chair of the Robert Holland Faculty Senate, and the Vice President of the Student Association.

3. The Associate Deans and Directors Council
The Associate Deans and Directors Council recommends academic policies and operational procedures to the Academic Deans Council and implements approved policies and decisions. The Associate Deans and Directors Council consists of the Associate Provost, who serves as chair, Associate Provost for Information Technology, the Vice President for Academic Affairs, an associate or assistant dean (or designated representative) from each school, college, or division, as assigned by the appropriate dean, and all directors of units that report to Academic Affairs. Other persons may be invited to attend as resource persons.

4. The Graduate Council
The Graduate Council is the executive committee of the Graduate Faculty and is responsible for the formulation of academic policy and programs related to graduate study at Mississippi State University. In addition, the Council may advise the college deans on any matter they or the deans feel is appropriate. The Chairperson of the Graduate Council is elected from the membership for a renewable one-year term.

The Council is composed of one elected member from each of the academic colleges or schools offering graduate study (programs), and one less in number appointed by the Provost. Not more than two appointed faculty members may be from the same college or school. To be eligible for membership on the council, members must have Level 1 status on the Graduate Faculty. The term of office is three years. Vacancies on the Council are filled in the same manner in which the member vacating the position was selected.

In addition to the faculty, the Council has one graduate student representative who is usually the president of the Graduate Student Association and is appointed for a one-year term.

Ex officio members of the Graduate Council include the Director of Graduate Studies, the Vice President for Research, the Dean of University Libraries, the Dean of Continuing Education, the Associate Provost, the Graduate Studies Manager, the Associate Director of Admissions, and the Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs.

5. The Research Council

The Research Council, chaired by the Vice President for Research, advises the President on research policies and procedures and acts on routine research matters. Members of the Council include Directors of research in each academic college, Directors of major research units, representatives of the Faculty Senate and Student Association, and other University administrators whose offices directly affect, or are affected by, research regulations and decisions.

6. The Research Directors Council
Composed of representatives of research units that report to the vice president for research. Considers operational matters pertaining to research. This committee reports to the Vice President for Research.

7. The Research Operations Council
Considers appropriate research development strategies and daily operation of the university research program. Serves as a research planning group. This committee reports to the Vice President for Research.

8. The Council on International Affairs
The Council on International Affairs advises the Provost on policy matters dealing with international education. Members of the Council include the International Student Advisor, directors and coordinators of units significantly involved in international activities, and representatives of various colleges and divisions

9. The Academic Department Heads' Executive Committee
The Academic Department Heads' Executive Committee advises the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs on issues affecting academic department heads. It also plans and coordinates the activities which seek to improve the performance of academic department heads and serves as a liaison with all academic departments.

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F. Standing Committees

Each fall the Standing Committees listing is published on the university website at http://www.ur.msstate.edu/standing2/ announcing appointments of faculty, staff, and students to the university's system of over 70 standing committees. Committee appointments, which begin in August, typically are for terms of not more than three years, although successive appointments may be made. The website displays the year in which an individual's appointment to a particular committee expires. Individuals whose university titles are given in lieu of an expiration date serve on that committee by virtue of their position or special expertise, and are appointed for indefinite terms.

The Committee on Committees receives nominations and suggestions for committee membership from committee chairs and from the campus at large. It is composed of the university Vice Presidents, Chief Financial and Budget Officer, Chief Administrative Officer, Student Association representative, Athletic Director, chairs of the Faculty Senate and Staff Council, the Assistant to the President, who serves as secretary, and the Special Assistant to the President, who serves as chair. Announcements requesting nominations are published in the MSU Memo in the spring. Care is taken to ensure balance in committee assignments among colleges, schools, and administrative offices and among the different academic ranks and staff classifications, and to ensure the appropriate committee representation of women, minorities, and students.

Most of the committees serve as advisory bodies. Ad hoc committees are appointed during the year as the need arises.

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G. Nonacademic Personnel

Nonacademic divisions of the University are generally organized in ways similar to the organization of the academic subdivisions, with departmental heads in charge. The heads, subject to the approval of their superiors, are responsible for hiring personnel and for supervising their performance. The organizational chart of the University shows how the nonacademic departments relate to the President.

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H. Organizational Chart