STARKVILLE , Miss.--A veteran Mississippi State faculty member and administrator is being named provost and executive vice president at the 132-year-old land-grant institution, pending approval of the Board of Trustees, state Institutions of Higher Learning.
Jerome A. Gilbert, a 21-year MSU faculty member who has served since 2004 as associate provost, was selected following a national search during which five finalists were interviewed by an on-campus committee, as well as faculty, staff, and students, said President Mark Keenum.
"I spent considerable time with each candidate, and when the process was complete, Dr. Gilbert stood out as the strongest candidate.
"I am confident he will be a strong and visionary leader for our university," Keenum added.
The provost is the second-ranking administrative officer at the university and serves as chief academic officer. As executive vice president, Gilbert also will assist the president with the overall management of the university and serve as institutional liaison in his absence.
The Jackson native holds a 1977 bachelor's degree from MSU and a 1982 doctorate from Duke University.
He joined the agricultural and biological engineering faculty at Mississippi State in 1988 and served for eight years as the department head. While in the department, he established the university's graduate program in biomedical engineering.
His research has focused on bone modeling, orthopedic biomechanics, osteoporosis modeling, and biocompatibility of biomaterials. Both the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation have funded his research projects.
Gilbert is a charter member of the Institute of Biological Engineering, and in 2008 was named an inaugural Fellow in recognition of his professional contributions in the field. In 2007, he also was designated a Fellow by the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering, an organization representing 75,000 bioengineers worldwide.
He has been selected multiple times for the Bagley College of Engineering Hearin-Hess Distinguished Professorship. He also was recognized in the first distinguished faculty class of the University's Shackouls Honors College.
During his tenure as associate provost, he was instrumental in developing intensive month-long academic sessions following fall and spring semester; developing a common freshman reading experience, Maroon Edition; and developing an intervention program for at-risk students, among other accomplishments.
Active in the local community, Gilbert is a co-founder of the Starkville Foundation for Public Education and has worked with and held positions in the Starkville Area Arts Council and the Cotton District Arts Festival.
"Dr. Gilbert is an experienced administrator and a highly regarded faculty member, as well as an active participant in community organizations," Keenum said. "He will be a tremendous asset in this position."