'Message from the Provost': new beginnings

In his latest campus e-mail update, Provost and Executive Vice President Jerry Gilbert notes that July marked the beginning of a new fiscal year and some new beginnings in leadership and in university growth:

Dear MSU Faculty and Staff,

July marked the beginning of the new fiscal year and some new beginnings in leadership and in university growth. Congratulations to Dr. Meghan Millea, the new President of the Faculty Senate, and Ms. Amanda Bell, the new chair of Staff Council, and thanks to Dr. Hart Bailey and Ms. Mary Vaughn for their previous service in these respective roles.

In August, we will know the size of this year's freshman class and we are excited for their arrival. In preparation for future growth, construction began on July 1 of two new residence halls south of Rice Hall in the Arbor Acres area. The two new residence halls will be completed for the fall 2012 semester. Plans are also being made for a new classroom building and new housing for graduate students and upperclassmen. Expansion of Perry Cafeteria is also underway with completion in the fall of this year.

I am pleased to report that we have filled all of the dean positions in the MSU system. As of August, the new deans will include Dr. Chris Snyder of the Shackouls Honors College, Dr. Sharon Oswald of the College of Business, Dr. George Hopper of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and the College of Forest Resources, and Dr. Steve Brown of MSU Meridian. Dr. Hopper begins duties as dean on Aug. 19, and Dr. Brown begins his role on Oct. 1, both pending IHL Board approval.

I recently received final reports from two task force groups: one to look at distance education and the other to look at information technology on the campus. As we review these reports, we will be looking at ways to continue to improve and expand distance education and information technology, while implementing efficiencies in these operations. I appreciate the hard work of Dr. Allison Pearson and Dr. Keith Coble, respectively, in leading these efforts and the individuals who served on these task force groups.

August will be a month of new beginnings as we begin the 2011-2012 academic year. I hope that all of you get off to a great new start.



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