'Message from the Provost': Thankful this season

In his latest update for the Mississippi State University community, Provost and Executive Vice President Jerry Gilbert reflects upon the upcoming Thanksgiving season.

Dear Faculty and Staff:

With the holidays quickly approaching, I want to take this opportunity to reflect upon the upcoming Thanksgiving season. I am extremely proud of the faculty, staff, and students at Mississippi State and thankful for them. And I am grateful for the veterans on our campus and for the service that they have given and continue to give. We have a great university. I am thankful for this and many other things.

I thank all of the faculty members who participated in the vote on the proposal to create a new category of faculty. Particular thanks go to the Faculty Senate and ITS for managing the discussion sessions, the general faculty meeting, and the voting process. My position has not changed in that I think the category of Instructional Professors is a good idea even though it did not achieve the votes required for passage. I understand and respect the concerns that some expressed about possible unintended consequences that could have resulted had it passed.

It is great to be at a university where we can openly express and debate ideas. I will continue to look for creative ways to enhance and improve our academic programs. President Mark Keenum and I both are committed to upholding the highest standards of integrity at MSU and to protecting the institution of tenure.

I am excited to begin the planning process for a new 90,000 square-foot classroom building. This is just one step in addressing the expanding resource needs of the university as we grow in student numbers. Even though the immediate outlook for the budget is still unknown, President Keenum, the other vice presidents, and I are all committed to finding ways to add to our faculty and staff numbers as well identifying the means to continue to reward excellence.

The review of Academic Outreach and Continuing Education is continuing and should be completed soon. As I have stated earlier, I am committed to improving and expanding distance education on the campus. We will be implementing consistent and gradual changes over time that will improve things for everyone. I ask you to be patient with us as we plan for the future.

Best wishes to each of you for a great Thanksgiving season.

Hail State,

Jerry Gilbert
Provost and Executive Vice President

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