Pearson named interim associate vice president at MSU

Contact: Sammy McDavid

Allison W. Pearson (Photo by Megan Bean)

STARKVILLE, Miss.—A respected Mississippi State management professor who has served in a number of interim administrative roles now has another at the university.

Allison W. Pearson moves Jan. 1 to the position of interim associate vice president for academic affairs, temporarily filling the position held by Julia Hodges.

Since 2013, Pearson has been serving as special assistant to Jerry Gilbert, MSU provost and executive vice president.

Hodges recently was named interim provost and executive vice president by MSU President Mark E. Keenum. That appointment followed the announcement in West Virginia of Gilbert as the new president of Marshall University.

“Dr. Pearson has graciously agreed to serve for a time in my place,” said Hodges, in making the Pearson announcement. “We are pleased to have someone with Dr. Pearson’s experience, skills and familiarity with the position to join Associate Provost Peter Ryan and me.”

Hodges said she, Pearson and Ryan—all longtime MSU employees—“will work diligently to provide a smooth transition from Dr. Gilbert’s tenure in this office to the hiring of a new provost and executive vice president.”

Pearson is a member of the elite campus group of W.L. Giles Distinguished Professors. She also is a John Grisham Master Teacher and holds the Rouse Professorship of Management in the College of Business.

In addition to an Auburn University doctorate in organizational behavior and human resources management, she has bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Southern Mississippi.

In 2011-12, Pearson was co-interim executive director of MSU Academic Outreach and Continuing Education; in 2014-15, co-interim dean and associate vice president at MSU-Meridian. She served with Hodges in both of those temporary roles.

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