Search committee in place for MSU provost and executive vice president

Contact: Sid Salter

STARKVILLE, Miss.—Mississippi State President Mark E. Keenum on Thursday [Feb. 28] provided the campus community with an update on the search for the university's next provost and executive vice president.

A 19-member search committee now in place includes 10 elected faculty and nine faculty, staff, student and administrative members appointed by Keenum. The committee, chaired by MSU Vice President for Finance and CFO Don Zant, will hold its initial meeting on Monday [March 4], with Keenum presenting the group with its charge at that time.

“This search committee represents a broad base of our faculty, students and staff and is in keeping with established search protocols for this vital position,” said Keenum. “I have every confidence that MSU will attract a strong pool of candidates from across the nation who are interested in being a part of our university’s momentum and growth. From that pool, I have equal confidence that our search committee will choose an experienced and visionary leader who can help us build on that momentum.”

Members of the committee are:

Don Zant, Chair, Vice President for Finance and CFO

Brian Baldwin, Professor, Department of Plant and Soil Sciences, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

Angi Bourgeois, Dean and Professor, College of Architecture, Art, and Design

Brian Davis, James C. Kennedy Associate Professor, Forest and Wildlife Research Center—Wildlife, Fisheries and Aquaculture, College of Forest Resources

Lara Dodds, Professor, Department of English, College of Arts and Sciences

Randy Follett, President, Robert Holland Faculty Senate, and Associate Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering

Rasheda Forbes, Assistant Vice President for Multicultural Affairs and Director, Holmes Cultural Diversity Center

Tamara Gibson, Member, Staff Council, and Senior IT Consultant, Information Technology Services

Alexis Gregory, Associate Professor, School of Architecture, College of Architecture, Art, and Design

Susan Hall, Associate Professor, General Library, University Libraries

Mike Highfield, Professor and Robert W. Warren Chair of Real Estate Finance, Department of Finance and Economics, College of Business

Carla Huston, Associate Professor, Department of Pathobiology and Population Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine

Joan Lucas, General Counsel

Jake Manning, President-Elect, Student Association, and senior, Biomedical Engineering

Raj K. Prabhu, Associate Director, Computational Engineering Mechanics at the Center for Advanced Vehicular Systems and Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering in the Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering

Rebecca Robichaux-Davis, Professor, Department of Curriculum, Instruction and Special Education, College of Education

John Rush, Vice President for Development and Alumni

Dennis Truax, Professor, Head and James T. White Endowed Chair, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Bagley College of Engineering

Rodney Wilson, Assistant Professor, Division of Arts and Sciences, MSU-Meridian

The R. William Funk & Associates consulting firm is assisting the university in its nationwide search. A website is available at:

While applications and nominations will be accepted until a new Provost is selected, interested parties are encouraged to send their materials to our consultant through the following means by March 30 to assure optimal consideration: R. William Funk & Associates, 2911 Turtle Creek Boulevard, Suite 300, Dallas, Texas 75219 or email: or fax: 214/523-9067.

In January, Provost and Executive Vice President Judy Bonner announced her intention to retire at the end of the current fiscal year on June 30. Bonner has held this MSU position for more than two years after having a distinguished career as a longtime senior administrator and president at the University of Alabama.

Keenum expects to have a new provost and executive vice president named by the beginning of the new fiscal year on July 1.

Thursday, February 28, 2019 - 8:57 am