Mississippi State’s Buys, Jones enter administrative roles at MSU-Meridian

Contact: Sid Salter

STARKVILLE, Miss.—Mississippi State University is promoting two key administrators to guide the rapidly developing health sciences units at MSU-Meridian’s Riley Campus.

David Buys portrait
David Buys (Submitted photo)

David Buys is the new associate vice provost for Health Sciences, and Harold Jones is the interim dean of Health Professions. The two are important additions to a university team continuing to strengthen MSU’s leadership position in training students to meet critical healthcare needs in the state and region. The appointments are pending final approval by the State Board of Trustees of Institutions of Higher Learning.

“This is an exciting and inspiring time in the history of MSU-Meridian and for East Mississippi and West Alabama communities,” said MSU Provost David R. Shaw. “These very competent and experienced administrators will bring great focus and enthusiasm that will build on the solid foundation of MSU-Meridian and our commitment to growing our health sciences units in this wonderful community.”

Buys, currently state health specialist for MSU Extension, will lead the coordination of health science-related programs on the Meridian and Starkville campuses, including MSU-Meridian’s newly created School of Nursing and School of Health Professions, both approved by IHL in May, along with health-related programs and courses in the colleges of Education and Arts and Sciences. He will supervise the creation and development of all shared services with these programs on the MSU-Meridian campus. He will also lead efforts on research grant support at MSU-Meridian.

Buys, an MSU employee since 2014, is also an associate professor in the university’s Department of Food Science, Nutrition and Health Promotion.

“I feel very privileged to be an even more engaged member of the team that is building these relevant and necessary programs,” said Buys. “The availability of high-quality healthcare opportunities is vital to the future of Meridian and the entire region. The recruitment and training of these future healthcare professionals is a challenge I relish, and as a native Mississippian, I am extraordinarily eager to contribute to the success of our collaborative efforts.”

Harold Jones portrait
Harold Jones (Photo by Megan Bean)

Jones, who has served in interim administrative and consulting roles at MSU-Meridian for the past three years, is entering the inaugural dean of health professions position to lead the new School of Health Professions. As the school’s chief academic officer, he will oversee programs, guide accreditation and collaboratively work with Buys and other campus deans. He is the retired dean of the School of Health Professions at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

“The local community is invested in these programs, and I am thrilled to be a part of this effort,” said Jones. “I’m grateful for the confidence shown in our ability to make those investments fruitful for this region and the families who live and work here.”

MSU-Meridian is accepting its first cohort of students this fall in the Accelerated Master of Science in Nursing program and graduated the inaugural class of Master of Physician Assistant Studies students in Spring 2023. The growing campus in the state’s Queen City also offers a Bachelor of Science in Healthcare Administration and a Doctor of Psychology in Combined Health Service Psychology.

Mississippi State University is taking care of what matters. Learn more at www.msstate.edu.