Contact: Sammy McDavid
The head of Mississippi State University's government institute is beginning a two-year term as leader of a university-based public service association.
W. Martin "Marty" Wiseman of the John C. Stennis Institute of Government is the new president of the Southern Consortium of University Public Service Organizations, the only professional partnership of its kind in the nation.
Wiseman, a Kosciusko native generally recognized as Mississippi's leading academic authority on local government, has served as Stennis Institute executive director since 1992.
In addition to all Southern states, the consortium's membership comes from, among others, Connecticut, West Virginia, and the Virgin Islands. Member units conduct research for and provide technical assistance to state and local government bodies.
The consortium also is involved in collaborative projects with other multi-state service organizations. As an example, it currently is working with the Southern Growth Policies Board and Appalachian Regional Commission to help implement benchmarking practices among government agencies in the region. Through benchmarking, governments will have standard points of reference in measuring quality, service and other operational components.
Wiseman, an associate professor of political science, received his bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees at Mississippi State. Before joining the political science department, he was a government training specialist with the Mississippi Cooperative Extension Service.
Other consortium officers beginning new terms are Vice President Michael R. Smith, director of the University of North Carolina Institute at Chapel Hill, and Secretary/Treasurer Andy Felts, director of the Institute of Government at the College of Charleston (S.C.).