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President Search
Frequently Asked Questions

How can the public ask questions, share concerns or get information about The University of Southern Mississippi President Search?

There are multiple ways that the public can be involved in the search for the next President of The University of Southern Mississippi. We've created a special webpage to provide information and updates on the search process to the University community and public. As the search progresses, the site provides search-related committee members, dates, and notices for upcoming meetings, archived minutes from listening sessions, and announcements at important points in the search process.

Who is leading the President Search?

The President selection process is coordinated by the Board Search Committee, which includes members of the Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning.

What is the role of the Search Advisory Constituency (SAC) in the search process?

The SAC is a diverse group selected by the Board Search Committee and approved by the Board that is representative of the various constituent groups of the university and the community. They may be assigned specific tasks by the Board Search Committee or the Board. One assignment required by Board policy is for them to respond individually and in writing to a protocol questionnaire containing their individual recommendations for the Board's consideration. The Commissioner will collect the results of those recommendations and provide them to the Board Search Committee. The SAC will not receive the names of applicants and will not interview applicants.

Will you advertise for this position?

Yes. The position will be advertised in accordance with the schedule established by the Board Search Committee.

How can I nominate someone?

All nominations and applications for the President position will be managed by the search firm, Academic Search. A link to the search firm's website has been placed on the university's search web page.

Who has applied and/or been nominated?

The names of all applicants and nominees are kept confidential by the Board of Trustees. The only name to be released is that of the new Institutional Executive Officer after the Board has made its decision to hire that individual.

Why doesn't the Search Committee reveal the names of the candidates?

The confidentiality of all applicants in a search for an IEO or Commissioner is of upmost importance. The identity of applicants shall not be revealed at any point in time, other than that of the successful applicant after the conclusion of a search. This process is designed to obtain the best pool of applicants in that it allows applicants to pursue the position confidentially without fear of adverse consequences in their present position.

How many candidates will be interviewed?

The exact number of candidates to be interviewed will be determined by the Board Search Committee.

Will the names of the candidates or finalists for the position be made public before a decision is made?

The names of the applicants or nominees for the position will not be made public. The only name that will be announced is the name of the new Institutional Executive Officer.

What is the process for the search?

While subject to change, a summary of the President Search process is as follows:

  • Listening Sessions are held on campus
  • Profile of the University President is prepared
  • Position is advertised and applications are received
  • First Round Interviews are held
  • Second Round Interviews are held
  • The Board of Trustees votes to name the institution's new Institutional Executive Officer or the Board may vote to delay, suspend or extend the search.
View the complete search process.

How will the Search Committees keep the lines of communication open with the University community and the citizens of the state?

Up-to-date information will be available on the President Search website. In addition, you can sign up to receive email updates about the search or follow us on Twitter @USM_Search or @MSPublicUniv. An online survey will be posted on the President Search website according to the following schedule:

  • Survey opens: Tuesday, October 4, 2:30 p.m.
  • Survey closes: Wednesday, October 12, midnight
An online form is also available for members of the Southern Miss family to share their comments about the search.

The Board shall appoint the Commissioner and the Institutional Executive Officers (IEOs). The Board shall make interim appointments to executive officer and/or commissioner positions as necessary and with such consultation as the Board considers appropriate.

Caron Blanton
Director of Communications
Telephone: 601.432.6333

Allison Bullock
Social Media Manager
Telephone: 601.432.6389