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7/13/2018 - Jackson, Miss.

Commissioner of Higher Education Dr. Al Rankins Jr. will spend his first hundred days in office touring the campuses to gain insights and perspectives on the university system from students, faculty, staff, elected officials and community leaders.

"My objective is to listen and glean insight and information that will inform my work as Commissioner and ensure that we are facilitating progress on each campus," said Dr. Al Rankins, Commissioner of Higher Education. "On each visit, I hope to meet with small groups of students, faculty, and staff to have productive roundtable discussions, along with open forums and time to meet with alumni, community leaders and elected officials."

The scheduled dates of the tour include:

Tuesday, July 17, 2018 The University of Mississippi Oxford
Wednesday, July 18, 2018 The University of Mississippi Tupelo
Thursday, July 26, 2018 The University of Mississippi Medical Center Jackson
Wednesday, August 1, 2018 Jackson State University Jackson
Thursday, August 23, 2018 Delta State University Cleveland
Friday, August 24, 2018 Mississippi Valley State University Itta Bena
Thursday, August 30, 2018 University of Southern Mississippi Gulf Coast
Friday, August 31, 2018 University of Southern Mississippi Hattiesburg
Wednesday, September 26, 2018 Mississippi University for Women Columbus
Thursday, September 27, 2018 Mississippi State University Starkville
Friday, September 28, 2018 Mississippi State University Meridian
Wednesday, October 10, 2018 Alcorn State University Natchez
Thursday, October 11, 2018 Alcorn State University Lorman

Additional details on the events will be released prior to each tour stop. More information, including a survey on various aspects of the university system, is available online at the following link:

Named Commissioner of Higher Education on March 23, 2018, Dr. Rankins began serving in this role on July 1, 2018. As Commissioner, Dr. Rankins provides leadership to the university system, including all eight public universities in Mississippi.

Prior to being named Commissioner of Higher Education, Dr. Rankins served as the 19th president of Alcorn State University, the nation's oldest public land-grant HBCU. During his four years as president of his alma mater, Dr. Rankins provided leadership that helped the university enroll its largest freshman class in its history and increased the average ACT scores of entering freshmen for three consecutive years. The university achieved its highest ever ranking by College Consensus as the #7 best HBCU and #1 best public HBCU in the nation. The university has established new academic programs and made important discoveries through its research.

He was named President of Alcorn State University on March 4, 2014. Prior to that, Dr. Rankins served as deputy commissioner for the Institutions of Higher Learning (IHL). While serving as deputy commissioner, Dr. Rankins also served as acting president of Mississippi Valley State University.

Prior to his appointment at IHL, Dr. Rankins served on the faculty at Mississippi State University (MSU), where he was a tenured associate professor in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and extension specialist with the MSU Extension Service.

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The Mississippi Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning governs the public universities in Mississippi, including Alcorn State University; Delta State University; Jackson State University; Mississippi State University including the Mississippi State University Division of Agriculture, Forestry and Veterinary Medicine; Mississippi University for Women; Mississippi Valley State University; the University of Mississippi including the University of Mississippi Medical Center; and the University of Southern Mississippi.

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