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COMMISSIONER VISITS UNIVERSITY OF MISSISSIPPI OXFORD, TUPELO CAMPUSES

7/19/2018 - Jackson, Miss.

The Commissioner's Listening Tour got off to a great start with visits to the University of Mississippi's Oxford and Tupelo campuses. Dr. Alfred Rankins Jr., Commissioner of Higher Education, met with faculty, staff, students, alumni, and community leaders on both campuses. In addition, thanks to technology used in distance learning, participants from all regional UM campuses were able to join the conversation.

"We had very productive and perceptive conversations," said Dr. Rankins. "Many of the conversations underscored the need for resources to provide or expand services for students. We also identified areas for additional collaboration on the system level. I would like to thank the University of Mississippi campus community for its warm welcome and wonderful hospitality."

The Commissioner's Listening Tour was launched to facilitate productive roundtable discussions and conversations with members from all facets of the campus community. The Oxford visit included serving as a keynote speaker at a Rotary Club meeting, where several community members noted the impact of campus growth on the community.

"It was an honor to host new IHL Commissioner Dr. Alfred Rankins, Jr. at UM Oxford and UM Tupelo as he made his first stops on his 100-day listening tour," said Dr. Jeffrey S. Vitter, Chancellor of the University of Mississippi. "We're excited to work with someone who has dedicated his career to higher education and embraces the powerful role the university system plays in advancing Mississippi. We appreciate his initiative in seeking our ideas and know that Dr. Rankins will be a great advocate for our university."

Participants in the meetings are encouraged to ask questions, provide insight, and offer suggestions on how to work together to advance the university system and the state. The Commissioner's Listening Tour also gives the Commissioner the opportunity to learn more about campus facilities and offerings. This stop included a tour of the Advanced Education Center in Tupelo.

The next stop on the tour is the University of Mississippi Medical Center on Thursday, July 26. 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: www.mississippi.edu/tour.

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.

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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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