Special Edition
Volume 4, Issue 11
Friday, June 5, 2009
Edited by Jennifer Rogers
News from the System
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Bounds Named Preferred Candidate for Commissioner of Higher Education
Dr. Hank Bounds
The IHL Board announced in a press conference Tuesday that Dr. Hank Bounds, Mississippi Superintendent of Education, is the preferred candidate for the position of Commissioner of Higher Education.

"Dr. Bounds has all the qualities we were looking for. He is an exceptional leader with vision, and he has proven that he can work effectively with a range of constituency groups, from elected officials to school and university leaders." said Commissioner Board Search Committee Chair Ed Blakeslee. "We are confident he is the right choice."

As the State Superintendent of Education, Dr. Bounds has changed the landscape of education in the Mississippi. He has garnered statewide support to decrease the state's dropout rate, implemented a new, more rigorous curriculum and assessment program, and guided the creation of a new school performance classification system. He has also launched a plan for Redesigning Education to better prepare students for today's workplace. Dr. Bounds secured a $17 million grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and developed partnerships with numerous foundations and corporations both within and beyond Mississippi. He has also worked with the state's elected leaders to pass legislation crucial to the improvement of schools. Before becoming the chief executive officer of Mississippi K-12 Public Education, Dr. Bounds served as superintendent of the Pascagoula School District. He was principal in two high schools and one K-12 school. He holds Bachelor of Science and Master of Education degrees from the University of Southern Mississippi and a Doctor of Philosophy from the University of Mississippi. A biographical sketch and photo of preferred candidate Dr. Hank Bounds may be found here.

Dr. Bounds issued the following statement: "I look forward to working with the Board of Trustees and the university presidents over the next several weeks as we continue this process. I appreciate their support and the support of the State Board of Education thus far. While it is difficult to think about leaving my position as state superintendent, the possibilities of this new role are exciting. Overseeing our school districts for the past four years has only further confirmed my long-standing belief that no matter what the question is, education is the answer. Joining the Institutions of Higher Learning community would provide an opportunity to build on my K-12 experience, push a P-16 mentality and move our state forward by providing more opportunities in education for all Mississippians."

Jones Named Preferred Candidate for Chancellor of the University of Mississippi
Dr. Dan Jones
In the Tuesday press conference, the IHL Board also announced that Dr. Dan Jones, current vice chancellor for health affairs and dean of the School of Medicine at the University of Mississippi Medical Center, is the preferred candidate for the position of Chancellor at the University of Mississippi (UM).

"The Board and the Search Advisory Committee have searched nationally to identify the best candidate to lead the University of Mississippi. It is a testament to the quality of leadership in our universities that we found the right candidate among our own people," said UM Board Search Committee Chair Amy Whitten.

Dr. Jones is the vice chancellor for health affairs, dean of the School of Medicine and Herbert G. Langford Professor of Medicine at the University of Mississippi Medical Center. He is the Med Center's chief executive officer, overseeing five schools and the health system. A native Mississippian, Dr. Jones graduated from Mississippi College and earned his M.D. and completed residency training at the University of Mississippi Medical Center. He had a private practice in Laurel, Mississippi until he went to Korea in 1985 as a medical missionary. In 1992, he returned to the University of Mississippi Medical Center as a faculty member, and has been there ever since. Dr. Jones is actively involved with the American Heart Association and served as the organization's national president for 2007-2008. He has been named one of the "Best Doctors in America". He and his wife, Lydia, live in Hazlehurst and are the parents of two children. A biographical sketch and photo of preferred candidate Dr. Jones may be found here.

Dr. Jones issued the following statement: "I'm grateful to be part of the University of Mississippi now, on its health science campus, and I'm very excited about the future opportunities with the University of Mississippi. The university is in a great place these days. Chancellor Khayat has done a wonderful job of leadership. It's frightening to anybody to think about following in his footsteps and taking on the large responsibility of leading the university, but I'm very excited about the opportunity. I'm looking forward to the visit (to the Ole Miss campus in two weeks). I know that the University of Mississippi has wonderful leadership in place, not just at the chancellor level, but there have been wonderful leaders, a strong faculty doing tremendous work for the last few years, and I'm looking forward to spending time with those folks, listening to them and having an opportunity to have dialogue with them. This is a great privilege for me and I'm so grateful for the confidence of the IHL Board in naming me the preferred candidate."

Interviews Scheduled for Preferred Candidates
On Monday, June 15, Dr. Dan Jones, preferred candidate for the position of Chancellor of the University of Mississippi, will participate in open, day-long interviews on the University of Mississippi campus with various university and community constituency groups (schedule forthcoming). Individuals attending the open interviews will be given the opportunity to provide feedback to the Board of Trustees regarding their impressions of Dr. Jones. At the end of the day, the Board will announce either that Dr. Jones will be the next Chancellor of the University of Mississippi, or that the search will continue.

Similarly, on the morning of Wednesday, June 17, Dr. Hank Bounds, preferred candidate for the position of Commissioner of Higher Education will participate in open interviews at the IHL Executive Office complex with various constituents. Attendees will be given the opportunity to provide feedback, and at the conclusion of the interviews, the Board will announce either that Dr. Bounds will be the next Commissioner of Higher Education or that the search will continue.

For more information on IHL's executive officer search process, including search-specific timelines of events, visit www.mississippi.edu/ieo.

IHL Creates Online Resource for Federal Stimulus Information
The IHL Executive Office has launched a web page to provide information about the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, or stimulus plan. The site includes links to both the federal and state stimulus websites, as well as links to information about federal recovery grants, state recovery programs, and requests for proposals/information. The site will be updated frequently, as new information is available. Contact Dr. Jim Borsig, assistant commissioner for governmental relations, for more information.
FOR FURTHER COMMUNICATION, PLEASE CONTACT:
Mississippi's Institutions of Higher Learning
Attention: Public Affairs
Jackson, Mississippi 39211-6453
Fax: 601.432.6891

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