Volume 2, Issue 47
Friday, December 7, 2007
Edited by Jennifer Rogers

Mississippi's Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning

News from the System
University News
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Legislative Budget Committee Recommends Funding Cut for Mississippi’s Public Universities
On Tuesday, the State’s Joint Legislative Budget Committee (JLBC) released its FY 2009 budget recommendation. Compared to IHL’s FY 2009 request as well as the current year’s FY 2008 appropriation, the JLBC recommends cutting funds to many System units, including education and general support; subsidiary programs; the University of Mississippi Medical Center; the agriculture unit at Alcorn State University; and Mississippi State University's Agriculture and Forestry Experiment Station, Cooperative Extension, Forestry and Wildlife Center, and College of Veterinary Medicine. “Our initial reaction to the budget recommendation is extreme disappointment,” said Commissioner of Higher Education Dr. Thomas C. Meredith. "The cuts to our universities and the state’s only medical center are very difficult to understand or explain. It is obvious we need to enlist the entire statewide university community to make our case in the next session.” Consistent, stable funding for Mississippi’s University System is required if Mississippi is to gain ground competitively in the national and global economy. From 2001 to 2006, IHL received flat or declining funding dollars from the Legislature. If IHL’s appropriation is cut in FY 2009, the System will lose the ground gained through the state's last two fiscal year budgets. Highlights of the recommendation can be found here. For more information, contact Assistant Commissioner of Governmental Affairs Dr. Jim Borsig.

Board Gulf Coast Committee Discusses Future of Higher Education on Coast
The IHL Board’s Gulf Coast Committee, chaired by Trustee Amy Whitten, met Tuesday on the University of Southern Mississippi’s Gulf Park Campus to discuss issues relevant to the future of higher education on the Mississippi Gulf Coast with Gulf Coast legislators, other elected officials, and leaders within the Gulf Coast business community. “The higher education landscape on the Mississippi Gulf Coast is wide open, and the potential positive impacts are limitless,” said Trustee Whitten. “The Board’s Gulf Coast Committee is committed to making sure we take advantage of every opportunity as we help plan Mississippi’s future.” Dr. Martha Saunders, President of the University of Southern Mississippi, presented the institutions’ program plans for the Cross Creek Campus; the report can be found here: http://www.usm.edu/strategicplanning/. The group also heard an update regarding the status of Cross Creek from Mr. John Hairston, Co-Chief Executive Officer of Hancock Holding Company. For more information, contact Robert Bass or visit http://www.mississippi.edu/gulf_coast/.
December Economic Review and Outlook Released
The December 2007 issue of the Mississippi Economic Review and Outlook is now available on the IHL website. The first article, on the national economy, notes that the national housing market has not yet hit bottom. Housing starts are down 54 percent from the first quarter of 2006, and housing prices are falling. By 2009, housing prices may be as much as 11 percent lower than they were at the market peak. While any fall in housing prices will be less in Mississippi, foreclosures and delinquency rates remain high in the state, and a further worsening of the situation is expected since the Gulf Coast post-Katrina moratorium on foreclosures just expired in October. The second article on the state economy notes that a slower growth rate is predicted in 2008 than in 2007. A map showing trends in per capita income by county in relation to the U.S. average is provided. The full economic forecast is also available. The economic status of African-Americans in Mississippi is examined in the final article. Although there has been a rapid growth of firm ownership by African-Americans and a rapid increase in levels of education attainment as well, the income gap between white and black households has widened since 1999. "Mississippi's programs need to be evaluated not only on the basis of their overall impact on the state, but also in terms of their impact on each demographic group. For example, the fact that black women here earn only 69 percent of what their sisters earn nationally merits attention, considering that white males earn 88 percent of what their peers earn nationally." states Dr. Marianne Hill, Senior Economist, the study's author. Read Mississippi Economic Review and Outlook.
#2 - Universities Prepare State to Meet Job Market Demands
(Top 15 Ways Mississippi's Universities Benefit the State)
Mississippi's universities prepare the state to meet the job market demands by sending into the workforce approximately 14,000 quality, baccalaureate degree holders each year. According to U.S. Department of Labor statistics, by 2014, the workforce will have openings for 9 million more degree holders than will be available. There will be 3 million surplus openings for 2-year degree holders, 4 million for 4-year degree holders, and 2 million for advanced degree holders. Of the nation's 30 fastest-growing jobs, 70 percent require a postsecondary degree or other training beyond high school. Moreover, between 1998 and 2008, the growth rate for jobs requiring a college degree was predicted to be about 21.5 percent, which is nearly twice the growth rate (11.1 percent) predicted for jobs requiring less than a college degree. Mississippi's university system is committed to ensuring access to and success in college for all students in order to raise the educational attainment level in Mississippi.

Items included in the "University News" section of the System Review are submitted each week by the universities. The news items are listed in rotating alphabetical order by university.

MISSISSIPPI STATE UNIVERSITY DIVISION OF AGRICULTURE, FORESTRY AND VETERINARY MEDICINE NEWS
MSU Students Score International Award for Genetically Engineered Machine
Mississippi State University students are pioneers in a field that did not even exist when they were born. Combining biology, chemistry, physics, and engineering, MSU biological engineering and biochemistry and molecular biology students are constructing DNA “machines.” The new field of study that emerged in the late 1990s is called “synthetic biology.” The students brought home a bronze medal from the International Genetically Engineered Machine, or iGEM, competition held Nov. 3-4 at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. “Last year, our team received an honorable mention. This year, they competed with world-class teams from 54 prestigious universities from around the world and brought home a medal,” said team advisor Filip To, a Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station engineer in the Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering. The MSU entry in the 2007 iGEM competition was a method to allow faster determination of how plants make oil. The team’s design includes a fluorescent protein that can be tracked using ultraviolet light to discover a genetic pathway. This new field of science, To said, has tremendous potential for agriculture and other applications, including the development of new energy sources. “The work our students and research scientists are doing is helping develop standardized ‘parts’ that can be used in genetic engineering in ways similar to how transistors were used in the development of electronics in the 1950s,” To said. Learn more.

Forget the Worms - Producers May Put Fish on Insect Diet Developed at MSU

MSU Veterinary Horse Unit adds Frozen Embryo Transfer

MSU Coastal Research Lab Supports Seafood Industry

MSU Family Specialists Say “‘Tis the Season to Strengthen Families”

MISSISSIPPI UNIVERSITY FOR WOMEN NEWS
Five Inducted into Mississippi Hall of Master Teachers at MUW
The Mississippi Hall of Master Teachers ceremony at Mississippi University for Women recently recognized five educators for exemplary dedication. The Mississippi Hall of Master Teachers was established in 1991 to recognize educators for their excellence to teaching. To be eligible, teachers must have at least 15 years of teaching experience, including at least seven years of teaching in Mississippi schools. Teachers were judged on the basis of their professional activities, educational leadership, contributions to curriculum and course development, teaching philosophy, and influence on students and other teachers. Involvement in extracurricular activities also was a part of the evaluation. The Hall now has 102 members, including graduates of almost every teacher education program in Mississippi, plus several from other states. The Mississippi Hall of Master Teachers was held in conjunction with the Institute for First-year Teachers, which was initiated in 1993 to advise and encourage beginning teachers. The Kelly Gene Cook Sr. Charitable Foundation sponsored both events. Learn more.

MISSISSIPPI VALLEY STATE UNIVERSITY NEWS ONLINE
Mississippi Valley State University Online
http://www.mvsu.edu/

UNIVERSITY OF MISSISSIPPI NEWS
Ken Cyree Named Interim Dean of Business School at Ole Miss
Ken Cyree has been appointed interim dean of the School of Business Administration at the University of Mississippi effective Jan. 2. Dean Brian Reithel, who has held the post since 2003, is stepping down to return to full-time teaching and research. A member of the Ole Miss faculty since 2004, Cyree is an associate professor of finance and the Frank R. Day/Mississippi Bankers Association Chair of Banking. Cyree was highly recommended by his colleagues in the business school, said Provost Carolyn Staton. "He is a dedicated teacher and scholar and has deservedly earned the respect of the faculty and students," she said. "In addition, as the Chair of Banking, he brings experience in working with external constituencies, which is an important rule for the school. I am pleased that he is willing to assume these duties and that the faculty is fully supportive of him." Although he plans to return to the faculty when a permanent dean is appointed, Cyree said he intends to be proactive during the interim period and help the faculty continue to provide quality teaching and scholarship. "We have some wonderful faculty members in the School of Business and I look forward to working with them to achieve our goals of educating students, providing meaningful research in our disciplines and positively impacting the business environment in the state and region," he said. "We will need the help of business leaders and alumni to achieve our goals, and I look forward to working them as well." Learn more.

10th Annual 'Books & Bears' Program Gives Campus Way to Say 'Thanks'

Three Scholars Selected for Prestigious Aerospace Law Scholarships

Remembering the 1982 Education Reform Act: UM Hosts Panel Discussion

Business School Professor Elected to Serve on National Insurance Board

UNIVERSITY OF MISSISSIPPI MEDICAL CENTER NEWS
UMMC Simulation Lab Offers Nursing Students Huge Dose of Clinical Reality
The simulators may not be human, but they do have feelings. A birthing mother screams with pain and asks for medication. Her newborn child barely survives the difficult birth, evident by a bluish color and lack of a heartbeat. The nursing students kick into high gear and make all the right moves to revive the infant, who moves like a real baby, even offering up a cry of distress after leaving the warmth of his mother’s belly. Walking into the School of Nursing’s Clinical Simulation Center (CSC) at the University of Mississippi Medical Center is like walking onto the set of the television series “ER.” There are hospital beds with privacy curtains, supply cabinets with the necessary contents, flashing monitors, roll-away carts, and saline solution hanging from racks. All this equipment and more is in the CSC, including “patients” of all sizes and genders. The mannequin-like simulators have one distinct advantage over real patients – they don’t mind needles.The lab offers near real-life patients to give the students all-important reality training without the worry of mistakes that could harm the patient. Cooper said the CSC was established to prepare professional nurses who provide patient-centered care, work in interdisciplinary teams, employ evidenced-based practice, apply quality improvement, and use information technology. She said it prepares quality professional nurses with enhanced clinical readiness, critical-thinking abilities and clinical competence. Learn more.

Hairston Gift Gives Significant Boost to Alzheimer's Research At UMC

UMMC Surgical Residents Take Top Marks at ACS Laparoscopic Skills "Shoot-out"

UMMC Ob-gyn Residency Director Selected for National Women's Health Program

UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN MISSISSIPPI NEWS
Southern Miss College of Business Hosts Third Annual Golden Eagle Challenge
Graduate students from the University of Southern Mississippi’s College of Business are gearing up for the third annual Golden Eagle Challenge on Friday, Dec. 7. This competition pitches teams of students against one another in the state’s first collegiate business plan competition. These teams have developed product and service ideas, company branding and business plans. The plans will be presented to a panel of mock investors who will judge the plans on their feasibility as business opportunities worthy of financial investment. Dr. Jon Carr, associate professor of management and director of the Golden Eagle Challenge, teaches the graduate course that requires students to develop plans for the competition. “It gives them a taste of the hard work and planning that real-life entrepreneurs face, and at the same time, it has the economic development potential to create new businesses and jobs in south Mississippi,” said Carr. Karen Wilkins, a member of last year’s winning team, has turned her idea into her own business, LiveWell Health Screens LLC. Wilkins anticipates that the new service, which will provide mobile, diagnostic health screenings to detect cardiovascular and other diseases at an early stage, will be up and running by the end of this year. Learn more.

Leading Education Consultant Trains Southern Miss Faculty

Center for Higher Learning Inks Agreement with Global Company

Southern Miss Student Studies Indigenous Foods in Louisiana Bayous

Cartoonist Offers Insights to Southern Miss Students

UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN MISSISSIPPI GULF COAST NEWS
Expert on Afghanistan to Speak at Southern Miss Gulf Coast
The International Development Ph.D. program at the University of Southern Mississippi will present one of its own students in a public lecture at 7 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 7, at the Advanced Education Center auditorium on the Gulf Park campus in Long Beach. M. Ashraf Haidari, counselor for Political, Security and Development Affairs at the Embassy of Afghanistan in Washington, D.C. will present "State, Security, and Reconstruction in Afghanistan: Challenges and Opportunities." In his professional position with the embassy, Haidari maintains bilateral relations with the U.S. administration and Congress, while coordinating the Government of Afghanistan's defense, security and law enforcement relations with U.S. counterparts. In addition, Haidari manages Afghanistan's expanding non-resident diplomatic relations with Brazil and Colombia and plays an active role in the Embassy’s public diplomacy efforts in support of Afghanistan's reconstruction. He has represented Afghanistan in major public, bilateral and multilateral forums and discussed the country’s state-building process in numerous interviews with international media. Learn more.

Southern Miss Gulf Coast Civic Chorale to Perform Holiday Favorites

ALCORN STATE UNIVERSITY NEWS
Alcorn Professor Appointed Editor-in Chief of an International Journal
Dr. Alex D. W. Acholonu, Professor of Biology at Alcorn State University, was recently appointed Editor-in-Chief of an international journal Advances in Science and Technology. It is a quarterly publication of research work, results and findings in science and technology and related fields of Human and Veterinary Science, Medical Sciences, Pharmaceutical Sciences and Engineering. One of the goals is to promote scientific research and technological advancement through provision of recent scientific results to the global scientific community. It is proposed to scientifically link- up the developing world with the developed world. Dr. Acholonu encourages faculty members to submit articles for publication in this Journal. Please contact him for more information at chiefacholonu@yahoo.com or by phone at: 601-877-6236. Dr. Acholonu recently attended the Annual Meeting of The American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene in Philadelphia, PA, where he presented a paper on New Castle Disease Virus in pigeons in Nigeria. New Castle Disease is an acute rapid spreading nervous and respiratory disease in birds of all ages. The most virulent strain can cause rapid onset of disease and kill almost 100% of infected birds. It is one of the most severe infectious diseases affecting village chickens in developing countries. Learn more.

DELTA STATE UNIVERSITY NEWS
Delta State to Award Pulitzer Prize Winner Honorary Degree Saturday
Delta State University will award its sixth honorary degree in university history to 2007 Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Natasha Trethewey at the 2007 Fall Commencement service, scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 8, at 10 a.m. inside Walter Sillers Coliseum. It was announced earlier this semester during Trethewey’s initial visit to the Delta State campus that the Mississippi native would be recognized with an honorary degree from the institution. She had originally visited in October for a public reading and master class with students. “Ms. Trethewey is an accomplished poet who has achieved international recognition. Her Mississippi heritage makes all of us proud. We’re pleased that she will accept an honorary doctoral degree,” Delta State President Dr. John M. Hilpert offered. “Her success is a wonderful story for our students and graduates to hear.” This will be the first honorary degree of her career. Delta State is expected to graduate approximately 400 students during its fall commencement exercise. Graduation is free; however, a ticket is required for entrance. For more information on Delta State’s upcoming fall graduation, please contact University Relations at (662) 846-4675. Learn more.

Hutchens to Keynote Delta State Graduation

Garfield Set to Celebrate Holidays at BPAC

Delta State to Host Grant Training Center Workshop, Led by Renowned Grant Expert

Delta State's Eubanks Named One of Three Finalists For Harlon Hill Trophy

JACKSON STATE UNIVERSITY NEWS
JSU, MC Partnership Sends Students to Law School
A revised agreement between Jackson State University and Mississippi College School of Law will allow another Jackson State student to study law tuition-free. "The Jackson State University Fellowship to Law School ensures that at least two of our best qualified students do not have to worry with costs associated with attending Mississippi College School of Law," said Deshun Martin, a Jackson State graduate and Jackson attorney who heads the university's Pre-Law and Professional School Program. "This is an additional opportunity for a Jackson State student to achieve a worthwhile goal of earning a degree in law to help effect change in his or her community." Often, Martin added, financial commitments deter bright students from pursuing law careers. "It costs about more than $20,000 per year to attend Mississippi College School of Law," said Martin. "Generally a three-year process, the price tag of law school would be upwards of $60,000." The total package now totals $120,000 for two students. Mississippi College School of Law has benefited from the Jackson State students who have attended the school and gone on to become leaders in the legal community and government, said Jim Rosenblatt, dean of the law school. "We believe we offer the type of quality education with a skills component and the type of environment that make our students successful in school and successful on the bar examination," Rosenblatt said. Learn more.

Chemistry Journal Editor to Speak at Jackson State

JSU Urban, Regional Planning Department Candidate for Accreditation

MISSISSIPPI STATE UNIVERSITY NEWS
MSU Links Academic Agreement with Two Community Colleges
Students planning to transfer to Mississippi State from two state community colleges will find the process much smoother because of "two-plus-two" agreements signed recently between the institutions. Raymond-based Hinds Community College and Scooba-based East Mississippi Community College now have formal partnerships with the university that link completion of two years at the respective institutions to two final years on the Starkville campus leading to a bachelor's degree in eight specific curriculums. "We strongly believe in working with our very fine community college system, and we're pleased that these partnership agreements will assist students in achieving their academic goals," said university President Robert H. "Doc" Foglesong. "Our hope is that students participating in the program will enroll more smoothly and graduate more quickly," Foglesong said. The two-plus-two agreement applies to majors in elementary education, secondary social studies education, secondary mathematics education, and history. The others include land surveying, animal and dairy sciences, human sciences/apparel, textile and fashion merchandising, and human sciences/human development and family studies. Learn more.

MSU-Meridian to Offer Venture Launch Class

MSU Leader Returns to Russia on POW/MIA Assignment

MSU Administrator to Help Lead National Research Efforts

MSU Profs, Grad Student Honored for Research at Regional Meeting

Dec. 7 - ASU International Holiday Celebration will be held on the Lorman campus in the Rowan Hall lobby, Noon-1:30pm. International students, faculty and staff share their holiday traditions. Sponsored by Student Engagement (Title III) and International and Multicultural Student Organization. Learn more.

Dec. 7 - The International Development Ph.D. program at The University of Southern Mississippi will present M. Ashraf Haidari in a public lecture at 7 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 7, at the Advanced Education Center auditorium on the Gulf Park campus in Long Beach. The lecture is free and open to the public. Learn more.

Dec. 8 - The MSU Extension Service’s youth development program marks its 100th anniversary with the dedication of the 4-H Learning Center and Pete Frierson 4-H Museum in Jackson’s Agriculture and Forestry Museum complex at 10:30 a.m. Contact Morris Houston at (601) 906-1694 or mhouston@ext.msstate.edu . Learn more.

Dec. 9 - Start the holidays in style at 3 p.m. in the University of Mississippi Ford Center with musical favorites featuring the Tupelo Symphony Orchestra, alumni Mary Donnelly Haskell and Laurie Gayle Stevens, and baritone Steve Amerson. Tickets, at $35, $32 and $29, are available by calling (662) 915-7411. Learn more.

Dec. 11-12 - MSU’s annual cotton short course features Extension specialists, researchers, and professionals from MSU and other institutions and agencies reviewing research-based practices in cotton fertility, disease, weed and insect management, pest management, production practices, and emerging technologies. Learn more.

Dec. 14 - The Jackson State Executive Ph.D. Program will host the 2007 "Delta Jewels" Gala at 6:30 p.m., Friday, Dec. 14, at the Mississippi e-Center @ JSU, 1230 Raymond Road, Jackson. Proceeds from the gala will go to scholarships for students from Mound Bayou, Miss. and the surrounding Delta region. Learn more.

Dec. 14-15 - Mississippi State University presents its fall commencement on Dec. 14 and 15 at Humphrey Coliseum. Speakers will be Kent Hull, retired Buffalo Bills center and Jenny Reeves Manley, Sen. Thad Cochran's chief of staff. Learn more.

Dec. 15 - All are invited to the Ole Miss Ballroom Dance club's semi-formal Christmas party at 7 p.m. in Johnson Commons Ballroom, featuring a group lesson in romantic waltzing followed by open social dancing. Admission is $5 for student members, $8 non-student members, $9 student non-members and $12 others. Learn more.

Dec. 15 - The Southern Miss Gulf Coast Civic Chorale will perform their annual Holiday Concert on Saturday, Dec. 15, at 7 p.m., in the auditorium of the Advanced Education Center on the Southern Miss Gulf Park campus in Long Beach. The concert is free and open to the public. Learn more.

Dec. 16 - An encore performance of the Southern Miss Gulf Coast Civic Chorale Holiday Concert will take place on Sunday, Dec. 16, at 2 p.m., at the Cathedral of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Biloxi. The concert is free and open to the public. Learn more.

Dec. 16 - The registration deadline is fast approaching for the Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Consortium's Jan. 17 Biloxi, Miss., workshop on setting priorities for a Gulf of Mexico regional marine research plan. Similar workshops will be held in Spanish Fort, Ala., Jan. 15; St. Petersburg, Fla., Feb. 19; Baton Rouge, La., Feb. 26; and Galveston, Texas, Feb. 28. Anyone who sponsors, conducts, or uses Gulf coastal or marine research may attend. There is no registration fee. Register online at http://masgc.org/gmrp/workshop.htm or contact Steve Sempier at stephen.sempier@usm.edu.

Jan. 15 - The early registration deadline for the Creating Futures Through Technology Conference is fast approaching. Register now for the conference, which will take place February 6-8 at the Beau Rivage Resort in Biloxi, Miss. The conference, a collaborative effort of IHL and the State Board for Community and Junior Colleges, will explore the use of technology in higher education. Learn more.

Jan. 15-16 - The Mississippi State University Extension Service coordinates the Delta Ag Expo, Mississippi’s oldest regional farm show, in the Bolivar County Expo Center in Cleveland. Contact Ben Spinks at (662) 843-8361 or bspinks@ext.msstate.edu. Learn more.

Mar. 27 - Delta State University will present “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” in the Delta and Pine Land Theatre of its Bologna Performing Arts Center on Thursday, Mar. 27 at 7:30 p.m. For ticket information, please call the Box Office at (662) 846-4626. Learn more.

Mar. 30 - Delta State University will present “Chicago” in the Delta and Pine Land Theatre of its Bologna Performing Arts Center on Sunday, Mar. 30 at 3:30 p.m. For ticket information, please call the Box Office at (662) 846-4626. Learn more.

Look for the next issue December 14.

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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