Volume 2, Issue 48
Friday, December 14, 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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Statewide Nursing Conference to Focus on Retention
Approximately 200 nurse educators are expected to descend on Jackson, February 28-29, 2008, to participate in a statewide conference, themed "A Multidimensional Approach to Student Retention in Nursing Programs." The conference, to be held at the Hinds Community College Nursing and Allied Health Center, is designed for educators in undergraduate Registered Nurse (RN) programs, but will be opened to other nurse educators as well. According to the Mississippi Office of Nursing Workforce, the hospital RN vacancy rate increased from 7.7 percent in 2004 to 9.3 percent in 2006, indicating that the state's nursing shortage has worsened. Mississippi's nursing programs are working hard to produce quality nursing graduates to meet the demand. According to the Mississippi Board of Nursing, between 2001 and 2006, the number of graduates from Mississippi schools of nursing who took and passed the national licensure exam on the first attempt increased from 691 to 1286, or 86 percent. Despite vast improvements, IHL Director of Nursing Education Dr. Martha Catlette recognizes that there is still room for the state to improve by focusing on retention and graduation. "By improving retention and graduation rates, we ultimately increase our capacity," she said. "We know that there are multiple reasons why student nurses drop out, but we want to be sure we are doing all we can to help them be successful." The conference is the result of collaboration between the Mississippi Council of Deans and Directors of Schools of Nursing, the IHL Office of Academic and Student Affairs, and the State Board of Community and Junior Colleges. For more information, contact Dr. Martha Catlette.

Board Requests Stay of Opinion Pending Completion of Appellate Process
On Thursday, under direction from the IHL Board, Board attorney Cal Mayo asked Lowndes County Chancery Court Judge Dorothy Colom to stay her Opinion and Judgment in the case of the Mississippi University for Women Alumnae Association versus the Mississippi University for Women (MUW), MUW President Dr. Claudia Limbert, and IHL, pending completion of the appellate process. The Opinion and Judgment, issued in September, forces MUW administrators to re-affiliate with the Alumnae Association and terminate their affiliation with the new MUW Alumni Association. The opinion sets a dangerous precedent for higher education by violating the constitutional powers vested solely in the Board of Trustees, and therefore threatening the health and welfare of Mississippi's eight public universities. Read the defendants/appellants' brief in support of their motion for stay of judgment pending appeal. Trustee Amy Whitten, Chair of the Board's Legal Committee, noted that, despite the Board's best efforts, negotiations with the leadership of the Alumnae Association have not been successful. She went further to explain the broad impact of the ruling. Any public university, she said, may lose its ability to ensure that the actions of officially-sanctioned alumni groups, booster clubs, and foundations that operate in the name of the university with the singular purpose of benefiting the institution are consistent with the university's mission. In the motion for the stay, Mayo notes that while Judge Colom's Opinion and Judgment simply reinstated the old affiliation agreement, the leadership of the Alumnae Association has argued that the ruling in fact gives them new and expansive powers to rewrite that affiliation agreement. Changes to the affiliation agreement requested by the Alumnae Association leadership since the issuance of the Opinion and Judgment include giving it the authority to form a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation to accept tax-deductible donations in competition with the University's Foundation and allowing it the use of the official MUW name, symbols, and logo in any manner it deems appropriate, among other changes. Click here for more information.
Board to Hold Dec. Meeting by Teleconference Next Wednesday
The IHL Board will hold its regular monthly meeting on Wednesday, December 19, 2007 beginning at 1:30 p.m., via teleconference. The purpose of the meeting is for the Board to consider routine agenda items regarding the state's public universities. Members of the public or press may attend the meeting at one of the following locations:
  • Room 935 on the 9th floor of the Paul B. Johnson tower building in the Education and Research Center, 3825 Ridgewood Road, Jackson, Mississippi, 39211;
  • The Conference Room in the Kenneth Simmons Industrial Technology Building on the Alcorn State University campus, 1000 ASU Drive #360, Alcorn State, Mississippi, 39096;
  • The Bailey Hall Conference Room #138 on the Delta State University campus, Highway 8, Cleveland, Mississippi, 38733; and
  • 112 Allen Hall on the Mississippi State University campus, Mississippi State, Mississippi, 39762.
The full Board will convene via teleconference at 1:30 p.m. and will then conduct business as a committee of the whole. An executive session may be held in accordance with the Open Meetings Act.
#1 - Universities Raise the Quality of Life for all Mississippians
(Top 15 Ways Universities Benefit Mississippi) Over the last three months, the System Review has counted down the top 15 ways that universities benefit Mississippi. Arguably the greatest benefit of universities is the increased earning power of the individual graduate. Mississippi's public universities graduate approximately 14,000 students each year. In a lifetime, those university graduates will earn nearly $1 million more than their friends and family members with only a high school diploma. On average, earnings increase with education, regardless of race or gender. In 2005, the typical full-time year-round worker with a bachelor's degree earned $50,900 per year, which is about 62 percent more than the $31,500 earned by workers with only a high school diploma, 37 percent more than the $37,100 earned by those with some college but no degree, and 25 percent more than the $40,600 earned by those with associate degrees. With higher salaries, university graduates have more disposable income, and generally experience a higher quality of life. Read the other ways that Mississippi's public universities benefit the state in archived issues of the System Review.
Look for the Next Issue of the System Review in 2008
The IHL Board Executive Office will close for the holiday season at 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, December 20, 2007, and will reopen on Wednesday, January 2, 2008, at 8:00 a.m. The System Review will take a holiday publication break as well. Expect to receive the next issue on Friday, January 11, 2008. Have a safe and happy holiday season.

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 UNIVERSITY FOR WOMEN NEWS
IHL Board Approves Two New Degree Programs at MUW
Mississippi University for Women will offer two new degree programs next fall - a master of fine arts (MFA) in physical theatre and a bachelor's degree in interdisciplinary studies - which were approved by the IHL Board at its November meeting. The MFA in physical theatre will be offered jointly with the Accademia dell' Arte in Arezzo, Italy, home of commedia dell'arte. Combining the study of movement/dance, Italian language, vocal study, and music with the study of circus arts, the techniques of commedia dell'arte, and contemporary mime/masks, the program will provide students with a high level of technical training for the actor as well as a study of the aesthetic, historical, and social contexts of the commedia dell'arte. Students will be required to audition for admission into the MFA program, which includes seven modules that will be offered on the Arezzo campus, as well as in Brussels, Berlin, and Venice. The program will culminate in the development of an original performance project by the student actors with required public productions in Venice and Arrezo. The purpose of the interdisciplinary studies major is to provide students with a coherent and rigorous but flexible course of study that will allow them to bring together two or more disciplines to meet a clearly-defined intellectual or professional goal. Students participating in this program will be required to propose a specific course of study to the Interdisciplinary Studies Committee for approval. Learn more.

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

UNIVERSITY OF MISSISSIPPI NEWS
Campus Nursery, Gamma Beta Phi Chapter Play Santa's Helpers
You're never too young - or too old - to help others, especially during the Christmas season. Such is the mindset of children at the Willie Price Nursery School and students of Gamma Beta Phi at the University of Mississippi. When the two groups learned about the Black Faculty and Staff Organization's annual Books and Bears drive, they both decided to contribute toys to be given to children of UM Physical Plant employees. Nursery school children conducted a bake sale to raise funds used to purchase toys. Students in the national honor and service organization buy toys throughout the year as part of their community service. Dozens of toys from the two groups were delivered to the Lyceum Tuesday and Wednesday mornings and added to other donations. "Giving and sharing with others is what this season is all about," said Carolyn Allen, kindergarten teacher at Willie Price. "Vicki Stewart (fellow kindergarten teacher) and I believe it is important to teach our students to share with others and are glad to support a project that benefits the university community." Donald Cole, assistant provost and assistant to the chancellor for multicultural affairs, expressed appreciation to the children and students. "My heart is simply overwhelmed," Cole said. "Their generosity, effort, and genuineness would even touch the Grinch's heart. They have put me in the mood for giving, and I can be assured that these are gifts that children will desire since they were picked by experts in the field." Learn more.

Provost Steps Down, Transitions to Retirement

New Bridge Installed on Bailey's Woods Trail

Civil Engineering Professor is Recipient of Inaugural Regional Teaching Award

Professor Publishes Novel in Finland

UNIVERSITY OF MISSISSIPPI MEDICAL CENTER NEWS
Rapid Admit Unit Gives Patients Head Start on Hospital Stays
Lenord Harper of Jackson receives chemotherapy regularly at University Hospital and his first stop is the Rapid Admissions Unit - the highlight of his visits. The adult unit was designed to decrease patient waiting times for rooms, decrease the admissions process for staff nurses, and increase patient satisfaction. In Harper's case, patient satisfaction is what makes his frequent admissions to the unit so enjoyable. Learn more.

UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN MISSISSIPPI NEWS
Southern Miss Hires Larry Fedora as 18th Head Football Coach
University of Southern Mississippi President Martha Saunders and Director of Athletics Richard Giannini announced Dec. 12 the hiring of Larry Fedora as the 18th head football coach in the 91-year history of the program. The hiring is subject to approval by the Mississippi Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning. "This is a great day," said Saunders. "I've talked at length with Coach Fedora and feel that he has the best interest of the student-athlete at heart. I believe he can take us to the next level of excellence. It has been a collaborative, successful search process and I can't wait to be at The Rock in 2008." Fedora, 45, comes to Southern Miss after spending the last three seasons as the offensive coordinator at Oklahoma State where the Cowboys have been in the top 10 in rushing yards per game and in the top 20 in total offense per game in each of the last two seasons. During Fedora's three-year tenure at OSU, the Cowboys have raised their rushing, passing, and total offensive yards in each year that he has been there. In 2006, the Cowboys were one of just two teams - the other being Boise State - to average over 200 yards both rushing and passing. Learn more.

Southern Miss Professor Named President for the Society of Cosmetic Chemists

Gulf Coast Team Wins Annual Business Plan Competition

Southern Miss Theater Invited to Perform at Regional Festival

Southern Miss Fall Graduation Set for Dec. 14

UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN MISSISSIPPI GULF COAST NEWS
Southern Mississippi Area Health Education Center Reaches Out to Vietnamese
The Southern Mississippi Area Health Education Center (SMAHEC), the St. Vincent de Paul Society in Hattiesburg, and the Mississippi Gulf Coast Children's Health Project worked together on Friday, Nov. 30, to distribute influenza vaccinations to the Vietnamese community at the Chau Van Duc Buddhist Temple in Biloxi. Stacey Curry, program manager for SMAHEC on The University of Southern Mississippi Gulf Park campus, coordinated the event to assist the Vietnamese community in combating the flu virus. "We were able to advertise today's flu immunization through fliers at the local oriental stores and announcements at the Buddhist Temple and St. Michael's Catholic Church," said Curry. "The organization, Boat People S.O.S., worked hard to spread the word throughout the community about what we were doing, and they also provided a translator if anyone needed any assistance." Although the flu immunizations were free for children, adults were given a discounted rate for their flu vaccine. Because the Vietnamese community is rooted throughout the Point Cadet area of Biloxi, they suffered complete loss when Hurricane Katrina swept through two years before. Now that large families are living closer to one another in their residences, flu vaccinations are more important than ever. Learn more.

ALCORN STATE UNIVERSITY NEWS ONLINE
Alcorn State University Online
www.alcorn.edu

DELTA STATE UNIVERSITY NEWS
Delta State Awards Pulitzer Prize Winner Honorary Degree
In a ceremony that she said made her "heart flutter" green for Delta State University, Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Natasha Trethewey was awarded the first honorary degree of her career as part of Delta State's 81st Fall Commencement Service this morning inside Walter Sillers Coliseum on campus. Delta State University confers the honorary degree to individuals who have made significant and meritorious contributions to the university, higher education generally, or other areas of society. Expected areas of achievement include, but are not limited to, outstanding creative and scholarly work, distinguished leadership or service, significant accomplishments or exceptional philanthropic support. Trethewey was conferred the degree, Doctor of Arts and Letters, honoris causa, with all traditional rights, privileges, and responsibilities. "Ms. Trethewey is an accomplished poet who has achieved international recognition. Her Mississippi heritage makes all of us proud. We're pleased to present her an honorary doctoral degree from Delta State," Dr. John M. Hilpert, Delta State President, said. "Her success is a wonderful story for our students and graduates to hear." Learn more.

Delta State Celebrates Fall Commencement, 383 Graduates Collect Degrees

Delta State Awards First Diplomas

Father Finishes Delta State Degree Program in Time to Graduate with Son

Delta State Student Finishes Degree Started in 1950

JACKSON STATE UNIVERSITY NEWS
Lerone Bennett to Speak at Jackson State's Martin Luther King, Jr. Convocation
Mississippi native and famed author Lerone Bennett, Jr. will speak during Jackson State University's 39th Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Convocation at 10 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 15. The annual event, sponsored by the Margaret Walker Alexander National Research Center, has been held since 1969, one year after the civil rights leader's death. Bennett, who was born in Clarksdale but grew up in Jackson, joined Johnson Publishing Co. in 1953 and became an associate editor of Ebony magazine a year later. Now editor emeritus, Bennett has authored several books including What Manner of Man, a King biography and Before the Mayflower: A History of Black America, 1619-1962. Bennett, who attended Morehouse College with King in Atlanta, is an ideal speaker for the event, said Alferdteen Harrison, director of the center. "He has opened eyes of the masses through not only Ebony but the books that he published." The annual celebration was the brainchild of Margaret Walker Alexander herself, added Harrison. "It wasn't the popular thing to do," she said of the celebration's beginning. "We were the only people in Jackson doing it at that time. It has become a university tradition and is always well attended." The convocation will be followed by the 13th Annual Isaac Byrd "For My People" Luncheon at 11:45 a.m. at the M W Stringer Grand Lodge at 1072 Lynch St. in Jackson. The Robert G. Clark Symposium will begin after the luncheon. All events are free and open to the public. Learn more.

Eight Jackson State Students Win Scholarships from Math Alliance

JSU to Host Gala to Raise Scholarship Funds for Students from Delta

Six Tigers Receive All-SWAC Honors

MISSISSIPPI STATE UNIVERSITY NEWS
MSU Honors Alumni
Sponsored and organized by the alumni association for the 18th year, the fellows program brings graduates of distinction back to campus each fall semester to share with students specific competencies, attitudes, and efforts required for success. Fellows carry the title for life. The 2007 class includes: Hollis C. Cheek of Kosciusko, president of J.C. Cheek Contractors Inc. and a 1970 landscape architecture graduate from the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences; John D. Hodges of Ashland, a retired member of the College of Forest Resources faculty and the land management division of Anderson-Tully Co., who was also a 1959 forestry graduate from the College of Forest Resources and a well-known hardwood specialist (he also holds master's and doctoral degrees from the University of Washington); Joe Dean, Jr. of Birmingham, Ala., athletic director at Birmingham-Southern College, who holds bachelor's and master's degrees in physical education from the College of Education; Everette R. Ramage of Madison, Ala., retired vice president of ADTRAN, a leading global provider of networking and communication equipment, and a 1969 electrical engineering graduate from the James Worth Bagley College of Engineering; Stan A. Wagnon of Jackson, president of Burris/Wagnon Architects, P.A. and a 1991 architecture graduate from the College of Architecture, Art and Design; and John D. Ferguson of Nashville, Tenn., president and chief executive officer of Corrections Corp. of America and a 1967 accounting graduate from the College of Business and Industry. Learn more.

MSU Research Examines Relationship of Place on Mortality Rates

MSU Students Conclude Semester with Major Road Trip

MSU Faculty Member, Student Take Top Regional Honors

Web-based MSU Photo Collection Brings Campus Home

MISSISSIPPI STATE UNIVERSITY DIVISION OF AGRICULTURE, FORESTRY AND VETERINARY MEDICINE NEWS
MSU Marine Resources Prof says State's Oyster Industry Poised for a Comeback
Before Hurricane Katrina, the oyster industry pumped about $100 million into the Mississippi economy each year. Oysters contribute to the economies of all the Gulf Coast states which traditionally harvest the majority of U.S. domestic oysters. "The East Coast is famous for oysters, but today if you order fresh oysters in a restaurant on Maryland's Chesapeake Bay, you'll likely be eating Gulf Coast oysters because pollution and other factors have taken a toll on the industry in other areas of the nation," said David Burrage, Extension professor of marine resources at Mississippi State University's Coastal Research and Extension Center in Biloxi. "The Mississippi oyster industry was dealt a serious blow by Katrina, and there was no harvest between fall 2005 and this fall." The 2007 fall harvest will be limited with only about half of the 300 or so people who normally work participating this year, he added. The curtailed harvest is expected to total about 35,000 sacks of oysters between fall 2007 and spring 2008, or about 10 percent of the annual pre-Katrina harvest. "Hurricane Katrina damaged about 90 to 95 percent of Mississippi's 12,000 acres of oyster beds on Aug. 29, 2005," Burrage said. "The Mississippi Department of Marine Resources, with federal funding and the help of Mississippi's oystermen, began rebuilding the oyster reefs in August 2006." Learn more.

MSU Health Specialist Prescribes Flu Precautions during Holiday Visits

Cochran Fellowship Program: MSU Hosts Macedonians Studying Feed Processing

Outdoor Magazine Honors MSU Professors, Alumnus

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 for non-student members, $9 for student non-members, and $12 for others. Learn more.

Dec. 15 - The Southern Miss Gulf Coast Civic Chorale will perform their annual Holiday Concert on Saturday 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 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. 8-Feb. 17 - "The Prints of John L. Winters" will be displayed in the lower level of the Adair Skipwith Gallery at the University of Mississippi Museum. The exhibition is a retrospective of Winters' graphic works from 1967 to 1997. Winters is a professor emeritus of art at UM. Learn more.

Jan. 11 - The final rounds of the MBA Speaker's Edge competition are open to the public in the Ole Miss Student Union ballroom. Students compete in the ethical dilemma category at 11 a.m., informative talks at 1:30 p.m., and persuasive speeches at 3 p.m. For more information, call (662) 915-3799. Learn more.

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.

Jan. 31-Feb. 7 - The Mississippi State University Extension Service coordinates the 43rd Annual Dixie National Junior Round-Up, the showcase for the 4-H & FFA livestock programs and livestock industry. Learn more.

Feb. 12-14 - The Mississippi Crop College at MSU's Bost Extension Center previews the 2008 growing season for crop consultants and Extension agronomists. Contact Larry Oldham at (662) 325-2701 or loldham@pss.msstate.edu . The pre-registration deadline is January 30, 2008. Learn more.

Look for the next issue January 11, 2008.

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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