Bennett becomes new Southern Miss president - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

Bennett becomes new Southern Miss president

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) -

Thursday, Dr. Rodney Bennett transitioned from the preferred candidate to the new president of the University of Southern Mississippi. The Board of Trustees of the State Institutions of Higher Learning announced the unanimous and historic decision Thursday afternoon.  

"I'm so happy that my dream has come true in Hattiesburg, Mississippi at the University of Southern Mississippi," said Bennett.

Once the formalities were over, Bennett said he wasn't sure when his first day on the job will be, but he made clear his first order of business. 

"The first focus is going to be to hire a chief financial officer. Once the new chief financial officer is on board, we will start to look at faculty salaries and after faculty salaries we will begin to look at how we grow the student enrollment," said Bennett.

As the new president, Bennett says he will not hesitate to do what it takes to make USM a stable, vital and vibrant organization.

"I'm not going to be hesitant at all to cut programs, or to do what we need to do to get the enterprise back on stable footing. The approach to that is going to be the extent to which I involve members of the university community, and that really speaks to shared governance," explained Bennett.

When asked about being the first African American president of a majority white  institution in the Magnolia State Bennett had this to say.

 "What really matters is what you are able to deliver on not some of, what I would determine as, the superficial things that sometimes hold us back as a community," said Bennett.

Copyright 2013 WDAM.  All rights reserved.

  • Local NewsLOCALMore>>

  • Senate Republicans support school funding set in House bill

    Senate Republicans support school funding set in House bill

    Wednesday, February 21 2018 5:37 PM EST2018-02-21 22:37:18 GMT
    Senate Republicans support school funding set in House billSenate Republicans support school funding set in House bill

    The next version of a bill to change Mississippi's education funding formula won't immediately increase proposed funding levels for schools, but might adjust funding upward sooner than the seven years the House proposes. 

    More >>

    The next version of a bill to change Mississippi's education funding formula won't immediately increase proposed funding levels for schools, but might adjust funding upward sooner than the seven years the House proposes. 

    More >>
  • Carey ‘steals’ 13-6 victory over Vermont St. Joe’s

    Carey ‘steals’ 13-6 victory over Vermont St. Joe’s

    Wednesday, February 21 2018 5:35 PM EST2018-02-21 22:35:04 GMT

    William Carey University banged out 13 hits and swiped 12 bases Tuesday to overwhelm visiting College of St. Joseph’s of Vermont 13-6 at Milton Wheeler Field. 

    More >>

    William Carey University banged out 13 hits and swiped 12 bases Tuesday to overwhelm visiting College of St. Joseph’s of Vermont 13-6 at Milton Wheeler Field. 

    More >>
  • Cardiologist gives the facts on leading killer in the state

    Cardiologist gives the facts on leading killer in the state

    Wednesday, February 21 2018 5:32 PM EST2018-02-21 22:32:45 GMT
    Cardiovascular disease takes the lives of more than a third of Mississippians, according to the Mississippi State Department of Health. (Photo source: WDAM)Cardiovascular disease takes the lives of more than a third of Mississippians, according to the Mississippi State Department of Health. (Photo source: WDAM)

    You or someone you know may be affected by the number one killer in our state. Cardiovascular disease takes the lives of more than a third of Mississippians, according to the Mississippi State Department of Health. Merit Health Wesley's Cardiologist, Dr. Dan Skarzynski said when it comes to matters of the heart don't ignore the warning signs. Dr.Skarzynski said he knows heart disease isn't easy to overcome. "It's something that we can work to lessen our potential to have,"...

    More >>

    You or someone you know may be affected by the number one killer in our state. Cardiovascular disease takes the lives of more than a third of Mississippians, according to the Mississippi State Department of Health. Merit Health Wesley's Cardiologist, Dr. Dan Skarzynski said when it comes to matters of the heart don't ignore the warning signs. Dr.Skarzynski said he knows heart disease isn't easy to overcome. "It's something that we can work to lessen our potential to have,"...

    More >>
Powered by Frankly