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>>

  • Kool Smiles hosts 4th annual Sharing Smiles Day

    Kool Smiles hosts 4th annual Sharing Smiles Day

    Sunday, May 20 2018 6:59 PM EDT2018-05-20 22:59:39 GMT
    source: wdamsource: wdam
    source: wdamsource: wdam

    Children in Hattiesburg and surrounding areas were able to get free dental care during Kool Smiles 4th annual "Sharing Smiles Day" Sunday morning.

    More >>

    Children in Hattiesburg and surrounding areas were able to get free dental care during Kool Smiles 4th annual "Sharing Smiles Day" Sunday morning.

    More >>
  • The Flower Bed Nursery hosts 3rd annual Family Day

    The Flower Bed Nursery hosts 3rd annual Family Day

    Sunday, May 20 2018 6:49 PM EDT2018-05-20 22:49:25 GMT
    source: wdamsource: wdam
    source: wdamsource: wdam

    The Flower Bed Nursery in Lumberton hosted its 3rd annual spring Family Day Sunday, May 20.

    More >>

    The Flower Bed Nursery in Lumberton hosted its 3rd annual spring Family Day Sunday, May 20.

    More >>
  • USM's Tori Bowie wins 100m title at Adidas Boost Boston Games

    USM's Tori Bowie wins 100m title at Adidas Boost Boston Games

    Sunday, May 20 2018 2:51 PM EDT2018-05-20 18:51:14 GMT
    On Sunday, Tori Bowie won the 100m race at the 2018 Adidas Boost Boston Games. (Photo Source: Adidas Boost Boston Games)On Sunday, Tori Bowie won the 100m race at the 2018 Adidas Boost Boston Games. (Photo Source: Adidas Boost Boston Games)

    With a run time of 11:05, Torie Bowie is the 2018 Adidas Boost Boston Games 100m champion. The race took place Sunday just after 2:00 p.m. on Charles Street in Boston.  "I was really excited about the race," said Bowie just moments after her win.  There's no stopping @toribowie! After her world record 150m last year, she takes the win in the 100m this year. 11.05 for Bowie FTW.#TakeChargeBoston pic.twitter.com/9HSdeWcTn8 — adidas Boost Boston (@a...

    More >>

    With a run time of 11:05, Torie Bowie is the 2018 Adidas Boost Boston Games 100m champion. The race took place Sunday just after 2:00 p.m. on Charles Street in Boston.  "I was really excited about the race," said Bowie just moments after her win.  There's no stopping @toribowie! After her world record 150m last year, she takes the win in the 100m this year. 11.05 for Bowie FTW.#TakeChargeBoston pic.twitter.com/9HSdeWcTn8 — adidas Boost Boston (@a...

    More >>
Powered by Frankly