College Board names Lucas interim chief

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - Former University of Southern Mississippi

President Aubrey K. Lucas has been named interim commissioner of

higher education.

The state College Board made the announcement Friday. Lucas will

fill in until the board finds a replacement for retiring Higher

Education Commissioner Tom Meredith.

Meredith announced Wednesday that he would retire, a move that

followed after an embarrassing landscaping scandal that also

toppled Vance Watson, Mississippi State University's interim


Watson repaid the state more than $12,000 last week for

landscaping work at Meredith's home that was done in 2007 using

Mississippi State equipment and personnel. That amount also

included how much it cost to investigate the issue.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)