USM makes faculty adjustments

Many faculty members at The University of Southern Mississippi are taking on new roles for the fall semester.

Dean of College of Arts and Letters Steven Moser informed the Southern Miss community that there will be a national search for a new director for the School of Mass Communication and Journalism (MCJ) beginning this fall. Christopher Campbell, former director of Mass Communication and Journalism at Southern Miss, will be on sabbatical during the fall. However, Campbell, who served as the department director for nine years, will be returning to USM next spring in order to continue teaching.

MCJ professor Dean Davies, who served as the director of the Honors College program for the last seven years, was chosen as the interim head of the school until a new director is found as a result of the national search. Before beginning his career in the academic field, Davies worked as a newspaper reporter for the Arkansas Gazette and the Arkansas Democrat.

This is not the first time Davies has played a large role in the School of MCJ. From 1998 to 2001, Davies served as the chairman of the school, and throughout the 2004-2005 academic year he was also the interim director. “I’m delighted to work with my colleagues in mass communication and journalism. I couldn’t be happier,” Davies said.

Other areas of USM are also seeing staff changes. Karen Coats, former associate dean of graduate school at Mississippi State University, has been chosen as the new dean of graduate school at USM. Coats is also a professor in the Department of Biological Sciences.

According to the Mississippi Business Journal, the College of Business at Southern Miss is welcoming Bret Becton as associate dean of the college after Joe Peyrefitte returned to a teaching position. Lisa Flynn has returned to a faculty position, resulting in Mike Whittman serving as the chair for marketing and the interim chair of management.

After the retirement of  Skip Hughes, Gwen Pate was chosen as the director of the School of Accountancy. Filling Pate’s spot as associate dean of undergraduate programs and assessment will be Brigitte Burgess, who was the merchandising coordinator for seven years.

The School of Music is undergoing change as well. Michael Miles, the School of Music director, has stepped down as chair June 30. He will return to the faculty after a sabbatical. Stacy Reischman Fletcher, professor and chair of the School of Dance, has been named interim director for the School of Music.

Editor’s note: The Thursday, Aug. 21, 2014, print edition of The Student Printz stated in error that Jay Dean was not being renewed as the director of The University of Southern Mississippi Orchestra. The Student Printz regrets the error.