Smith announced as department chairman

Bill Smith, a long-time member of the College of Business, was recently appointed as Chairman of the Department of Economic Development and Tourism.

Smith has taught for over 30 years covering topics such as professional selling, creative marketing, marketing research and the marketing management capstone course. He received his B.S. and M.B.A. degrees with honors from Florida State University and doctorate from Louisiana Tech University.

Smith also has noteworthy experience in the business industry where he worked as a technical sales representative for the Linde Division of the Carbide Corp. and materials manager for a multimillion dollar building materials exporter.

Smith said economic development and tourism created a wonderful combination for the College of Business. “Each plays a vital role in helping create sustainable jobs and improving the standard of living for our citizens,” he said.

The department’s new course curriculum was launched this fall. Based on academic and industry experts’ design, the program consists of connecting theory, practice and research together. These concepts serve to help students learn about the current tools and techniques for attracting, retaining and growing businesses.

“With Mississippi being known as the hospitality state, our degrees in tourism allow students to participate in a growth industry and learn true Southern hospitality,” Smith said. Southern Miss students will be able to understand industry practices necessary to succeed in entry-level managerial positions that lead to promising career paths.

Smith received numerous awards such as the University’s Excellence in Teaching Award, and the Distinguished Marketing Award from the Hattiesburg Sales and Marketing Executives Organization. He’s also written articles that have been published in the “International Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Administration,” the “Economic Development Review” and the “Journal of Economic Development.”

For more information about the Department of Economic Development and Tourism and its programs, visit their website at