USM's President Finishes First Official Day - WHLT 22 Connecting the Pine Belt

USM's President Finishes First Official Day

Posted: Updated:

HATTIESBURG, Miss. - It's official! the new University of Southern Mississippi president had his first real day at work Monday.

Rodney Bennett was appointed in February to the position. He said there's a lot of things he wants to implement at USM that he thinks would help move the university forward.

"There will be some things that need to be adjusted immediately," he said.

Bennett said one of the first things that needs to be evaluated is the student retention rate.

"I think we ought to look at how we're recruiting students and I think we ought to look at how students are progressing once they are enrolled at Southern Miss," he said.

Making sure USM has the best teachers for it's student body, is also one of Bennett's priorities.

"We've got to look at faculty salaries and how we are able to compete for the best and brightest faculty."

However, Bennett says he doesn't want to make any sudden changes without doing extensive evaluations.

"It would be reckless of me to come in the door and make sweeping changes without fully understanding the climate and the culture," said Bennett.

He said a combination of learning the culture and USM's background will help steer his decision making. Bennett also plans to meet with some of Mississippi's congressional leaders about higher education in Washington D.C.

"All across the board there's opportunities to go to work," he said.

Bennett said he knows that all of these tasks won't be easy. He came from the University of Georgia as the vice president of student affairs.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Retired UNO employee arrested for theft

    Retired UNO employee arrested for theft

    A former University of New Orleans computer engineer is accused of clearing out his campus office of nearly $10,000 in electronics. Police say he then filing a false police report in an attempt to conceal his crime.
    A former University of New Orleans computer engineer is accused of clearing out his campus office of nearly $10,000 in electronics. Police say he then filing a false police report in an attempt to conceal his crime.
  • 16-year-old girl stabs another 65 times after nude photos posted on Facebook

    16-year-old girl stabs another 65 times after nude photos posted on Facebook

    Wednesday, April 2 2014 3:29 PM EDT2014-04-02 19:29:36 GMT
    A 16-year-old girl is accused of fatally stabbing her teen ‘best friend' in an attack spurred by nude photos of the pair together posted on social media, according to several media sources.  Anel Baez,
    A 16-year-old girl is accused of fatally stabbing her teen ‘best friend' in an attack spurred by nude photos of the pair together posted on social media, according to several media sources.  Anel Baez,
  • Deputies arrest suspect in fatal La Grange shooting

    Deputies arrest suspect in fatal La Grange shooting

    Monday, July 21 2014 10:22 AM EDT2014-07-21 14:22:23 GMT
    Lenoir County deputies have arrested one man and are looking for another in connection with a murder last week in La Grange.
    Lenoir County deputies have arrested one man and are looking for another in connection with a murder last week in La Grange.
Powered by WorldNow

5912 Hwy. 49, Ste. A
Hattiesburg, MS 39401

Telephone: 601.545.2077
Fax: 601.545.3589
Email: newsroom@whlt.com

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.