Leadership Statement

The Opportunity

Mississippi State University is currently inviting applications and nominations for the position of Provost and Executive Vice President. Mississippi State is seeking an individual with the professional, personal and intellectual capabilities to lead academics at the 137-year-old land grant institution with a current enrollment of 20,873.

The University

Founded in 1878, Mississippi State University is ranked in the nation’s top 100 research institutions by the National Science Foundation. In addition to its high NSF status, Mississippi State holds the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching designation as a “Very High Research Activity University” - the highest level of research activity for doctoral-granting universities. MSU provides access and opportunity to students from all 82 Mississippi counties, as well as from all 50 states and 88 other countries.

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With the state’s only College of Veterinary Medicine and School of Architecture, MSU also is home to the prestigious Bagley College of Engineering, known regionally and nationally as a leader in this field. Mississippi State is the most diverse university in the Southeastern Conference, with an African American population of 21 percent and with recognition as a top 20 “military friendly” institution. MSU’s Mitchell Memorial Library is host of the Ulysses S. Grant Presidential Library, one of only five presidential libraries in the nation housed at a U.S. higher education institution.

The university offers more than 175 programs leading to baccalaureate, master’s and doctoral degrees. In addition to Veterinary Medicine and Architecture, MSU’s other academic colleges are Agriculture and Life Sciences; Arts and Sciences; Business; Education; Engineering; and Forest Resources. Mississippi State has 1,336 faculty members committed to the university’s mission of learning, research and service.

The Position

The Provost and Executive Vice President leads institutional efforts in pursuit of academic excellence and provides direct oversight for academic colleges and campuses, as well as certain academic and non-academic support units.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities

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Primary responsibilities as chief academic officer include setting standards and assessing institutional effectiveness in academic programs; recruitment and development, overseeing promotion and tenure decisions, and maintaining a professional work environment for faculty and staff; and, ensuring the quality of student learning by working with the deans and faculty on curriculum development and initiatives in undergraduate and graduate education. The Provost and Executive Vice President serves as liaison to the Faculty Senate and maintains professional relationships with the Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning and with academic officers of other universities and community colleges in Mississippi and beyond.

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The Provost and Executive Vice President supports the President in exercising his primary responsibility for university strategic planning and for defining and articulating the vision of MSU and its role in the President in the overall management of the university; works with the President and other senior administrators to develop budgetary recommendations that affect the full teaching, research, and service missions of the institution; coordinates the activities of other vice presidents on matters related to the academic mission of the university; and develops and assures compliance with administrative directives, as delegated by the President.

The Provost and Executive Vice President is the chief academic officer of the University and the second-ranking university administrator, reporting to the President and acting as institutional executive officer in the President's absence.

Minimum Qualifications – Education and Experience

  • The highest academic degree appropriate to the individual's discipline
  • A record of excellence in research, teaching, and professional service that merits appointment as a tenured professor at Mississippi State University
  • Experience as an academic administrator, including experience with the promotion and tenure process, with demonstrated skills in fiscal management, resource development, and resource allocation
  • Demonstrated appreciation of the multiple missions and roles of a comprehensive, land-grant University
  • Demonstrated innovative and progressive leadership

Knowledge, Skills, Abilities, and Competencies

  1. Experience as dean, associate provost, and/or provost
  2. Understands the comprehensive nature of MSU
  3. Collaborative, team player, and team builder
  4. Works well with peers and those supervised
  5. Orientation to the whole student
  6. Experience with the promotion and tenure process
  7. Experience with or appreciation of branch campuses
  8. Provides leadership by example
  9. Ability to develop and articulate vision
  10. Understanding of research and scholarship across all colleges
  11. Experience with resource allocation
  12. Proven commitment to diversity
  13. Ability to promote dialog about sensitive and difficult issues
  14. Understands the unique aspects of Mississippi, e.g. history, culture, IHL
  15. Strong support for new directions, e.g. Partnership School
  16. Appreciation for the unique aspects of professional schools
  17. Values student voice, and empowers student leaders
  18. Demonstrated relationship with academic deans
  19. Understands the need to address priorities; urgent versus important
  20. Fiscally astute
  21. Leads and promotes consistent university AOP implementation
  22. Vision for distance education
  23. Leadership in globalization