USM financial officer resigns
Published: Thursday, February 2, 2006
Updated: Sunday, May 17, 2009 19:05
USM's chief financial officer is going to miss USM, but said he learned a long time ago not every decision he makes is about him.
Gregg Lassen, who resigned in December, said his decision to move to Tyler, Texas, was made as part of a compromise with his wife, Jackie, who wanted to be closer to her family.
"Marriage is about compromise, and my wife Jackie has followed me around the world with my career for about 20 years," he said. "She finally put her foot down and told me she needs to be with her father and family right now. And it's about time I followed her for once."
A native of Indiana, he is currently working on a doctorate degree from USM and holds a bachelors and a masters of business administration from the University of Wisconsin. He also holds a law degree from the University of Houston.
Lassen has served USM since October 2003 in overseeing financial matters and worked with student organizations such as the Student Government Association and Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity. He will serve as chief financial officer at the University of Texas at Tyler. His last day is Feb. 24.
"I love this place. In a very short time, it's gotten under my skin," he said. "Without my experiences here, I would not have been able to take a position like this at another university. I am grateful to everyone here for this opportunity."
While at USM, Lassen has led several projects on campus including the expansion of buildings and pedestrian walkways, an addition to the Student Union scheduled to open Summer 2006, the outsourcing of food service and book store operations and construction of the Courtyard beside the Powerhouse Grill.
USM president Shelby F. Thames said in a December press release, Lassen's dedication and excellence to the university has been outstanding.
"I want to thank Gregg for his innovative and fiscally prudent approaches that have advanced our university," said Thames. "He will be missed."
Lassen said his approaches toward students and faculty have been a learning experience.
"Through interaction with so many diverse and interesting students and faculty, I have learned a lot inside and outside of the classroom," he said. "Southern Miss has impacted me more than I have impacted it since I have been here."
Steven Blaylock, USM financial student worker and former Pi Kappa Alpha president, said he has known Lassen both in and out of the office as a boss and faculty adviser.
"Gregg's being here has brought a new insight to the university. He has really pushed me to succeed in every aspect of my life and to set goals," said Blaylock. "He is a great example, and I know the student body and the Greek body hate to see him leave."
Like Blaylock, Lassen said he is sad he's leaving, but wants students to remember his tough decision throughout the transition of their lives.
"I want students to tuck this example of my leaving away in their heads because they will have to compromise at some point," he said. "They will realize one day, like me, the decisions they make cannot be all about them."
Lassen said as a positive part of compromise he is excited to be returning for his graduation and hopes he can occasionally visit campus to see the students and colleagues he will thoroughly miss.
"I want to think I'm leaving USM as an effective member of a team of great people," he said. "It really has been fun, and I'm going to miss it."