Rodney Bennett named preferred candidate for presidency at USM
Published: Friday, February 1, 2013
Updated: Wednesday, February 13, 2013 15:02
The Institutions of Higher Learning announced University of Georgia Vice President for Student Affairs Rodney Bennett as the preferred candidate to be the next president of the University of Southern Mississippi.
“We exist to meet the needs of our students and Rodney gets that,” said Hank Bounds, Commissioner of Higher Education. “He’s been involved with all facets of the campus, so he’s not been in a narrowed area. He certainly possesses the skills to be successful.”
Bennett will visit the Gulf Coast and Hattiesburg campuses at Southern Miss Wednesday and Thursday to meet with faculty and students.
Bennett was named the preferred candidate after a 20-step search process that began when Dr. Martha Saunders suddenly resigned from her position as president in April 2012, one that she held since May 2007.
Bennett attended Middle Tennessee State University, where he earned both his undergraduate and master’s degrees. Following his time at MTSU, Bennett earned his Doctor of Education degree from Tennessee State University.
Bennett served as Dean of Students at Winthrop University in South Carolina. In 2001, he accepted the position as Dean of Students at the University of Georgia, and then served as UGA’s chief diversity officer. Bennett currently serves as Vice President for Student Affairs at UGA.
He serves as Chairman of the Board for St. Mary’s Health Care System, a member of the Board of Directors for the Classic Center and the UGA Athletic Association; and a member of the Putting Georgia First Committee.