As we start the New Year we want to say thanks to Dr. Pat Joachim for all of her years of service at USM on the coast. She will soon be retiring. It was Dr. Joachim's leadership that allowed the university to start offering classes as fast as it did after Hurricane Katrina destroyed the Long Beach Campus. She has been a great ambassador for USM and South Mississippi.
We also want to thank USM President Dr. Martha Saunders for agreeing to allow whoever is chosen as Dr. Joachim's replacement to have executive cabinet level authority. This means that our community's new leader will be one of six vice presidents within USM and will report directly to Dr. Saunders.
For the past several years the head of USM on the coast reported to someone else who eventually reported to the President of USM. Now the new USM head on the coast will have just as much access to Dr. Saunders as any of the other Vice Presidents located in Hattiesburg.
Dr. Saunders said after meeting with coast leaders it became evident that the Coast needed a more prominent role in the University's administration. USM Gulf Coast will face a number of critical budget issues as it moves forward in 2010, however, with a seat at the table it will now have a voice in its destiny.
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WLOX-TV General Manager