Dr. Rodney Bennett officially took office April 1st as the 10th President of the University of Southern Mississippi. Normally we might wish Dr. Bennett well as he begins his new job, but Rodney Bennett did not wait for it to be official to go to work.
A tornado hit the USM campus February 10th, three days after he was appointed. And, even though he didn't officially start until April 1st he headed from Georgia to his new campus to lead the recovery. Dr. Bennett has been high profile ever since, focusing on restoring the campus to normal.
He certainly added to his popularity helping to get a thousand student tickets to USM's basketball game in the National Invitational Tournament.
Dr. Bennett faces budget cuts, and higher tuition and student retention issues. But he appears to be ready for the job. Dr. Bennett says he is thrilled to be the new president of USM.
The students, faculty, alumni, and all associated with the university should also be thrilled as he shows that he is a true leader even before day one.
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WLOX-TV General Manager