Paul officially introduced as new USM president Thursday
HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) - The new president of the University of Southern Mississippi was formally introduced to the USM community on Thursday afternoon at the Thad Cochran Center.
USM alum and longtime Southern Miss administrator Joe Paul is now the university’s 11th president.
Paul served as an administrator in student affairs for 40 years and, for the last four months, was interim president at the university.
The Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning announced Paul’s selection as president earlier this week.
“The biggest short-term goal is to grow our enrollment and also, to enhance the quality of student life,” Paul said. “Our students deserve no less. We’ve got work to do on the Mississippi Gulf Coast to grow enrollment and have a positive economic impact down there.”
Paul also spoke about long-term goals.
“Long-term is to maintain and enhance our Research One status and to really be a unicorn in higher education,” Paul said. “Southern Miss is a comprehensive research university that has a heart, and it makes us unique in all of higher ed, and we just need to spread that good news. We’ve got good days ahead.”
Paul will serve as president for the next four years.
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