Board of Trustees names next president of Jackson State University

Published: Nov. 16, 2023 at 3:43 PM CST
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - The Institutions of Higher Learning has named Dr. Marcus Thompson as the next president of Jackson State University.

The Board of Trustees made the announcement on Thursday afternoon.

Thompson was voted in as the university’s 13th president at a meeting earlier in the day. His appointment is effective November 27.

“The board selected a leader who knows the unique historic importance of the university who will articulate a bold vision for the future and will be indefatigable in the pursuit of excellence for Jackson State,” said Trustee Dr. Steven Cunningham, chair of the board search committee.

Thompson, a pastor, has more than 20 years of leadership experience in early childhood, K-12, and higher education. He serves as the deputy commissioner and chief administrative officer for IHL, the state’s public university system.

In his role, he manages all facets of the day-to-day operations of the agency, including IHL board relations, communications, legislation, technology, data management, and facilities.

“I’m very honored to be named president of Jackson State University because I believe in its mission, purpose, and most of all, the outstanding faculty, staff, alumni, and students who embody our school’s motto of challenging minds, changing lives,” he said. “I look forward to working closely with all of them to develop a consensus about strategic goals and objectives we can achieve by working together.”

Thompson replaces Dr. Elayne Hayes Anthony, who was serving as president in an interim role.

Thompson has a bachelor’s degree in history and Spanish, and a master’s degree in education from Mississippi College. He has a Doctor of Philosophy from Jackson State.

He is married to LaToya Redd Thompson, a practicing attorney. They have three children.

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