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MSU to begin search to fill Meridian top post

MERIDIAN — Mississippi State University will begin a national search for a new dean and executive director of its Meridian campus early next year, university officials announced.

Jack Tucci, who was named to the position in 2009, will become vice president of academic affairs at Faulkner University in Montgomery, Ala., said Jerry Gilbert, MSU provost and executive vice president. At Tucci’s Jan. 15 departure, Dennis Mitchell, associate dean of arts and sciences at MSU Meridian, will assume the duties of dean and executive director while a search is underway.

“Our goal is to have the search committee in place by the end of January,” Gilbert said, adding that the effort will be chaired by Don Zant, MSU’s vice president for budget and planning. The committee will have 10 elected and nine appointed members, including representatives from MSU Meridian, the Starkville campus and the Meridian community.

The former head of business at MSU-Meridian, Tucci is the first to hold the position of dean and executive director, overseeing both the day-to-day activities of the nearly 800-student campus as well as those of the Riley Center, a major education and performing arts resource for the region.

Mitchell has served in the arts and sciences division since 2000.

Gilbert emphasized that Mississippi State is committed to the continuity of its projects in Meridian.

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