Southern Mississippi University has named Dr. Joseph Peyrefitte, senior associate dean in the College of Business, to serve as interim dean while the university conducts a national search to replace Dr. Lance Nail.
Nail ends his four-year stint as business school dean August 16. He is to become dean of the Rawls College of Business at Texas Tech University.
Peyrefitte has been senior associate dean in the College of Business since 2011.
The transition plan also includes appointments of Dr. Gwen Pate to interim senior associate dean and Dr. Mike Wittmann to interim associate dean for external relations.
The leadership change comes as the university begins work on the College of Business’ new state-of-the-art 90,000 square-foot home. An opening of the $30 building is planned for fall of 2014.
Construction of the building situated between M.M. Roberts Stadium and McCarty Hall will get the business school out of the cramped circa 1960s Joseph Green Hall, where a space squeeze has been limiting enrollment to around 2,150 students.
With 1,200 seats, the new building will accommodate the College of Business’ growth for the next 30 years, school officials say.
Provost Denis Wiesenburg will oversee the search for the new business school dean. A current USM dean will chair the search committee with members of the committee selected from the College of Business. The search will start in August and be open until filled, according to Wiesenburg, who said USM is
looking for “someone with strong academic qualifications and the vision to continue the momentum we have established for our College of Business. We are seeking an individual who will guide our college to be among the best in the southeast.”
Nail came to USM in 2008 after 12 years on the faculty of the University of Alabama-Birmingham’s School of Business.