Otha Burton Jr., the chair of Jackson State University’s Department of Urban and Regional Planning and former chief administrative officer for the City of Jackson, has been appointed executive director of JSU’s new Institute of Government. Since 2006, Burton has served as associate professor and associate dean in JSU’s School of Policy and Planning and chair of the Department of Urban and Regional Planning. In those roles, Burton managed the graduate and undergraduate degree programs, supervised one of the schools in the College of Public Service and directed the successful accreditation effort of the Master of Urban and Regional Planning Degree Program.
Burton’s public service career with the City of Jackson began in 1974. During his tenure with the city, he was appointed to numerous positions, including director of the Department of Human and Cultural Services from 1986-1990; director and chief financial officer in the Department of Administration from 1998-2000; and chief administrative officer from 1998-2005.
Burton received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from JSU. He received a Ph.D. in public administration from Mississippi State University.
Burton’s appointment is pending approval from the Mississippi Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning.