USM adds two to leadership team

Following recommendations by a search committee and endorsement of key constituent groups, University of Southern Mississippi president Martha Saunders announced two appointments to the university’s leadership team which will help maximize philanthropic giving and strengthen USM’s leadership role in research across the Gulf South.

Bob Pierce, Southern Miss Alumni Association executive director, has been named vice president for advancement, and Dr. Denis Wiesenburg, dean of the School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, has been named vice president for research. Both appointments are effective July 1.

Pierce, the Alumni Association’s director since 1998, has served as the acting vice president for advancement since February. He replaces Dr. David Wolf, who left the university earlier this year. Pierce received strong endorsement from the USM Foundation, the Alumni Association and the Executive Cabinet, said Saunders.

Saunders said the search for a new Alumni Association executive director will begin immediately. A committee charged with guiding the search, to be chaired by the association’s president-elect Randy Pope, is in the process of being formed.

Since July 2004, Wiesenburg has served as dean of the School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, overseeing a research enterprise comprising 65 faculty, 80 research and support staff and 135 graduate students spread over 13 locations throughout Alaska. In the last fiscal year, the school received more than $25 million in new research funding, 20 percent of the university total.

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