University of Southern Mississippi Provost Dr. Denis Wiesenburg has announced that Dr. Joseph Peyrefitte, senior associate dean in the College of Business, will serve as interim dean during the college’s period of transition.
Peyrefitte will assume the dean’s role from Dr. Lance Nail, who will leave Southern Miss on Aug. 15 to accept a similar position at Texas Tech University. Nail has served as dean of the College of Business since July, 2008.
“I am honored to serve the college in this new role which I define as nurturing and developing trusting relationships with our stakeholders,” said Peyrefitte, who has been at Southern Miss for the past 10 years. “Our stakeholders include faculty, staff, students, the business community and a number of important campus constituencies. This transition period might be an uncertain time for some, so I intend to inspire confidence in our ability to continue the progress made by our college under Dean Nail’s leadership.”
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. A national search will be conducted this fall for a new dean.
Wiesenburg noted that his office will oversee the search for a new dean. A current Southern Miss dean will be selected to chair the search committee. The search is scheduled to begin in August with expectations to have a new dean in place by the next academic year.
“We want someone with strong academic qualifications and the vision to continue the momentum we have established for our College of Business,” said Wiesenburg. “We seek an individual who will guide our college to be among the best in the southeast.”
The Southern Miss College of Business will undergo a dramatic makeover in the near future as construction has begun on Scianna Hall, a 93,000-square-foot facility that will sit adjacent to the Trent Lott National Center for Excellence in Economic Development and Entrepreneurship, facing U.S. 49 South.
The new building is named in honor of Southern Miss alumnus Charles “Chuck” Scianna, who has committed $6 million toward the project, which is estimated to cost $30 million. Official groundbreaking festivities were held on May 10.
“There is a very positive and collegial organizational climate in the College of Business right now,” said Peyrefitte. “We are very proud of our achievements that have increased the reputation of our college. We are excited about moving toward our vision of becoming the leading business school in Mississippi.”
For more information about the College of Business at Southern Miss, call 601.266.4659 or visit: http://www.usm.edu/business