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10/19/2017 - Itta Bena, Miss.

The Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning named Dr. Jerryl Briggs as President of Mississippi Valley State University at its meeting held today in Jackson. Dr. Briggs has served as Acting President of the University since June 15. He previously served as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer.

"Mississippi Valley State University is on an upward trajectory," said Trustee Shane Hooper, Chair of the Mississippi Valley State University Board Search Committee. "Dr. Briggs has played an integral role in creating this momentum on campus and we have full confidence that, under his leadership, this will continue."

This campus is on a good trajectory. Enrollment is solid. From fall 2013 to fall 2016, MVSU has seen an increase in enrollment each year for a total change of 11.4%.

The university is in good financial shape. In the past four years, the university's cash position has improved by 47 percent. The days of cash on hand have improved by 65 percent, from 63 days of cash on hand to 105 days.

"Throughout the listening sessions held last week, we heard the Valley community say that the university's next president should be someone with vision who will bring stability to the office and build on the current success," said Hooper. "Dr. Briggs clearly has a commitment to the history, legacy, culture and mission of the university, as well as a vision for the future."

As Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Dr. Briggs served as the ranking vice president with direct oversight for the operational well-being of the university, assessing the university needs through formal structures and constant contact and involvement with all constituents of the university.

"It is indeed an honor and blessing to be named the 8th President of Mississippi Valley State University," said Dr. Briggs. "I would like to thank search committee chair, trustee Shane Hooper and the entire IHL Board for having the confidence in me to lead Valley. I would also like to thank our Valley family for their support and encouragement, and we will surely continue to keep Valley In Motion."

While at Mississippi Valley, Dr. Briggs has helped to reestablish the University College model which led to successfully improving the University's retention rate by 10 percent for fall 2014 and 12 percent for fall 2015, worked collectively with MVSU staff to increase overall university enrollment that resulted in more than a 200 percent increase in dual enrollment students for fall 2016 and an overall 11.4% within the last three years. He also managed a $17 million capital improvement project for the university's athletic complex, with additional planning underway for renovations to residence halls and other campus buildings.

"Dr. Briggs has demonstrated exceptional leadership skills as Acting President and Executive Vice President at Mississippi Valley State University," said Dr. Glenn Boyce, Commissioner of Higher Education. "Having honed these skills over many years in higher education, he has developed a student-centered approach that puts a laser focus on enabling student success. His experience and skill set, coupled with an understanding of the university and the Delta gained since coming to the university, make him ideally suited to lead the university into its next chapter."

Dr. Briggs has more than 25 years of professional experience in higher education administration. Before joining Mississippi Valley State University, he served as vice president for student affairs and enrollment management at Central State University in Ohio. Prior to Central State University he has held various positions within higher education administration, including serving for ten years at Lincoln University (PA) as vice president for student affairs and enrollment management, and dean of students. He has also held positions at Clark Atlanta University, the College of William and Mary, Georgia Institute of Technology, and the University of Illinois-Urbana/Champaign.

"Dr. Briggs has been an important part of the progress made at Mississippi Valley State University in recent years," said John Johnson, president of the MVSU National Alumni Association. "This announcement comes at a good time with so many alumni on campus as we celebrate the 35th Annual National Alumni Summit. Dr. Briggs is an exceptional leader who will be able to build on the progress made without missing a beat. He understands the campus, the students and the Delta. I look forward to working with him in this new role."

Dr. Briggs earned his Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry education from Xavier University of Louisiana, his Master of Arts degree in human relations and supervision from Louisiana Tech University, and both an Educational Specialist degree in higher education administration and doctorate in educational policy, planning and leadership from the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Va. He also completed Harvard University's Institute for Educational Management program.

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The Mississippi Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning governs the public universities in Mississippi, including Alcorn State University; Delta State University; Jackson State University; Mississippi State University including the Mississippi State University Division of Agriculture, Forestry and Veterinary Medicine; Mississippi University for Women; Mississippi Valley State University; the University of Mississippi including the University of Mississippi Medical Center; and the University of Southern Mississippi.

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