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4/28/2020 - Jackson, Miss.

Task Force to develop guidelines for opening campus this fall in a safe, effective manner

Commissioner of Higher Education Dr. Alfred Rankins Jr. recently established the Safe Start Task Force for the university system. The task force will craft a system-level plan for starting and completing the fall 2020 semester in the safest and most effective way, so that students and universities can achieve the best possible outcomes, regardless of the challenging circumstances.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has created unprecedented disruption to all facets of our society and university operations are not excluded,” said Dr. Rankins. “Regardless of the challenges, our universities are committed to providing the best and safest educational experience possible for their students and the most productive and safest work environment for their employees. To achieve this goal, key leaders from each of the eight universities will provide valuable input through the task force.”

Mississippi State University Provost and Executive Vice President Dr. David Shaw will serve as Chair. The members of the Safe Start Task Force include:

    Alcorn State University
    Dr. Keith McGee
    Interim Vice President and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs

    Ms. Dorothy Davis
    Director of Health and Disability Services

    Delta State University
    Dr. Charles McAdams
    Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs

    Dr. Michelle Roberts
    Vice President of Executive Affairs and Chief of Staff

    Jackson State University
    Ms. Robin Pack
    Executive Director for Human Resources

    Dr. Carlos Wilson
    Interim Director of School of Lifelong Learning

    Mississippi State University
    Dr. David Shaw
    Provost and Executive Vice President

    Dr. Regina Hyatt
    Vice President for Student Affairs

    Mississippi University for Women
    Dr. Tammie McCoy
    Professor & Dean of Nursing and Health Sciences

    Mr. Jason Trufant
    Director of Athletics and Recreation

    Mississippi Valley State University
    Dr. La Shon Brooks
    Chief of Staff and Legislative Liaison

    Ms. Joyce Dixon
    Vice President for Business and Finance

    The University of Mississippi
    Mr. Larry Sparks
    Vice Chancellor for Administration and Finance

    Dr. Charlotte Pegues
    Interim Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs

    The University of Southern Mississippi
    Chief Rusty Keyes
    Chief of Police

    Ms. Sirena Cantrell
    Dean of Students

Due to the current COVID-19 social distancing guidelines, all meetings will be held remotely.


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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