During its regular monthly meeting on Wednesday, April 18, 2007, the Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning (IHL) discussed several pieces of land and unanimously selected the Cross Creek property in Long Beach, Mississippi, as the preferred site for an additional campus of the University of Southern Mississippi.
“After ten months of diligent searching and consideration, I am confident the Board has chosen the best possible location for the additional Southern Miss campus,” said Commissioner of Higher Education Dr. Thomas C. Meredith. “This is a long-term, historic decision that will directly impact generations of Mississippians.”
State demographers have forecasted the population on the Mississippi Gulf Coast to grow substantially in the near future. In June of 2006, the Board began seeking land for the establishment of an additional Southern Miss campus that would be capable of meeting the educational needs of this growing population. From the outset, the Board stressed that the land must be centrally located and easily accessible to any Mississippi Gulf Coast resident who desires a higher education, and highly visible to serve as a constant reminder that education is the key to a brighter, more prosperous future.
After considering multiple sites, the Board solicited the help of Broaddus & Associates Innovative Project Management and Consulting firm to narrow the search. With the help of the consultants, the Board narrowed its search to the three best sites—Cross Creek, located on I-10; Tradition, located at the intersection of Highway 67 and Highway 605; and Gulfport, located on Highway 49 in Gulfport. The land for all three sites was to be donated to the Board. After carefully evaluating each piece of property on the criteria of location, visibility, size, accessibility, cost, growth controllability, suitability and availability of adjacent land, environmental and geotechnical factors, and disaster recovery capabilities, the Board, in accordance with the consultants’ recommendation, selected Cross Creek as the best site for the project. Click here to learn more about Cross Creek and to view the report submitted to the Board by Broaddus & Associates.
In other news, Board President Dr. D.E. Magee, Jr. passed the Presidential gavel to incoming Board President Dr. L. Stacy Davidson, Jr. Dr. Davidson will assume the responsibility of Board President on May 8. Dr. Davidson thanked Dr. Magee for his service. “Dr. Magee has led us with distinction this past year through two presidential searches and a successful legislative session,” said Trustee Davidson. “He has been a steady hand at the wheel, and we appreciate his service to the Board and to the state of Mississippi.”
The next regular monthly meeting of the Board of Trustees will be held May 16 and 17, 2007, in the IHL Board Room, Universities Center, 3825 Ridgewood Road, Jackson, MS.
Under the leadership of the Board of Trustees, IHL 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.