Anderson adding new role in Academic Affairs

Tommy Anderson

Mississippi State University’s prestigious scholarship director Tommy Anderson has been named interim assistant dean of academic affairs. He began his new position June 1.

The position of assistant dean of academic affairs was designed as a “part-time role to aid the college as we grow our majors and increase our ability to serve our faculty and students” said the dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, Rick Travis.

“Tasked to ensure that university and college policies are followed and our academic standards are upheld,” Travis said Anderson is playing a leading role with undergraduate programs.

Anderson’s “admirable interpersonal skills and his strong academic integrity” are some of the reasons Anderson was selected for this position, said Travis. “All of us in the dean’s office are excited about his addition.”

“I am most excited about working with my colleagues in the dean’s office who are committed to supporting the students and faculty in the College of Arts and Sciences,” Anderson said. “On a daily basis, the office works to introduce students to the transformative teaching and research within the college, and I enjoy being a part of that story.”

Anderson was awarded the 2015 Kari and Phil Oldham Mentor of the Year Award and the 2012 Dean’s Eminent Scholar Award.

He was the director of undergraduate studies in the Department of English from 2007-2013 and has served as chair of the Arts and Sciences Curriculum Committee.

“We are thrilled for Tommy Anderson to come on board,” said Nicole Rader, interim associate dean for academic affairs. “He brings a wealth of experience to the position as a previous undergraduate coordinator in the Department of English, as the director of prestigious scholarships and as a professor of English who has taught many students at both the undergraduate and the graduate level.”

“These experiences made him ideal for this position and we were fortunate that he was able to step into this part-time position to assist with undergraduate academic affairs,” Rader said.

“Most of my administrative experience has been working with students to help them navigate the challenges that an institution like MSU may pose for them. I look forward to doing this from the dean’s office this year,” Anderson said.

Anderson received his bachelor’s degree from Vanderbilt University in English and history, his master’s degree from Penn State in English literature and his Ph.D. from Vanderbilt, specializing in Shakespeare, early modern literature and culture, and critical theory.

He began teaching in the Department of English at Mississippi State in 2005 after spending two years as an assistant professor at Southern New Hampshire University.

Anderson has published two books on Shakespeare and early modern literature, including his latest, Shakespeare’s Fugitive Politics.

“This book is especially exciting to me because I am able to think about the many ways that Shakespeare’s plays dramatize an alternate form of political engagement for many [of his] characters that often seem to have no agency or control over their identity or political condition,” Anderson said.

Anderson has published articles in journals such as English Literary Renaissance, Milton Quarterly, Journal for Early Modern Cultural Studies and Shakespeare Bulletin.

Anderson teaches undergraduate and graduate courses on Shakespeare and the first half of the British literature survey. He has taken Shackouls honor students to Oxford University twice to study Shakespeare.

“Seeing Titus Andronicus, a play that has been part of my scholarly thinking for nearly two decades, performed in the Globe Theatre in London with a group of 14 students from MSU is one of my most cherished memories as a professor,” Anderson said.

He is currently considering which Shakespeare plays are essential for future Presidents to read and understand and is considering writing a book on the topic.

Anderson’s wife Michele works at MSU. They have two school-aged children who enjoy tennis and soccer.

The College of Arts and Sciences is the largest college at MSU and is home to 14 departments. With more than 5,000 students and 300 faculty members, the college offers students 25 academic programs. For more information visit

MSU is Mississippi’s leading university, available online at

Sarah Nicholas | College of Arts and Sciences

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