'Message from the Provost': Enrollment landmark

In his latest update, Provost and Executive Vice President Jerry Gilbert notes Mississippi State's historic enrollment achievement, offers an update about information technology on campus, and shares other news:

Dear Faculty and Staff:

MSU has reached a historic landmark with its enrollment exceeding 20,000 for the first time in the history of the institution. This fall's enrollment represents over 750 more students this year than last. Thanks go out to all of the faculty and staff who are so effectively meeting the challenge to deliver first-class academic and student services to our student body.

I am pleased to announce that I am taking steps to implement all of the recommendations of the Information Technology Task Force. Mr. Mike Rackley assumed the new title of Chief Information Officer (CIO) on Sept. 1 and will continue to lead Information Technology Services. I have asked the CIO to form a new information technology (IT) council to coordinate all of the various functions related to IT and to recommend efficiencies that can be implemented. I also asked him to prepare a proposal for taking the university to a single email system.

As a first step in responding to the recommendations of the Distance Education Task Force, I have asked for a review of the organization and funding structure of Academic Outreach and Continuing Education (AOCE) by Human Resources Management and the Office of Internal Audit. After the review, I will begin exploring ways to gradually improve the funding model of AOCE and the management of distance education. All changes that may be phased-in would be to improve the quality of distance education, increase efficiencies, and promote further expansion of distance education.

As you know, our football home opener will be September 15 against Louisiana State University, a Thursday night game. I want to take this opportunity to remind you that we have adjusted our academic schedule so that we can meet our contact minute requirement while not holding class on Thursday, September 15. Classes will resume on Friday, September 16.

I encourage you to take part in the activities associated with Eudora Welty's "The Optimist's Daughter," our 2011 book for the Maroon Edition first-year reading experience. September has a number of events and activities which are listed on the following webpage: http://www.maroonedition.msstate.edu/events/ Check out the evening events on September 14 and 29.

With best wishes for a great semester,

Jerry Gilbert
Provost and Executive Vice President

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