Gavel passes to new president of IHL Board of Trustees

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Trustee Bruce Martin and Trustee Dr. Alfred McNair Jr.

JANS – Leadership of the Mississippi Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning changed April 18, 2024, as the gavel was passed from outgoing president Dr. Alfred McNair Jr. to incoming president Bruce Martin. The term for a board president is one year.

“It has been an honor to serve in this role for the past year, and I am proud of the good work done by this board in service of Mississippi’s public universities,” McNair said. “From the strength of our bond rating to the increase in degrees awarded to our students, I believe our university system is poised for ongoing success for years to come.”

Martin echoed McNair’s statement and shared his own thoughts on the work ahead.

“The IHL Board of Trustees has had a great leader in Dr. McNair, and I know I speak for my fellow trustees when we express our gratitude for his time and energy in this role,” said Martin. “I am excited about the work that lies ahead and confident we will continue to build on the strong foundation that is in place.”

McNair, a gastroenterologist from Ocean Springs, is also at the end of his term as a trustee. He was appointed in 2015 by Governor Phil Bryant to represent the Second (Southern) Supreme Court District. His term will officially end on May 7.

Martin was appointed by Bryant in 2018 to represent the First (Central) Supreme Court District. He is an insurance executive in Meridian, Miss. His term will expire on May 7, 2027.

Three additional trustees will roll off the board on May 7, 2024: Tom Duff of Hattiesburg, Dr. Walt Starr of Columbus, and Chip Morgan of Leland.

Commissioner of Higher Education Dr. Al Rankins Jr. praised the work of the outgoing trustees.

“For the past nine years, each of these trustees brought something special to our state’s public university system,” Rankins said. “Each of them leaves a legacy of excellence and steps away with the knowledge that they made a difference. I am grateful for their dedication and influence on the shared success of Mississippi’s universities.”

Governor Tate Reeves has announced his appointments to fill the four vacancies and confirmation hearings are expected in the near future. Reeves’ appointees are Donald Clark Jr., Jerry Griffith, James “Jimmy” Heidelberg, and Charles “Charlie” Stephenson.

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Gavel passes to new president of IHL Board of Trustees

By Jackson Advocate News Service
April 29, 2024