Presidential Transition

Alumni Team to Assist in Presidential Transition 

During the 2012-13 academic year, The University of Southern Mississippi will undergo a transition to a new president, a significant event in the history of our university. While it is the responsibility of the Institutions of Higher Learning Board of Trustees to perform the search for a new university president, it is the responsibility of alumni to monitor and contribute to the process as appropriate.

The Alumni Association Presidential Transition Team was created for the purpose of assisting in any possible way with the search. Under the leadership of co-chairs Rosemary Aultman and Rex Kelly, the team has implemented a plan to provide feedback to the IHL regarding the key skills and abilities needed for success in our next president and to play a significant role in the transition of leadership once the new president is selected.

“This selection process is important, and the Presidential Transition Team will enhance the effectiveness of the process,” say Kelly. “The information gathered allows us a very credible view of the issues we face as a University and the priority placed upon issues by those most interested in Southern Miss.”

The team will gather information through interviews with Interim President Aubrey Lucas, former President Shelby Thames, faculty, staff, student representatives, alumni and others who have a vested interest in Southern Miss. The information provided by the groups will be instrumental in allowing the team to better define the current issues facing the University and assist with developing a Preferred Presidential Profile detailing the skills and attributes most desirable in a new president. The Preferred Presidential Profile will be provided to the IHL Search Committee and communicated to University constituents through communication channels of the Association.

Once a new president has been named by the IHL, the team will work with the new president to ensure a smooth transition by providing a consistent and credible process by which issues can be made known and addressed.


Rosemary Aultman – Clinton, MS

Rex Kelly – Gulfport, MS


Jan Collins – Madison, MS

Kristie Fairley – Petal, MS

Curt Hebert – Madison, MS

Jimmy Heidelberg – Pascagoula, MS

Troy Johnston – Jackson, MS

Sam Jones – Ellisville, MS

Ed Langton – Hattiesburg, MS

Kathleen Shaughnessy – Biloxi, MS

Dorian Scott – Jacksonville, FL

Alvin Williams – Hattiesburg, MS

Jazmyne Bulter – Student Government President

D’Andra Price – The Legacy, Student Alumni Association, President

To view the Preferred Presidential Profile created by the Alumni Association Presidential Transition Team, click here.

To view the feature article, The Presidential Search Begins | Southern Miss Seeks its Tenth President, that appeared in the fall 2012 issue of The Talon, click here.