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8/21/2007 - Jackson, Miss.

During its regular monthly meeting on August 15, 2007, the Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning (IHL) voted to enter into a consulting services contract with former Mississippi Valley State University President Dr. Lester C. Newman. Dr. Newman resigned from his position of President at Mississippi Valley on July 15, 2007.

Dr. L. Stacy Davidson, Jr., President of the IHL Board, issued the following statement regarding the Board’s decision: “Dr. Newman had three years left on his employment contract when he decided he had accomplished what he could for Mississippi Valley State University. The Board wanted to take advantage of his higher education expertise by offering him the opportunity to consult with the Board in relation to planning issues, Ayers implementation, and academic affairs. Specifically, the Board has asked Dr. Newman to examine and make recommendations for increasing African American male enrollment in Mississippi’s public universities. There is an obvious national concern—and one we share in the state—that African American males are not reaching the level of educational attainment necessary for our state to be successful.”

President Davidson added, “Dr. Newman is working on a contract basis with no fringe benefits. The amount he is being paid is a negotiated price in lieu of him completing the remaining three years on his four-year contract. He will have periodic discussions with the Commissioner of Higher Education regarding progress on his various projects, and a report will be expected by the end of the contract.”

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.


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