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4/27/2012 - Hattiesburg, Miss.

The Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning has accepted the resignation of Dr. Martha Saunders, president of the University of Southern Mississippi. The resignation will be effective June 30, 2012.

“The Board appreciates the years of service and dedication to the university that Dr. Saunders has demonstrated,” said Board President Ed Blakeslee. “The university has grown under her leadership, marking important milestones, such as the Centennial Celebration, and setting the stage for the future through an inclusive strategic planning process.”

Citing personal reasons, Dr. Saunders has elected to return to the classroom and will become part of the faculty on the Gulf Coast Campus of the University of Southern Mississippi. In addition, she will assist with the transition process.

“I have enjoyed working with Dr. Saunders to help move the University of Southern Mississippi forward,” said Dr. Hank M. Bounds, Commissioner of Higher Education. “She has fostered a climate of academic success while enhancing the national image of the university and expanding its national research presence.”

The Board of Trustees will begin the search process as soon as possible. The Board will discuss the timeline for the search at its May meeting.

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