Officials name a new president for Mississippi’s largest historically Black university

By The Associated Press

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Higher education officials in Mississippi voted Nov. 16 to name a new president of Jackson State University, the state’s largest historically Black university.

Marcus L. Thompson recently was named the 13th president of Jackson State University. (Photo courtesy of Jackson State University)

The board of trustees for the state Institutions of Higher Learning named Marcus L. Thompson the 13th JSU president, concluding a monthslong search that began after the March 31 resignation of the university’s former president Thomas K. Hudson.

Thompson currently serves as the deputy commissioner and chief administrative officer of the Institutions of Higher Learning public university system.

“The Board selected a leader who knows the unique historic importance of the university who will articulate a bold vision for the future and will be indefatigable in the pursuit of excellence for Jackson State University,” said Steven Cunningham, chair of the Board Search Committee.

Hudson, the former president, was put on leave in March. Months prior, the JSU faculty senate issued a vote of no confidence in Hudson. They had raised concerns about campus safety and curriculum changes. Elayne Hayes-Anthony, who had been the chairwoman of JSU’s Department of Journalism and Media Studies, served as acting president.

Thompson earned a doctor of philosophy degree from JSU in urban higher education. In a statement Nov. 16, he said would develop a consensus around the university’s goals.

“I’m very honored to be named President of Jackson State University because I believe in its mission, purpose and most of all, the outstanding faculty, staff, alumni and students who embody our school’s motto of challenging minds, changing lives,” Thompson said.

Thompson’s appointment will be effective Nov. 27.

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