Mississippi State University President Mark E. Keenum announced on Friday [Nov. 13] during a Faculty Senate meeting that Julia Hodges will serve in an interim senior leadership position at the land-grant institution.
In October, Provost and Executive Vice President Jerry Gilbert was named president of Marshall University in West Virginia. Hodges will fill this role during the search for Gilbert's replacement.
"It is a well-deserved opportunity for Jerry, and we wish him and Leigh all the best, even though their departure represents a great loss to Mississippi State," Keenum stated in a campus-wide email to faculty and staff.
The interim period is expected to last several months, and Hodges is not a candidate for the permanent position.
"I am confident that Dr. Hodges will provide outstanding leadership during the interim period. Please join me in thanking her for taking on this important responsibility," Keenum said.
For more than 30 years, Hodges has been an MSU faculty member and now serves as associate vice president for academic affairs in the Office of the Provost and Executive Vice President. In 1997, she was named head of the computer science and engineering department and remained in that role for 12 years before accepting her current position.
Hodges holds a bachelorâ€™s and two masterâ€™s degrees from Mississippi State and received her doctoral degree in computer science from the University of Louisianaâ€“Lafayette. She is a senior member of the Association for Computing Machinery and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. She also is a member of the IEEE Computer Society and the American Society for Engineering Education.
A search committee chaired by Vice President for Research and Economic Development David Shaw will be finalized in the next few days as the process to find Gilbert's successor moves forward.
MSU is Mississippi's leading university, available online at www.msstate.edu.