New MSU president could be selected by next week

Published 2:57 pm Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The state college board is aiming to decide next week who it wants to be Mississippi State University’s next president after aborting previous plans to have someone picked earlier this month.

Board of Institutions of Higher Learning President Amy Whitten says presidential prospects will be interviewed Nov. 5 by board members.

The MSU presidential search process has been shaken by scandal over the misuse of public funds that forced the resignation last week of the state’s higher education commissioner and university’s interim president.

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Commissioner Tom Meredith and MSU’s Vance Watson — once considered a leading contender for the president’s job permanently — quit after State Auditor Stacey Pickering charged Watson with misusing public funds and employees in 2007 to plant magnolia trees at Meredith’s suburban Jackson home.