Reports for September 25, 2012 - October 15, 2012
Click here for reports and editorials from September 1, 2012 - September 24, 2012
. . breaking news . . . Wiesenburg Names CoB Dean Search Committee HATTIESBURG – In a 24-Sept-2012 e-mail, USM provost Denis Wiesenburg released the names of those selected to serve on the search committee to replace former CoB dean Lance Nail, who departed USM in August-2012 for the top spot in the Rawls Business College at Texas Tech University. The text of that e-mail appears here:
September 25, 2012
Editorial What to expect . . . Here we are again looking for a president at the University of Southern Mississippi. This report will not discuss the recent "Listening Sessions" or other of the IHL's "twenty step process" of selecting new presidents.

Visitors We will, from time to time, report who visits State organizations like the Institutions of Higher Learning visit, daily. We'll review their habits in a future report. Today, let's look at a visitor from University of West Florida, Pensacola, Florida. This particular visitor was interested in reviewing reports about Lee P. Gore.

September 26, 2012
Updated The CoB’s Brain Drain Compilation, 2003-Present, An Illustrated Account There is little argument with the notion that the College of Business at USM has been severely diminished by the faculty flight that has occurred since former CoB dean, Harold Doty, assumed the reins of management. Doty’s tenure began in 2003, when he was hired by former USM President, Shelby Thames, to lead the newly reorganized College of Business & Economic Development.
The Final Lecture: Scianna Scolds IHL Board in Front of USM Students During the Campus Listening Sessions – talks designed to assist the Mississippi IHL Board in selecting USM’s next president – on the Hattiesburg campus of USM on 19-Sept-2012, USM alum and CoB benefactor, Chuck Scianna, stole the show.
September 28, 2012
Updated Will 2012-13 be a Banner Year? During the 2011-12 academic year, staff followed the progress of USM's athletics. As you can see, the Golden Eagles sports units won only 42.0% of their contests
October 1, 2012
USM’s Sports Woes Continue ATHLETICS DIRECTOR EVEN MORE EMBATTLED AFTER WEEKEND After Saturday’s (29-Sept-2012) loss in Hattiesburg to Louisville by a score of 17-21, new USM athletics director Jeff Hammond is even more embattled than he was heading into the weekend. With the loss, USM fans are beyond furious at the performance of both Hammond and new head football coach Ellis Johnson, whose record slipped to 0-4 with the UL loss.
Dear I have been told that Russ Willis has resigned from the USM Foundation. I have not confirmed this, but believe it to be true. You should check it out for sure.
October 2, 2012
Tricks of the Trade A September 30, 2012 article in The Chronicle of Higher Education, Fake Peer Reviews, the Latest Form of Scientific Fraud, Fools Journals, is interesting. Initially, consider a quote from the article, which reads like a script for a Saturday Night Live skit:

Fun with Ellis by Duane Cobb With his disastrous 0-4 start as the new head football coach at USM, disgruntled USM fans are seriously upset with Ellis Johnson. Like anything that is a source of pain, however, many are now turning to humor in order to deal with what they believe is only the beginning of a nightmare in terms of USM’s football future, at least for the near term.
October 3, 2012
Come here. Go far. Stay here. Go far. Guest Editorial I was driving to Biloxi a few days ago and there it was a huge black and gold billboard with a USM advertisement inviting students to "Stay here. Go far." I had just read's report about the Martha Saunders and idgroup "creative" slogan which was a near replica of one found on the Saunders'/idgroup era strategic plan at the University of Wisconsin Whitewater -- "Come here. Go far."

31st & Pearl Pay No Attention to that Man behind the Curtain A quick peek at the names of the individuals on the search committee to replace Lance Nail as dean of the b-school at USM revealed a major omission – Chuck Scianna, the CoB’s main benefactor at the moment, was not included.
October 8, 2012
. . . breaking news . . . Lucas: Rules Don’t Apply to USM Administrators HATTIESBURG – Ed Kemp’s 6-Oct-2012 story for The Hattiesburg American entitled “Thames’ New Title Causes Stir at USM” has the Hattiesburg campus buzzing, and not because it has something do with USM’s controversial former president, Shelby Thames, who is mentioned in the title. No, Kemp’s latest masterpiece has the USM campus abuzz over comments made by USM’s current (interim) president, Aubrey Lucas. Members of the USM faculty senate, and faculty senator David Beckett in particular, learned recently that retired USM scientist Thames was awarded emeritus status by Lucas without first submitting Thames’ application for emeritus status to faculty and administration in USM’s College of Science and Technology.
eLLLLLoss! Golden Eagles Football Sinking Fast With the 6-Oct-2012 loss in M.M. Roberts Stadium to Boise State University by a score of 14-40, the Ellis Johnson regime at USM is off to a disastrous 0-5 start. And, with each successive loss, Eagles supporters all over cyberspace who have taken to referring to “Ellis” as “Elloss” add yet another “l” to their chosen name, leading to the current version – “Ellllloss.”
October 9, 2012
Is Lucas a Thamesian? Interim President Looking More Like Controversial Former President Every Day A Guest Column When USM faculty were, in the eyes of many, being terrorized by the Shelby Thames administration of USM (2002-07), current interim president Aubrey Lucas sat on the sidelines, occupying the paid title of emeritus president, and did virtually nothing, again in the eyes of many, to blunt the pain being felt across USM’s two campuses.
Dear, I don't know why anyone is surprised to hear that [interim President] Lucas believes that Rules Don't Apply to USM Administrators. Since when did anyone think the concept of shared governance meant anything at "Southern Miss"? I can't remember the last time any administration cared what the faculty senate or faculty thought? The faculty handbook and the concept of share governance have been little more than window dressing for a series of imperial administrators.

October 10, 2012
Our Everyday Visitor Why does the IHL visit every day, often several times a day? As reported in the past, the editors and reporters at are pleased the IHL is hearing from someone other than university presidents.
Dear USM News, Your recent guest column about how [current USM interim president Aubrey] Lucas is a Thamesian is pretty much how I feel. Except your columnist forgot to mention anything about the “secret raises” that [The Hattiesburg American’s Ed] Kemp reported on in the newspaper [on 7-Oct-2012]. Kemp’s article points out that after hiring 80 new faculty for the coming year (Wow! That number is huge! Think USM has a faculty turnover problem?), USM administrators recognized a large “salary lag” problem
October 11, 2012
Editorial Shocked?! USM administrators not following the Faculty Handbook? Mr. Lucas was the administrator, this time? I'm shocked! Shocked! Let's put this in perspective. If the USM administrators/IHL members had to decide between continuing the football team, expensive losers that they are, or the faculty senate...adios, sayonara, bye-bye faculty senate.

Farhang Niroomand, At It Again? Well, looky what's up. There's interest in Farhang Niroomand, again:

October 4, 2012
How Did We Reach A Consensus That Cheating Is Appropriate? Articles about lying, cheating and stealing in education frequently appear in The Chronicle of Higher Education. Let me offer for your consideration, "A Cheating Heart: There Are Reasons, But No Excuse" by Claire Potter.

Dear, Why wasn't Chuck Scianna put on the committee to select the new College of Business dean? He didn't seem terribly happy with the direction of things at USM. As you recently quoted Mr. Scianna, "[w]hen I made the investment [in the CoB], the investment was made based on negotiations with individuals [Saunders and Nail] who made certain commitments to me, and, in my opinion, they're in breach...".

October 12, 2012
Duhon and Lambert and University of Phoenix All too often visitors to USMNews signal intentions. The above got our attention. The first question that came to mind, are Dave Duhon and John Lambert looking to "move up" in the academic ranks? From University of Southern Mississippi to University of Phoenix?

. . . breaking news . . Documents Regarding Bo Morgan’s History Arriving HATTIESBURG – In response to an earlier freedom of information request, is now receiving documents from USM relating to Chester “Bo” Morgan’s centennial history of USM, Treasured Past, Golden Future (shown below), which was co-published by the University Press of Mississippi (UPoM) and USM.
October 5, 2012
Some Presidents Emeritus are More Valuable than Others At its September 20, 2012 meeting, the IHL designated newly retired Shelby Thames as Distinguished University Research Professor Emeritus and Professor Emeritus of Polymer Science. (See insert below from 20 - September -- 2012 IHL Board Book. Along with this change, no mention is of made of any salary or payment to Dr. Thames.

Updated HELP WANTED A Look at Business Dean Openings from Around the Country With four current/former CoB deans moving around in the academic world, some readers have requested an ongoing report that tracks current b-school dean openings. Long-time readers of are aware that Joseph Peyrefitte is the current dean of the CoB,
October 15, 2012
The Farm News Briefs from Southern Miss 15-October-2012 Plaintiff’s Attorney Slams USM Jesse Bass’ 13-Oct-2012 story for The Hattiesburg American updates the USM community on the lawsuit filed against USM by Bonnie Gerald, a former USM professor. Gerald’s lawsuit alleges violation of federal law prohibiting discrimination, and is summarized in a recent report (see link above).
updated HELP WANTED A Look at Business Dean Openings from Around the Country With four current/former CoB deans moving around in the academic world, some readers have requested an ongoing report that tracks current b-school dean openings. Long-time readers of are aware that Joseph Peyrefitte is the current interim dean of the CoB, having replaced Lance Nail, who is now the business dean at Texas Tech University. Other former CoB deans, Harold Doty
October 30, 2012
Dear, Take a look at the attached email. Before every football game I get pretty much the same invitation. (I guess anyone who has donated money to the Foundation gets one.) I'm almost tempted to go to see who, if anyone, shows up. I wonder if Interim-President Lucas will bother to play host. Maybe he will spend his time campaigning with the folks at the University of West Florida trying to get Martha [Saunders] gone and off his payroll.

Editorial BigGoldNation sees only an abysmal football team The legacy of Martha Saunders ... Then-President Saunders ... was exceptional, nevertheless, at puffing her image through public relations. She was the heroine of every USM picture, every USM video. Was she simply too busy to attend to any substantive decisions? Let's look at one example. As she told the media while she attempted to cover her posterior, in the wake of her very public "Tablegate" disaster,