The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

    Keenum takes office, addresses faculty

    Since officially taking office as Mississippi State University’s 19th president Jan. 5, Mark Keenum has maintained an eventful schedule meeting university administrators and outlining goals.
    “So far, it has been a busy few days,” Keenum said, speaking about his first week. “I was on the road the first two days meeting with MSU alumni and supporters of the university, and I have been in meetings the rest of the week.”
    Keenum said he is very optimistic about the university’s future and many goals he wants to accomplish during his presidency. He said he plans to be very active on campus.
    “I want to be very involved with recruiting. MSU has had great success with recruiting, and I want the university to grow and expand,” he said. “My goal is to exceed 22,000 students by 2015, but with the increase of students, MSU will need more faculty, staff, residence halls and many other things around campus to accommodate the large amount of people.” Keenum said he is trying to figure out how to improve MSU with the resources it has available with the nation facing hard economic times.
    “My main focus right now is going to be . working with the budget and finding new ways to work with the limited amount of resources available to [MSU],” Keenum said. “I have been meeting with the state legislature about new projects and bonds for buildings
    . [and we’ve been] paying close attention to getting the resources we need for the structural repairs around campus.”
    While addressing the Faculty Senate Friday, Keenum said he plans on getting additional funds for the university by having a reception for lawmakers in Washington, D.C.
    “We’re going to meet with all the members of the delegation to talk about our requests and our needs as we move forward in this coming fiscal year,” Keenum said.
    Faculty Senate President David Nagel said Keenum set a precedent for presidents by arriving early.
    “He admits he doesn’t know how things work, but he’s willing to learn, which is a good sign,” he said. “In the Faculty Senate we want a cordial relationship with everybody. For a first meeting, he did fine.”
    In addressing Keenum at the meeting, College of Arts and Sciences Senator Stephen Klein said classroom size and availability on campus is a large concern.
    “In the 18-plus years I’ve been here, we’ve gone from 12,000 to almost 18,000 students,” he said. “Next year there’ll be somewhere between [19,000] and 20,000.”
    Keenum said the dramatic increase in enrollment is a good problem to have and he wants to build on it to better the reputation of the university.
    “I want to enhance the image and prestige of MSU, nationally and internationally,” Keenum said. “My vision goes beyond the state of Mississippi.”
    Vice president for student affairs Bill Kibler said he is excited about Keenum’s presidency.
    “He brings skills, experience and background to serve MSU very well, ” Kibler said. “His leadership will be of great benefit to MSU.”
    Kibler said he is optimistic Keenum will leave a long-term impact on MSU.
    “He is committed to excellence,” Kibler said. “We are all hopeful that [under Keenum] MSU will be a better institution with leadership, fundraising, research quality and student experience.”
    Many students have already formed strong opinions of their new president.
    Junior secondary education major Hanna Spearman said she is ready to see how MSU is going to change.
    “I think that Dr. Keenum will be a wonderful addition to MSU family,” Spearman said. “I’m anxious to see what he has in store for the bulldog nation.”
    Junior biomedical engineering major Trey Koury said he believes Keenum will have a positive impact on the university.
    “I’m very glad Keenum is the new president,” Koury said. “I know he will do a great job, and an excellent future awaits MSU.”
    Keenum said he also is confident he will have a positive impact on Mississippi State.
    “When the time comes that I must leave, I just want the university to be better than before I got here,” Keenum said. “I have deep passion for this university. Everything I am and will be, for that matter, is tied back to MSU.”

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    The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University
    Keenum takes office, addresses faculty