Ocean Springs, MS — Dr. LaDon Swann was named the Interim Director of the Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Consortium (MASGC) at the Consortium's annual Board of Directors Meeting held May 10, 2001. Swann, who is currently the Associate Director of MASGC's Office of Alabama Programs, will assume the Interim Director position beginning July 1, 2001. Dr. Barry Costa-Pierce, the current MASGC Director, will leave the Consortium in August to become the Director of the Rhode Island Sea Grant College Program.
Another significant action taken at the board meeting was the vote and approval to accept Jackson State University as the newest member of the Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Consortium. A special board-appointed committee reviewing JSU's request made a site visit to the university's campus last month. They spent the day touring JSU's research facilities, meeting faculty and administrators, and listening to presentations of JSU's research activities.
The main agenda item for the board meeting was supposed to be the selection of the next "host university" for the Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Consortium. The Consortium has been located at The University of Southern Mississippi's Gulf Coast Research Laboratory for almost 30 years. The three universities competing for this position are Auburn University, Mississippi State University, and The University of Southern Mississippi. The three proposals, submitted in January, were mailed to outside reviewers for comments and questions. At the board meeting, after a brief discussion, board members decided that the reviewers raised enough serious issues that it would be in the Consortium's best interest to allow the three universities to revise their proposals, taking into account the reviewers comments, and resubmit the proposals by July 1, 2001. The Board will then hold a special meeting at the end of July or beginning of August to select the Consortium's next host university.