The University of Southern Mississippi seeks a dynamic, forward-thinking leader for its distinguished Trent Lott National Center for Excellence in Economic Development & Entrepreneurship. This individual will lead a nationally recognized center that is responsible for planning, coordinating, and directing the University’s economic development initiatives and research. The university is strongly committed to promoting strategic economic development that will attract more business to the region and utilize academic research to bolster the local and state economy. Key to fulfilling this commitment is identifying ways to partner with local and state communities in mutually beneficial projects.
History of Economic Development
The University of Southern Mississippi has a long and storied tradition concerning economic development. Southern Miss was the first in the nation to offer a masters level program in economic development and has continuously produced quality economic development professionals. Southern Miss has offered the Master of Science in Economic Development (MSED) program since 1979 and graduates of the MSED program are highly sought after by economic development firms and public sector agencies all over the country.
Overview of Trent Lott Center
The Trent Lott National Center for Excellence in Economic Development and Entrepreneurship at The University of Southern Mississippi serves as the catalyst for a university-wide focus on economic development training and research serving public entities, nonprofit organizations, businesses, and individuals. The Center provides client-requested assistance and offer expertise in strategic planning and leadership development; education and training; community analysis and research; and other technical support. The Trent Lott National Center is driven by passion, determination and commitment to be a leading force in advancing global competitiveness through knowledge-led economic development.
Areas of Excellence
The Trent Lott National Center for Excellence in Economic Development and Entrepreneurship at The University of Southern Mississippi works cooperatively with the nationally recognized College of Business & Economic Development Master of Science in Economic Development Program to support the research and education needs of the economic development community.
Annually, the Center manages $1-$2M of federally sponsored research and 20-30 community projects which range from $500 to $50,000. The Director manages two research analysts and 6-10 graduate research assistants who conduct strategic plans, feasibility studies, economic & fiscal impact studies, etc., requested by communities small and large. The Center also provides back-office research to support nationally known economic development consultants.
The Center also conducts economic development professional training, including:
True South Basic Economic Development Course - an IEDC accredited introductory course exposing participants to the fundamentals and practice of creating jobs, increasing wealth, improving the tax base and enhancing a community’s quality-of-life, and the first step in pursuing professional certification.
Economic Development Certificate Program - provides knowledge and skills for those currently employed or pursuing careers in economic development.
Advanced Economic Development Program - seeks to help economic developers reimagine their role while providing leading-edge ways to think about and address challenges and create connections and a network that are invaluable. The University of Southern Mississippi partners with Clemson University, Texas Christian University, and The University of New Mexico to deliver this dynamic leadership program.
The Center is the point for the University’s economic related outreach efforts. It works closely with the USM Office of Technology Development, Mississippi Polymer Institute, the Marine Research Center, the College of Business & Economic Development and centers across campus. It is integral to University-wide initiatives such as the Blue Economy and the Hatchery for entrepreneurship development effort. Statewide, the Director works with other higher education leaders, business executives, and public officials to improve the economy of the state.
Minimum Qualifications Master’s degree from an accredited college or university in Economic Development, Business, or a related field and ten (10) years’ experience
Preferred Qualifications Doctorate degree from an accredited college or university in Economic Development, Business, or a related field is preferred and ten (10) or more years’ experience
Additional Salary Information: The University of Southern Mississippi will provide competitive compensation and benefits package appropriate for a position of this scope, stature and level of responsibility.
About The University of Southern Mississippi
The University of Southern Mississippi (USM) is a comprehensive public research institution delivering transformative programs on campuses in Hattiesburg and Long Beach, at teaching and research sites in central and southern Mississippi, as well as online. Founded in 1910, USM is one of only 131 universities in the nation to earn the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education’s "R1: Doctoral Universities – Very high research activity” designation, and its robust research enterprise includes experts in ocean science and engineering, polymer science and engineering, and large event venue safety and security, among others. USM is also one of only 37 institutions in the nation accredited in theatre, art and design, dance and music. As an economic driver, USM generates an annual economic impact of more than $600 million across the state. USM welcomes a diverse student body of more than 14,000, representing 71 countries, all 50 states, and every county in Mississippi. USM students have collected four Truman Scholarships and 36 National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowships, while also leading Mississippi with 24 Goldwater Scholarships, an honor that recognizes... the next generation of great research scientists. Home to the Golden Eagles, USM competes in 17 Division I sports sponsored by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). For more information, visit usm.edu.
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