February 21, 2014 11:25:31 AM
Mississippi State University Bagley College of Engineering Dean Achille Messac will transition to a tenured professor position within school's aerospace engineering department on March 1, according to an email sent to faculty and staff from the provost's office.
Provost Jerry Gilbert is discussion with a possible interim dean, the email states, and will inform engineering faculty and staff of an appointment when one is made.
A call to the provost's office was directed to MSU Public Affairs. MSU Chief Communications Officer Sid Salter confirmed the contents of the email but said the university would not comment on personnel moves.
Salter would also not comment on the nature or status of an expected search to fill the post on a long-term basis, saying every major university search process is different and specific to the department's needs. Aside from the provost's email to faculty/staff, MSU has yet to officially announce the transition.
Messac, MSU's first African American dean, was hired in 2013 after serving as Syracuse University's chair and distinguished professor of the mechanical and aerospace engineering department. He previously held administrative and faculty positions at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (New York) and Northeastern University (Massachusetts).
Messac succeeded Sarah Rajala as MSU's engineering dean.
Carl Smith covers Starkville and Oktibbeha County for The Dispatch. Follow him on Twitter @StarkDispatch
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