MSU picks one of its own new dean of students

June 25, 2009

Tim Pratt -


STARKVILLE -- Despite a nationwide search for a new dean of students, Mississippi State University has selected one of its own to fill the position. 


The university announced Wednesday it has selected Associate Dean of Students Thomas Bourgeois to replace former Dean of Students Mike White, who recently retired after a nearly 40-year student affairs career. The selection still must be approved by the Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning.  


"It is an honor to be selected as the next dean of students at Mississippi State University," Bourgeois said Wednesday afternoon. "I look forward to continuing the legacy that has been left by the former leaders who have held this position. I embrace the challenges and opportunities that lay ahead and will continue to be a voice and advocate for all members of the MSU family, especially students." 


Bill Kibler, vice president for student affairs, commended Bourgeois in a statement released by the university. 


"Dr. Bourgeois was selected after a national search that drew extensive interest from a highly qualified and diverse candidate pool," Kibler said. "He has excellent experience and skills, and he is uniquely qualified to fill this position." 


Bourgeois began his campus career in 1999 as assistant dean of students. He was named associate dean of students in 2002 and was heavily involved in developing the university''s crisis response program and recently formed a behavioral intervention team. He also has served as student ombudsman and has been responsible for judicial hearings and investigations of student misconduct. 


Administratively, he has overseen several divisional units, including, among others, the Richard Holmes Cultural Diversity Center; Center for America''s Veterans; and offices of Parent Services, Student Judicial Services, Leadership Programs, Risk Management and Student Support Services/Student Disability Services. 


As dean, he also will supervise the MSU Police Department, Crisis Action and Behavioral Intervention teams, and the Honor Code office. 


"The dean of students plays a significant role in serving as a voice for our most important constituency, as well as determining appropriate response to issues of their behavior while enrolled here," Kibler said. "It is a position of significant responsibility." 


Bourgeois holds a master''s degree in counselor education and a doctorate in educational leadership, both from MSU. He also is a biology graduate of Louisiana State University. 


A Louisiana native who grew up on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, Bourgeois began his student affairs career at Loyola University in New Orleans, where he was assistant director for residential life/special projects from 1996 to 1999.