April 16, 2010 11:50:00 AM
Jason Browne - [email protected]
Scott Ross presided over his last meeting of the College Board Thursday.
Ross, who is also the mayor of West Point, ceremoniously passed the gavel to Dr. Bettye Neely, board vice president and assistant superintendent of district testing and federal programs for the Grenada School District. Neely''s first meeting as president will be May 8.
Each board president serves for one year, and during his tenure Ross saw the inauguration of three new university leaders and the selection of a new commissioner of higher education.
"Mr. Ross served as president during a very difficult time in our state''s history," Commissioner of Higher Education Dr. Hank Bounds said. "Dr. Neely will meet the challenges facing us head on, just as Mr. Ross did. We are very fortunate to have leaders of their caliber."
Neely echoed Bounds'' sentiments, pointing also to the budget concerns facing the state during Ross'' tenure and praising the progress made under his leadership.
Ross expressed his confidence Neely would be build on that success.
"It has been a high honor to serve in this position," said Ross, who also serves as the current mayor of West Point. "I consider Dr. Neely a great friend; she is a true advocate for education. I have no doubt our board will reach new heights under her leadership."
Neely and Ross were both appointed to the board by former Gov. Ronnie Musgrove in 2000. Both terms expire in 2012.
Ross had previously served on the Universities and Colleges Committee during his time in the Mississippi House of Representatives.