After serving on an interim basis for a year, Dr. Charles Lee has been named the new president of Mississippi State University.
The state College Board made the announcement Friday in Starkville.
College Board President Bryce Griffis said Lee's salary will be $300,000 a year, with $100,000 of that coming from the university's foundation.
The 12-member board began a nationwide search for a new president after Dr. Malcolm Portera resigned to become chancellor of the University of Alabama system in November, 2001.
Lee was promoted from his former position as vice president for agriculture, forestry and veterinary medicine.
Lee was in Meridian Friday for a leadership summit. He pledged his support for the Opera House Project to a welcoming crowd at Kahlmus Auditorium at MSU's Meridian campus.
"We are, I hope, going to have people on site in the next few days, if they're not already here, beginning to remove some of the debris and other things preparatory to starting the renovation," said Lee.
The new president also indicated at least one new program for the Meridian campus of MSU is currently under consideration.