Dr. Shelby Thames said he will implement a plan for more dialogue between himself and members of the faculty, many of whom have called for his resignation. He met in executive session with board members Thursday to discuss his vision for the Hattiesburg-based university.
Thames' problems at the university came to a head with his decision to first suspend and then dismiss two tenured professors. The dispute between Thames and sociology professor Frank Glamser and English professor Gary Stringer triggered no confidence votes by the Faculty Senate and limited protests by students.
The matter ended abruptly on Apr. 28 when a special hearing officer stopped testimony on the termination proceedings and officials announced a settlement.
Thames said it was important that the university begin to heal and he hoped his plans would be embraced by the faculty.
Myron Henry, president of USM's Faculty Senate, said he was disappointed that none of the four faculty members who were at the board meeting in Jackson was invited into the executive session.