Mississippi State President Keenum’s contract renewed for four years


STARKVILLE, Miss. (WJTV) – The Mississippi Board of Trustees of Institutions of Higher Learning (IHL) renewed the contract of Mississippi State University (MSU) President Mark E. Keenum for a four-year term. The term would end on June 30, 2025.

Keenum is currently in his 13th year of service to the university. As part of the contract renewal, the IHL Board also authorized the private MSU Foundation to structure and invest in a retention plan for Keenum of up to a maximum of $800,000 at the end of the contract period.

“As president of the Mississippi IHL Board, I strongly believe that this plan reflects very positively on Dr. Keenum and his leadership team at MSU, along with the students, faculty, and staff of the institution and provides the foundation for continued growth and development of the university for the foreseeable future,” said Dr. J. Walt Starr, president of the Mississippi Board of Trustees of IHL.

“I am incredibly humbled and grateful to the Mississippi Board of Trustees of Institutions of Higher Learning and Mississippi Commissioner of Higher Education Alfred Rankins Jr. for the confidence expressed in me and our outstanding leadership team,” Keenum said. “This decision by the trustees is most assuredly a reflection of the entire MSU leadership team and all of the wonderful things happening on our campus because of their efforts. I appreciate the fact that the Board of Trustees wants to see the strong momentum we have at Mississippi State continue in the years to come. I also appreciate the confidence they have placed in me, and I look forward to continuing to work with them and all of our many stakeholders.”

Keenum began his career at MSU as a faculty member with the Extension Service and the Department of Agricultural Economics. He went on to serve as chief of staff to U.S. Senator Thad Cochran in Washington, D.C., and was Under Secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture prior to returning to Mississippi State.

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