Cruse brings new leadership to MSU-Meridian

As new administrative director and head of Mississippi State University-Meridian, Terry Dale Cruse wasted no time planning for the satellite campus’s future.

“During my interview I was asked, ‘What do you think of MSU-Meridian?’” Cruse recalled. “I answered with a question of my own, ‘Do you know what you have here?’

“I was just amazed at what I saw, and I saw a lot of opportunity and ways to contribute to help the Meridian campus grow.”
Cruse, who officially began his role in January, explained that in addition to state-of-the-art facilities, MSU-Meridian has generous support from donors, like the Riley and Phil Hardin foundations, and a community with a stake in ensuring the success of the campus.

“We want to create a pipeline program, so we reach students as soon as they enter the community college to prepare them to eventually transfer.” ~ Terry Dale Cruse

“We have a lot of alumni and friends in Meridian,” the Mississippi native explained. “They recognize that it’s really great for the community, and I want to expand those relationships.”

As part of the effort to better serve the community, Cruse has plans to enhance partnerships with junior colleges in the Meridian area by providing Mississippi State advisers to those campuses to minimize instances of students taking courses that won’t count toward a bachelor’s degree.

“We want to create a pipeline program, so we reach students as soon as they enter the community college to prepare them to eventually transfer,” Cruse said.

This plan also includes financial-aid consortium agreements, which allow students to simultaneously take courses at MSU and a community college if necessary to meet full-time enrollment requirements.

Cruse said he also plans to use the university’s reputation for workforce development to partner with economic development groups and help attract new business to the area.

“There are many relationships we can nurture, and tools and enrichment we can provide to help Meridian grow culturally and economically,” Cruse said.

For more information about Mississippi State University-Meridian, visit www.meridian.msstate.edu.

By Susan Lassetter | Photo by Megan Bean