Paul to retire as USM's vice president for student affairs

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HATTIESBURG, Miss. (AP) — Joe Paul, vice president for student affairs at the University of Southern Mississippi for 21 years, is retiring June 30.

The 61-year-old Paul, who has spent 39 years at the school, made the announcement Friday.

Paul has overseen the expansion of key student services, creation of the Luckyday Citizenship Scholars program and the construction of more than $100 million in student-dedicated facilities.

The Bay St. Louis native earned two degrees from USM — a bachelor's degree in communications and political science and a master's in communication and management. He has a doctorate in higher education administration from the University of Alabama.

USM President Rodney D. Bennett has named Tom Burke, current executive assistant to the president for administration, to serve as interim vice president for student affairs effective July 1.

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