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USM President Named Chair of Conference USA Board of Directors

University of Southern Mississippi President Rodney D. Bennett has been named chair of the Conference USA Board of Directors. Bennett, who will serve a two-year term as chair, was elected by his peers from among the league’s university presidents at the June board meeting.

The chair provides leadership for the Board of Directors as they set policy to further advance the strategic objectives, innovative practices and new initiatives of the conference membership.

“I am honored to have been selected as chair of the Conference USA Board of Directors,” Bennett said. “This is a critical time for intercollegiate athletics across the country, and I look forward to serving the conference in this role.”

Bennett indicated that possible areas of focus may include cost of attendance for student-athletes, academic standards and quality, compliance, media compensation packages, sports scheduling, and post-season play.

At the June meeting, the board also confirmed sites for 2017-2018 conference championships, including cross country in Hattiesburg on Oct. 28, 2017, and baseball in Biloxi on May 23-27, 2018.

Joining Bennett on the Executive Committee are: Louisiana Tech President Dr. Les Guice, who moved into the role of Vice Chair; Middle Tennessee President Dr. Sidney McPhee; Charlotte Chancellor Dr. Phil DuBois; and Marshall President Dr. Jerry Gilbert.

f directors, conference uSA

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Patrice is married to Greg Boykin and they have two sons, Bradley & Alex Boykin. Patrice is a lifetime resident of Simpson County. Patrice retired after 25 years in the Insurance industry where 23 of those years were with State Farm Insurance in Magee. She is very active in the community and has served in several leadership roles. Patrice has been a Secretary for the Magee Touchdown Club for 19 years and President of the MS Scholars of Simpson County. Patrice was a member of the Magee Adopt A School Program. She was elected to a term on the Simpson County School Board. She has served on the Board of Directors for the Magee Chamber of Commerce. She serves on the Keep Magee Beautiful Committee and is a member of the Advisory Committee for the Simpson County Technical Center. Patrice is a member of the Simpson County Republican Executive Committee. Multiple times, Patrice was named Parent of the Year for Magee Schools as well as District Parent of the Year for the Simpson County School District. Patrice & her family are members of New Hope Baptist Church.


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