Tuesday, September 27, 2016  SUBSCRIBE   
 
Keenum announces national search for Mississippi State athletic director
Mississippi State University President Mark E. Keenum today announced that a nationwide search is now underway to choose the institution's 17th director of athletics to replace Scott Stricklin, who has accepted the athletic director's job at the University of Florida. Keenum said he plans to move swiftly "to find an individual with the vision and leadership to meet high expectations for success at Mississippi State." An executive search firm has been engaged to assist in this effort. Keenum said he intends to follow the same procedure employed during the athletic director search six years ago. He also indicated he would seek input from MSU stakeholders during the process.
 
Official: Mississippi State begins search for new athletics director
It's official. Mississippi State is now looking for a new athletics director. In a press release, university President Mark Keenum announced a nationwide search to replace Scott Stricklin, who has accepted the same position at the University of Florida. An executive search firm has been engaged to assist in this effort. Keenum also stated that he will seek input from MSU stakeholders during this process. "Over the past six years, Scott raised the profile of MSU athletics, improved facilities across the board and provided the resources for our student athletes to compete for championships," Keenum said.
 
Mississippi State begins search for new athletics director
A nationwide search is underway at Mississippi State for its next director of athletics. Scott Stricklin was unanimously voted in to replace Jeremy Foley in the same position at the University of Florida on Tuesday morning, and a press conference has been scheduled for noon CT to formally make that announcement. Meanwhile in Starkville, MSU president Mark Keenum has already started looking for Stricklin's successor, which would be the university's 17th director of athletics and fourth in the last decade. Keenum intends to use the same process he used six years ago when Greg Byrne left for Arizona and Stricklin was promoted from MSU's senior associate athletic director of external affairs. An external search firm will be used to aid in the search along with input for MSU stakeholders.
 
Florida hires Stricklin to follow Foley as athletic director
Florida hired Scott Stricklin as its athletic director Tuesday, giving him a six-year deal worth $1.076 million annually, and said Jeremy Foley will remain on the job for another month. The University Athletic Association voted unanimously to approve the moves at a board meeting Tuesday. Stricklin is leaving his alma mater, Mississippi State, and will take on a massive facilities upgrade in Gainesville. Foley had been scheduled to retire Saturday after 40 years with the Gators, including the last 25 as athletic director. He now will remain in place until Nov. 1, creating extra time for a changeover. "I couldn't have left for any other place but Florida," Stricklin said. "It's just a special place not only in the world of the SEC, but in college athletics because of the success they've had and the way they've had it with the integrity."
 
Houston woman named Miss Mississippi State University
Photo: Winners of the Miss MSU 2017 competition include Alivia P. Roberts, a junior communication/public relations and broadcasting major from Shannon named first runner-up; Miss MSU 2017 Molly May, a senior communication/public relations major from Houston, who also was named the overall winner of the talent and interview competitions; Callie Brown, a junior biological sciences major from Lucedale named second runner-up; and Anne Elizabeth Buys, a junior communication major from Vicksburg named third runner-up, as well as the overall winner of the lifestyle and fitness in swimwear competition. Not pictured, Hannah Lynn Daugherty, a junior communication major from Leroy, Alabama, also was named fan favorite. Participants were awarded approximately $13,000 in scholarships, including a full tuition scholarship for Miss MSU.
 
Mississippi State holds Safe Zone Program
Mississippi State University held a Safe Zone Program Monday evening. Safe Zone is a campus-wide program that promotes a welcome and safe community for LGBTQ students, faculty and staff. The program is against discrimination and intimidation. Safe Zone holds training for new mentors every semester.
 
Starkville robotics teams prep for state competition
Three Starkville teams and their robots are preparing to test their mettle in the state Boosting Engineering, Science, and Technology challenge this weekend on Mississippi State's campus. Each year, BEST gives participants six weeks and a kit of materials with which to address real-world demands. The 2016 competition, Bet the Farm, challenges them to design, build, program and market machines dedicated agricultural tasks like planting seeds, irrigating and harvesting crops and corralling livestock. Velmitra White, Mississippi BEST program director, said BEST is designed to expand the knowledge students learn in the classroom. MSU's Bagley College of Engineering has hosted the competition annually since 2005.
 
Stricklin hire will impact SOCSD board of trustees
When Mississippi State Director of Athletics Scott Stricklin indeed accepts the same title at the University of Florida today, it presumably will directly impact the Starkville-Oktibbeha Consolidated School District Board of Trustees. Starkville aldermen appointed Stricklin's wife, Anne Stricklin, to the school board in September 2015. She filled the term left vacant by Juliette Weaver-Reese, which expires in 2019. School officials would not comment to The Dispatch Monday on Anne Stricklin's board status, other than to confirm the district had not received a letter of resignation from her.
 
Mississippi Department of Revenue: July hotel tax spike due to late payments
A portion of Starkville's 280-percent increase in July 2-percent hotel tax receipts was the result of a local business catching up on late tax payments to the state, a Mississippi Department of Revenue spokesperson confirmed Monday. July statistics released by the city show sales tax collections from the summer month increased 13.33 percent from July 2015's figures, while food and beverage receipts also jumped 6.33 percent in the same timeframe. The city's 2-percent hotel levy, however, increased dramatically, posting a 280.68-percent increase between July 2015 and this year. July's posted hotel gains do not give an accurate representation of the city's lodging in the month, as MDOR spokesperson Kathy Waterbury said nine additional late tax payments from a local business inflated the total. Waterbury did not disclose which business was late on its 2-percent payments to the state and did not say how much of the month's total was made up of the late payment.
 
Lowndes horse park work progressing
Work is progressing smoothly on the first phase of the Lowndes County Horse Park ahead of its expected December completion. The horse park is located on a 22-acre site west of Columbus directly south of Highway 82 on Tom Rose Road. Lowndes County Administrator Ralph Billingsley said the project will probably be completed in phases, depending on funding received from the state. An office building for Mississippi State University's Lowndes County Extension branch is currently under construction. Lowndes County Extension Agent Reid Nevins said the office, beyond acting as a home for the County Extension Service, can be used for group meetings or events.
 
Polo Custom Products expanding in Louisville, creating 30 Jobs
Polo Custom Products is expanding operations in Louisville, investing $150,000 and creating 30 jobs. The Louisville manufacturing facility specializes in custom sewing, film and fabric welding and custom fabric and foam thermoformed products. The company's expansion will accommodate the addition of new business contracts, as well as growth with several of their long-term customers. Mississippi Development Authority provided assistance for infrastructure improvements at the company's facility. The city of Louisville also is assisting with the expansion. "Polo Custom Products' latest expansion marks another economic development win for Louisville, bringing 30 new career opportunities to the people of Winston County," said MDA Executive Director Glenn McCullough, Jr. "We salute our partners at the Winston County Economic Development District Partnership and the city of Louisville, whose teamwork with MDA was instrumental in this expansion."
 
Conservative group issues legislative report card
The Mississippi chapter of the conservative group Americans for Prosperity has issued its first report card for state lawmakers, on their voting in the 2016 session. While most Republican state legislators -- who hold a supermajority in both the House and Senate -- received an A or a B on the AFP's 2016 Mississippi Legislature Scorecard, a few received a D or F. Most Democrats received F's but the A's were exclusively Republicans. The grades were based on 32 House votes on bills or amendments and 27 votes on bills in the Senate. AFP said it chose the votes to score based on four "principles": fairer taxes that allow taxpayers to keep more of what they earn, spending limited to core functions of government, fewer "job-killing and protectionist" regulations and more choice and innovation in education.
 
Grant pays some of students' exam costs
Low-income students in Mississippi will have help paying for Advanced Placement (AP) exam fees after the U.S. Department of Education awarded the state nearly $190,000 to offset test costs. The goal is that by subsidizing test fees, more students will take these advanced placement tests and earn college credit for high school courses should they score at the 3, 4, or 5 level on their exam. AP tests are administered by the College Board, the International Baccalaureate Organization and Cambridge International Examinations. "We are working to increase the number of students exposed to AP courses and exams," said Jean Massey, Mississippi Department of Education executive director of secondary education. "The AP exams let us know that students are getting a good AP experience and are prepared for post-secondary coursework."
 
Sen. Roger Wicker touts Ocean Monitoring Bill Clearing US Senate
U.S. Senator Roger Wicker, R-Miss., on Monday announced that the Senate has passed his legislation to reauthorize the U.S. Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS). The bill, S.1886, was approved by the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation in December 2015. It is cosponsored by Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash. "I am pleased that the Senate took action on this proposal, working to improve weather forecasting, energy siting and production, and marine navigation safety," Wicker said. "This program not only benefits Mississippi's Gulf Coast, but it also plays a role in our national defense, search-and-rescue operations, and marine commerce -- impacting efforts to conduct critical scientific studies." Ocean modeling teams based at Stennis -- made up of the Navy, the GCOOS-RA, University of Southern Mississippi, Mississippi State University, NOAA, and others -- coordinate to develop the best physical and ecosystem models on the Gulf.
 
Tom Vilsack's lonely fight for a 'forgotten' rural America
Late last year, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack strode into the Oval Office to tell President Obama that he wanted to resign. "Mr. President," he said, "I think it's time to go." Vilsack had survived nearly eight years in Washington as Obama's model Cabinet secretary -- a disciplined and efficient technocrat who understood the inner workings of his department, worked well with lawmakers and did not cause trouble for the White House. Lately, though, that approach did not seem to be enough to fix the problems he was seeing in the country. Vilsack was frustrated with a culture in Washington that too often ignored rural America's struggles and dismissed its virtues. "I just sometimes think rural America is a forgotten place," he often said. The Oval Office conversation would change the trajectory of Vilsack's career and affect him personally in ways that he could not have predicted. Obama asked him to oversee the administration's response to the opioid crisis that was ravaging rural America.
 
Mississippi Secretary of State expects high voter turnout in November
A series of national presidential debates are scheduled for the next four weeks. Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann says he expects turnout in Mississippi to top four years ago. That's especially true of the race continues as close as it is in the polls Monday before the first debate between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. Hosemann expects the campaigns to start turning away from negative and start focusing on solutions in the weeks leading up to November 8. Hosemann was in Tupelo to speak to the Rotary Club.
 
Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump Press Pointed Attacks in Debate
In a relentlessly antagonistic debate, Donald J. Trump and Hillary Clinton clashed over trade, the Iraq war, his refusal to release his tax returns and her use of a private email server, with Mr. Trump frequently showing impatience and political inexperience as Mrs. Clinton pushed him to defend his past denigration of women and President Obama. Mr. Trump repeatedly interrupted Mrs. Clinton and at times talked over her throughout the 90-minute debate, making slashing attacks that surely pleased his Republican base but may have been off-putting to women and undecided voters. He also left unchallenged her assertion that he paid no federal taxes for years. For her part, Mrs. Clinton repeatedly chided Mr. Trump for bungling his facts while accusing him of hiding information about his debts to Wall Street and foreign banks.
 
Undecided Voters React Coolly to Donald Trump During Debate
Republican Donald Trump's performance in the first presidential debate on Monday night was likely to bolster his supporters, but risked turning others off, interviews with undecided voters and experts in both parties said. "I feel that the way he talks to other people, the way that he addresses other people, can be extremely rude and extremely disrespectful, and I don't think that's the temperament we should be looking for in a president," said Garrett Thacker, 30 years old, of Galloway, Ohio, who has voted for presidential candidates in both parties. Still, neither Mr. Thacker, nor any of the the other undecided voters interviewed said the debate had persuaded them to back either candidate. It was unclear whether the much-anticipated debate would fundamentally alter the course of the tight race.
 
Trump starts subdued, then his cool quickly melts
The greatest mystery heading into the first presidential debate here at Hofstra University was which version of the unpredictable Republican candidate would show up for his first one-on-one face-off with Democratic rival Hillary Clinton. The answer is, two versions of Donald Trump did. Early on, he was relatively subdued, listening as Clinton spoke and even acknowledging a few points of agreement with her. The questioning and his answers were focused on issues that have helped propel his candidacy, including his condemnation of trade deals, his vow to bring back manufacturing jobs and sharp criticism of Clinton's handling of her private email server. But starting around the 11-minute mark in the 95-minute event, Trump's cool began to melt.
 
Mississippi man arrested for pistol, rifle in car in DC
A Mississippi man who said he had come to Washington to take a picture with President Barack Obama is facing charges after telling police he had a pistol and rifle in his car. L Hue Firle of Collins, Mississippi, is charged with possession of an unregistered firearm and unlawful possession of ammunition. Court documents say the 65-year-old called 911 after being unable to locate his car. He told police he came to Washington to take a picture with Obama but fell ill after parking. He said he was taken to a hospital and later unable to find his car.
 
Stuesse to discuss state's immigrant workforce at The W
On Thursday, Mississippi University for Women's Gordy Honors College Forum Series will feature Angela Stuesse, author of "Scratching Out a Living: Latinos, Race, and Work in the Deep South." The book is based on Stuesse's six-year collaboration with workers in central Mississippi's chicken processing plants, where large numbers of Latin Americans were recruited in the mid-1990s to labor alongside an established African American workforce. Against the backdrop of the state's history of racial inequality, Stuesse explores reactions to the arrival of Latino immigrants and prospects for their integration into local communities, as well as the industry's efforts to lower labor costs and workers' efforts to organize.
 
Group Of MUW Students Tune In For Presidential Debate
The Mississippi University for Women's College Democrats held a debate watch party for the this year's first presidential debate. Dozens of students came out to learn about and listen to what both candidates had to offer. During the debate watch, students ate pizza and played debate bingo to help everyone understand the issues that were at hand during the debate. However, it's not all fun and games. Organizers said the debate watch party is also being used as a tool to help educate students on how important the upcoming election is, and how much their vote might count. "A lot of millennials don't think that their vote really matters, so you really have to educate them on exactly how their vote does matter," said Ezra McKee, president of the MUW College Democrats.
 
Ole Miss faculty members upset with Sen. Chris McDaniel comment
Some University of Mississippi faculty members say they felt threatened by a recent Facebook post written by State Senator Chris McDaniel, though he says his words were misinterpreted. After a large state flag made an appearance in Vaught-Hemingway Stadium Sept. 17, McDaniel wrote a Facebook post voicing his opinion of what he perceived as an act of censorship after the flag and smaller flags confiscated that day. Jodi Skipper, assistant professor of anthropology and Southern studies, says what McDaniel wrote was "irresponsible and insensitive." McDaniel clarified his message by saying that there was no reason to feel threatened.
 
Tom Brokaw, Haley Barbour and Ray Mabus among Overby Center's fall lineup
The Overby Center for Southern Journalism and Politics at the University of Mississippi will host 10 programs featuring well-known media members and political heavyweights as momentum builds toward the presidential election. The fall series includes Tom Brokaw, longtime NBC correspondent; former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, who also served chair of the Republican National Committee; Andy Lack, president of NBC News; and Stuart Stevens, a Mississippian who managed Mitt Romney's 2012 presidential campaign. Two programs include UM students who worked on projects in Africa and also among Mississippi's Choctaw and Chickasaw tribes.
 
USM English Department's Licensure Program awarded National Recognition
In 1910, when the City of Hattiesburg was growing as a lumber and railroad town, Mississippi Normal College was founded on the western outskirts of town as a teacher-training college. Though the institution's name changed from Mississippi Normal College to State Teacher's College and later to Mississippi Southern College and finally in 1962 to the University of Southern Mississippi, its long-standing tradition of educating and training tomorrow's teachers continues today. One needs to look no further for that example than the Department of English, which was recently awarded National Council of Teachers of Education (NCTE) certification. Dr. Kate Cochran, director of the English Licensure Program, could not be more proud of the accomplishment.
 
Jackson State students discuss first presidential debate
Jobs, emails, race relations and police shootings were some of the top issues in Monday night's Presidential Debate and on Jackson State University's campus. A packed room of students at JSU held a panel discussion before listening to Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump try to convince voters who should lead this country for the next four years. "To say a whole bunch of crazy things," said Tamarcus Lott, a JSU senior. "A whole bunch of attacks and a whole bunch of outlandish things to distract your minds from the actual issues and implementing an actual policy." Students say they wanted to hear more on immigration, black on black crime, the war on terror, funding for Historically Black Colleges and Universities and equal pay.
 
Political Science Students at Mississippi College Learn Watching Debate
The first presidential debate between Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump is providing a valuable lesson for political science students at Mississippi College. Professor Glenn Antizzo's political science classes are looking for substantive answers and debating styles in the face-off between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. Professor Antizzo says neither scored a knockout. "What was important tonight for Trump to establish himself as somebody that was her equal on the stage. She's somebody that has a long resume." The candidates clashed on issues from tax cuts, jobs, race relations to national security.
 
U. of Alabama board approves Tutwiler Hall replacement
The University of Alabama System board of trustees approved preliminary plans for a $124-million replacement for Tutwiler Residential Hall, along with plans to buy a downtown building in Tuscaloosa. The board on Friday approved the preliminary scope and a budget of $124 million for a replacement for Tutwiler Hall. The new 520,521-square-foot building would be able to house around 1,583 students. Tutwiler Hall now houses about 1,000 students, UA President Stuart Bell said. The new building, which will be adjacent to the university's sorority chapter houses on Paul W. Bryant Drive, will help meet demand for housing on the south side of campus.
 
UGA professors named SEC Academic Leadership Development Program Fellows
Four University of Georgia faculty members -- Chris Garvin, Janice Hume, Marisa Anne Pagnattaro and J. Marshall Shepherd -- were selected as the university's 2016-2017 SEC Academic Leadership Development Program Fellows. The fellowship program, which was created by the Southeastern Conference in 2008, includes training, mentoring and networking to advance academic leaders. Participants will engage with senior administrators at UGA and attend two SEC-wide workshops with representatives from throughout the conference. The fall SEC ALDP workshop will be held Oct. 17-19 at the University of Alabama, and the spring workshop will be held Feb. 22-24 at Mississippi State University.
 
Center funded by Koch brothers, Papa John's founder splits U. of Kentucky council
The University of Kentucky's Senate Council split its votes over approval of a proposed free enterprise center funded by the Charles Koch Foundation and pizza magnate John Schnatter, but the matter will still move to the full university senate. The Senate Council is the executive body of the university senate, which must approve all new academic programs. The Koch/Schnatter gift included $10 million for a free enterprise institute in the Gatton College of Business and Economics and $2 million toward the $65 million Gatton expansion and renovation. The council voted unanimously to approve the academic content of the proposed program, but then voted 4-3 not to endorse its academic structure, including the donation agreement.
 
Laughs, scoffs and fact-checking at U. of Kentucky's debate viewing party
Bittersweet and salty; these two words describe the snacks at a presidential debate viewing party at the University of Kentucky and the tone of remarks exchanged between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump Monday night. The viewing party at UK's White Hall Classroom Building was hosted by the College of Communication and Information's Al Cross, a journalism faculty member and director of the school's Institute for Rural Journalism. "Debates aren't what they used to be," Cross said before the debate hosted by NBC's "Nightly News" anchor Lester Holt. "How one looks and how one behaves can give you a clue into their attitude." The debate was shown on one screen while another screen featured a rundown of tweets from students and professors using the hashtag #ukpresdebate.
 
How Skin-Deep Judgments of Professors Might Influence Student Success
College professors might end up staring in the mirror in response to a recent study led by R. Shane Westfall, a doctoral student in experimental psychology at the University of Nevada at Las Vegas. Building upon other researchers' findings that people attribute positive characteristics to those who are relatively attractive, Mr. Westfall has concluded that good-looking instructors might have another advantage: Their students learn more. Mr. Westfall and his study's co-authors -- Mandy Walsh, a fellow doctoral student, and Murray Millar, an associate professor of psychology -- reached that finding based on an unusual experiment involving 86 female and 45 male university students. They fibbed to their subjects about the study's purpose, describing it as an examination of how different lecture styles affect learning, and asked them to listen to a 20-minute lecture in introductory physics and take a 25-question multiple-choice test based on its content. They also asked the students to evaluate the instructor's performance.
 
K-12 Education Shut Out of the Presidential Debate Spotlight
K-12 education barely merited a mention in the first presidential debate Monday night. But child-care access got a quick -- and early -- shout-out. Hillary Clinton, the Democratic nominee, said that her prescription for improving the economy includes expanding access to child care to help working families. Donald Trump, the Republican contender, said he agreed with her on the child-care issue in general, even though the two might differ on "numbers and amounts." Those "numbers and amounts" are strikingly different. K-12 got little love during the debate, which was held at Hofstra University in Hempstead, N.Y. There were just a couple of exceptions.
 
Navy secretary Ray Mabus well-satisfied with his meandering public career
Longtime Mississippi journalist Charlie Mitchell writes: "One night Ray Mabus was on the veranda of the presidential palace in Mexico City observing that nation's independence day fireworks with the president of Mexico. The next he was in Mississippi to announce that two to-be-minted Navy ships will bear the names of Medal of Honor recipients from his home state. Mabus, who turns 68 in October, is nearing the end of a nomadic career in public service. He grew up in Ackerman, graduated from Ole Miss, earned a master's from Johns Hopkins and left Harvard Law with a magna cum laude degree. It was all because, he said with humility, he was fortunate to grow up in a family that valued knowledge and education."


SPORTS
 
Mississippi State will return from bye with morning matchup vs. Auburn
Mississippi State and Auburn will kickoff the slate of SEC games on Oct. 8. The conference announced the game times for the second Saturday in October on Monday. The Bulldogs and Tigers will play at 11 a.m. on SEC Network. It's the second morning kickoff for MSU this season. Mississippi State opened the year with an 11 a.m. start against South Alabama. Auburn and MSU enter the matchup with the same 2-2 record overall and 1-1 in the SEC. Four teams in the West own the same records heading into this weekend's games. Mississippi State has a bye after beating UMass 47-35 last weekend in Foxborough, Massachusetts.
 
LSU's Joe Alleva has one main requirement for new coach
LSU athletic director Joe Alleva said he would consider the rest of the season "an audition" for interim football coach Ed Orgeron to retain the job on a full-time basis, but he added that he doesn't believe he will have a problem attracting a quality candidate to replace Les Miles. Speaking Monday shortly after introducing Orgeron at a packed news conference, Alleva said he would have an unspecified number of "advisers" when it comes to the search for Miles' replacement, but he plans on "doing most of the work myself." "I'm going to try to find the best fit for LSU," he said. He added, "The only advantage of changing coaches now is we have a head start on the other schools that will be looking for coaches." As has been the case in the past, Alleva remained adamant that LSU's next coach be a sitting head coach or someone who has been a head coach during their career.
 
Man accused of setting Toomer's Corner tree fire facing felony charge
Authorities have added a felony charge against Jochen Wiest, the man accused of setting the oak tree on fire at Toomer's corner in Auburn following Saturday's football game between Auburn and LSU. Wiest, who was already charged with desecration of a venerable object and public intoxication, both misdemeanors, was charged with first-degree criminal mischief on Monday and ordered not to leave the state of Alabama. "Auburn Police, working in conjunction with Auburn University and officials within the school's horticultural department, determined that damage to the oak tree exceeds $2,500," according to statement by police. Auburn University professor of horticulture Gary Keever does not believe the fire killed the tree, but a full assessment of its long-term health may not be known until the spring.
 
Woman who spotted accused Toomer's Corner arsonist hailed as hero
When Herron Taylor saw a man trying to flee -- after seeing him light toilet paper hanging from one of the Toomer's oaks on fire -- she had one thought. Nope. Taylor began following the man, later identified as Jochen Wiest, and shouted that he was the one who lit the tree on fire. "I don't think people understood that someone had lit the tree on fire," Taylor said. "I don't think that anyone had grasped the fact that that had happened yet." As the tree on Magnolia Avenue became engulfed in flames Taylor followed Wiest. Wiest said no and waved his arms as he backed away, first slowly, then running. "He kept freaking out because he knew this was really bad," Taylor said.
 
U. of Tennessee opted against extending AD Dave Hart's contract
The University of Tennessee had opted against giving athletic director Dave Hart a contract extension with a raise before he announced he was stepping down, according to documents obtained in a public records request by The Associated Press. In an Aug. 10 email, University of Tennessee President Joe DiPietro told Chancellor Jimmy Cheek that "for the reasons we have discussed concerning what is in the best interests of the University, including the fact that a new Chancellor will assume office within the next year, I agree with your decision not to extend Mr. Hart's contract for two years with increased compensation." Hart announced Aug. 18 that he was retiring effective June 30 and said at the time he was doing so in part to allow Cheek's replacement to select a new athletic director. Cheek announced in June that he was stepping down to return to teaching.



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