Bennett will be the first African-American to serve as president at a predominantly white university in Mississippi.
He told media that his first order of business will be to sure up the schools finances and that means making sure the university has a chief financial officer in place.
"I am humbled and honored that the Board of Trustees has selected me to lead this great university,” said Bennett. “The University of Southern Mississippi has a rich history as an excellent research institution and a leader in the Gulf South region. I look forward to working with all members of the USM family to build on its history and provide opportunities for all students. I also look forward to working with leaders throughout South Mississippi to help both the university and the region to thrive.”
Bennett went beyond the official press release to say that he would be looking at faculty salaries, would not hesistate to cut programs to get the finances straight and wants to increase enrollment by possibly revamping the recruitment process.
It was unclear when his first day on the job will be.
Bennett holds a Doctor of Education Degree in Educational Administration from Tennessee State University in Nashville, a Specialist in Education Degree and a Master of Education Degree in Educational Administration from Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro, and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Mass Communication from Middle Tennessee State.