MSU-Meridian’s Terry Dale Cruse promoted to associate vice president

Contact: James CarskadonTerry Dale Cruse (photo by Lisa Sollie)

STARKVILLE, Miss.—The leader of Mississippi State’s Meridian Campus, Terry Dale Cruse, has been promoted to associate vice president and head of campus for the university’s east central Mississippi location.

Cruse’s new title is effective July 1 and comes after leading MSU-Meridian through substantial growth since becoming administrative director and head of campus in January 2016. Enrollment at MSU Meridian has increased 17 percent over the past three years.

“MSU-Meridian is an important catalyst for regional development in Eastern Mississippi and Western Alabama, and Dr. Cruse has the campus on an upward trajectory,” MSU Provost and Executive Vice President Judy Bonner said. “The Meridian Campus has reached many significant milestones during Dr. Cruse’s tenure, and we look forward to continued success moving forward.”

In recent years, MSU-Meridian has launched a master’s in business administration program, an accounting major, and a bachelor’s of applied technology program. The campuses’ proposed Master of Physician Assistant Studies program is on track toward accreditation, pending achievement of Accreditation-Provisional status at the September meeting of the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant, or ARC-PA. The university will be notified regarding its application for Accreditation-Provisional this fall, and anticipates the program’s first students will enroll in 2020.

Cruse also has worked to strengthen relationships with community colleges by implementing Partnership Pathways agreements with four two-year institutions, creating seamless transfers to MSU’s four-year programs.

“I’m grateful to President Keenum and Dr. Bonner for this opportunity, and I’m thankful for the outstanding faculty and staff whose dedication to our campus helped us reach new heights,” Cruse said.

Cruse has accumulated over a decade of professional experience in higher education, which includes oversight in the areas of admissions, student financial aid, global initiatives, career services and campus administration. Prior to joining MSU, the Mississippi native was the vice president for enrollment services at LeTourneau University in Longview, Texas. He holds a doctor of higher education administration degree from Saint Louis University, along with bachelor’s and master’s degrees from William Carey University.

In addition to strategic leadership, Cruse is responsible for all budgetary, personnel and physical plant matters on the two campuses, including the Riley Center for Education and Performing Arts.

MSU-Meridian offers a range of undergraduate and graduate programs that include business, education, the humanities, social and behavioral sciences, health care administration and healthcare services. The university embraces its role as a major contributor to the economic development of the East Mississippi/West Alabama area through targeted research and the transfer of ideas and technology to the public, supported by faculty and staff relationships with industry, community organizations, and government entities.

For more on MSU-Meridian, visit

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