Four new members have been appointed to the Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning by Gov. Phil Bryant, his office announced Friday.

Steven Cunningham, Jeanne Luckey, Bruce Martin and Powell “Gee” Ogletree Jr., will replace trustees Alan W. Perry, Christy Pickering, Dr. Doug W. Rouse and Board President C.D. Smith on May 8. The 12 member board collectively represents eight separate districts throughout the state, with board members serving nine-year terms.

“As the governing authority for our public institutions of higher learning, the College Board serves a critical role in Mississippi,” Bryant said in a statement. “I am grateful these four highly qualified individuals have agreed to take on that responsibility by accepting these appointments.”

Commissioner Glenn Boyce has also recently announced his intention to retire at the end of this current fiscal year.

Cunningham and Luckey will both represent the Second Supreme Court District. Martin, who was first appointed to the board in 2006 by former Gov. Haley Barbour, will represent the First Supreme Court District. Ogletree will also represent the First Supreme Court District.

Appointees must be confirmed by the Senate. After all of the new board members are seated, a new president will be selected.


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Kelsey Davis Betz is from Mobile, Ala., and currently lives in Cleveland, where she worked as a Mississippi Delta-based reporter covering education and intersecting issues. Kelsey has a dual degree in journalism and Spanish from Auburn University and worked as an editorial intern at Texas Monthly and a courts reporter at the Montgomery Advertiser. She is a 2018 Educating Children in Mississippi Fellow at the Hechinger Report and is a co-founder of the Mississippi Delta Public Newsroom.