JACKSON – Gov. Phil Bryant today appointed four new members to the board of trustees of the Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning. Each of the appointees will serve the board for a nine-year term beginning May 8.

Karen Cummins, Dr. Ford Dye and Shane Hooper will represent Supreme Court District 3. Hal Parker will represent Supreme Court District 1.

“I am grateful that such accomplished Mississippians will serve our institutions of higher learning,” Gov. Bryant said. “Each of them can offer their expertise and guide our universities successfully. They will all be outstanding assets to the board.

“When I discussed this opportunity with each appointee, I had two requests: make sure our university campuses are student centric, and ensure we focus on making our universities incubators for economic development and creative workforce centers for technology advancement.”

IHL governs Mississippi’s public universities, including Alcorn State University; Delta State University; Jackson State University; Mississippi State University including the Mississippi State University Division of Agriculture, Forestry and Veterinary Medicine; Mississippi University for Women; Mississippi Valley State University; the University of Mississippi including the University of Mississippi Medical Center; and the University of Southern Mississippi.

The governor makes appointments to the 12-member board as the terms of individual members expire. This is the first class of board appointees to serve nine-year terms. A 2004 revision to the legislation that governs the appointments changed the service term from 12 years to 9 years. Each of Mississippi’s three Supreme Court districts is represented by four board members of the IHL board of trustees.

About the Appointees:

Karen Cummins
Karen Cummins is the Southaven Operations Manager for Atmos Energy and is responsible for the operation of the company’s Southaven and Grenada offices. Cummins holds a bachelor’s degree in education from Delta State University and an associate of business degree from Mississippi Delta Community College. In 2010, Cummins was named by the Mississippi Business Journal to its list of 50 Leading Business Women in Mississippi. She is active in her community and serves on the board of directors for the DeSoto County Economic Development Council and on the Community Advisory Board for Baptist Memorial Hospital. She is also a March of Dimes Volunteer and is a member of DeSoto County Business Women.

Dr. Ford Dye
Dr. Ford Dye is a board certified otolaryngologist in practice with ENT Consultants of North Mississippi in Oxford, Miss. He is also a Diplomate with the American Board of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery. Dr. Dye earned his medical degree from the University of Mississippi Medical Center, where he also completed his general surgery internship and his otolaryngology residency. He also holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Dr. Dye has won several awards in recognition of his outstanding leadership in medicine and community service. He is past president of the Mississippi State Medical Association and also serves on the Mississippi Tobacco Control Advisory Council.

Shane Hooper
Shane Hooper is president of Success Learning Corporation, Inc., a company that provides training to the insurance and financial services industry. Hooper has 16 years experience in the industry and is a former officer in the United States Marine Corps. He holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from David Lipscomb University in Nashville. Hooper is dedicated to community service and is past president of the Tupelo Rotary Club, the Gardner-Simmons Home for Girls and the United Way of Northeast Mississippi. He is a current member of several boards of directors, including the Health Care Foundation of Mississippi, North Mississippi Health Services, Good Samaritan Free Clinic and Sanctuary Hospice House. Hooper is also a member of the Community Development Foundation, where he serves as chair of the organization’s Economic Development division. He is slated to assume the vice chairmanship of the entire organization next year.

Hal Parker
Hal Parker began his business career with Sears after graduating from Mississippi State University with a bachelor’s degree in business. Parker went on to join Climate Masters, Inc. as a partner. In 1982, he founded Sunbelt Wholesale Supply Co. The regional fiberglass and roofing distributer grew to become an integral part of Service Partners, LLC, the largest distributer of fiberglass insulation in the United States. Parker is a past partner in Mississippi Roofing Supply. He is involved in his community and serves on the Hinds Community College Foundation Board and the Mississippi State Development Foundation Board. He has served on the boards of directors for Bank Plus, the Rankin Health Foundation and Rankin First. He is a member of the board of trustees at Memorial United Methodist Church in Bolton, and he and his wife are active in the Jackson and Mississippi State chapters of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.

Governor Phil Bryant Press Release