Echoes of Mississippi Supremacists
University of Southern Mississippi


Chauncey M. DePree, Jr., DBA
School of Accountancy
College of Business
University of Southern Mississippi
Hattiesburg, MS


A recent breaking news report at, "Another (Dangerous?) USM Professor Steps Forward," reminds me of the apparent ease with which University of Southern Mississippi (USM) faculty are accused of being dangerous. All too often forgotten are the mobbers, the "colleagues" who lurk behind the scenes to destroy the lives and careers of colleagues with whom they disagree.

Let me emphasize, mobbers don't just disagree with co-workers, they are so intolerant they conspire with like-minded, closed-minded colleagues to silence and destroy them. "Virginia Tech Danger" exemplifies mobbing with USM administrators, like Martha Saunders, Steve Jackson, and Alvin Williams, who not only supported mobbers but participated in the mobbing, and faculty, like Patty Munn, Charles Jordan, Rod Posey, and Gwen Pate, who finally hit upon the perfect accusation to accomplish their personal vendettas. The mobbers joined together, their activities being coordinated by USM's attorneys, to silence and punish faculty. Adding insult to injury, they used state money, taxpayer and student resources-well over two and a half million dollars-in a failed effort to rid themselves of a colleague. In our state, their behavior harks back to Mississippi supremacists. To the mobber supremacists, diversity of thought is anathema to their "view of the world"-a belief explicitly stated by a mobber in her deposition.

Loyalty First, Foremost, and Forever

To preserve their "view of the world," they bear false witness in a most vile form. Their means is reminiscent of what USM administrators and Mississippi officials did to Clyde Kennard. Rest assured, echoes of Civil War Reconstruction are still alive and well in Mississippi.

A brief history of mobbing in Mississippi is instructive because we are still living in an environment of supremacist mobbing today. Some of the past mobbers are still with us in key administrative roles.

USM Interim President Aubrey Lucas knew Clyde Kennard. Not too long ago, USM administrators and Mississippi officials insisted on purity of race at USM. Aubrey Lucas was director of admissions at USM (then-Mississippi Southern) when Mr. Kennard applied for admission. Mississippi officials and USM administrators were not satisfied with rejecting Mr. Kennard's application to USM, they banished and punishment him. That's their modus operandi: false witness-for Kennard, stealing $25 of chicken feed; banishment-rejection of Kinnard's USM application; and punishment-jail to make sure he never returned to apply for admission again.

Mobbers, both faculty and administrators, apply a modern version of false witness, banishment, and punishment to accomplish their supremacist goal: purity of loyalty and thought. Their false witness is "He's a Virginia Tech Danger! Fire him." Current supremacists are surfers deliberately riding waves of hysteria born of mass murders, like occurred at Virginia Tech and Newtown, to accomplish their personal vendettas. Their accusations have nothing to do with reliably identifying a dangerous person or sympathizing with murdered innocent victims or protecting future innocent victims.

How does this happen? At a university of all places? What are the particulars? Who are these depraved mobbers? How would you recognize them in your environment? Those are some of the questions addressed in this booklet.


In the case discussed in this booklet, the mobber-lurkers hiding in the shadows had secretly petitioned various USM presidents at least four times to fire me. (Keep in mind, all the while I successfully passed through early tenure and promotion to be a full professor because of my teaching, research, and service performance.) The early instances, I learned years afterwards through freedom of information requests. Their activities hark back to a type of secret society born in Post-Civil War Reconstruction, Mississippi.

In my case, the mobbers fashioned rationales over the years to coax various USM presidents to fire me, and finally hit on a winner. A false accusation sure to win the day for them. Accuse DePree of being a "Virginia Tech Danger": a perfect accusation in the wake of the Virginia Tech massacre; a perfect accusation of intolerant colleagues to persuade weak-minded administrators to stifle diversity of thought. No proof is necessary to take immediate action. No evidence is needed, none at all.
In time, we proved the danger accusation was false, as you'll read in the mobbers' depositions below. But I was lucky, and luckier than most who are mobbed by supremacist colleagues. I had, what is quaintly referred to in legal circles, "clean hands," and I could afford to set the record straight against miscreant administrators and faculty who had, for all practical purposes, the unlimited resources of the state at their disposal.

Intentional False Positives

Ignorant mobbers like Patty Munn, Charles Jordan, Rod Posey, Steve Jackson, Gwen Pate, Alvin Williams, and Martha Saunders could care less about the consequences intentional false positives have on efforts to predict and prevent horrible crimes like those that occurred at Newtown and Virginia Tech. The mobbers don't care that children and young adults are massacred as long as they can shout the equivalent of "fire" in a crowded theater: "He's a Virginia Tech danger! Fire him!" and accomplish their goal of silencing a colleague.

In this booklet, mobbers reveal their behavior in detail in their own words. And we should listen to them. Get to know this type of corruption. Learn to recognize them. A few questions, like the ones my attorney asked them, and are reported below, will reveal their true intentions.

As you will witness from their sworn testimony, Munn, Jordan, Posey, Jackson, Pate, Williams, and Saunders earn their moment in the spotlight. After all, why should innocent people who are mobbed get all the attention and the horrendous publicity that inevitably accompanies accusations of "dangerous behaviors"? Those who mob deserve to be pulled from the darkness where they lurk and be seen in the bright light of sunshine for what they are. And I am uniquely positioned to do just that because my attorneys deposed the miscreants under oath and now I can quote them in their own words. I can, when most who are mobbed can't, because I refused to agree to confidentiality. Depositions of the mobbers are not sealed; the miscreants can't hide. I can report their sworn testimony. That's exactly what follows in this booklet.

"VIRGINIA TECH DANGER!" is available at Amazon.

Although the Southern Miss Hotline is not a substitute for established channels of responsibility, it does provide opportunities for reporting behavior when those mechanisms are not suitable. The Southern Miss Hotline is operated 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and can be accessed either through this web page or by calling 877-310-0424.

Thank you for your constant support of right conduct.

Rodney D. Bennett
President" (01.10.2013)

Let's Set Aside the Public Relations Nonsense and
Put a Fine Point on USM's Reputation
"Letter from Interim President Dr. Rodney D. Bennett

Southern Miss has long maintained a strong commitment to our core values of integrity and ethical behavior. In order to maintain the highest standards of responsible behavior, I invite you to become familiar with the Southern Miss Hotline.

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