Reports for January 19 - February 9, 2012
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January 19, 2012
High Maintenance THE COSTS OF MARTHA’S PLANE IN NOV-2010 AND DEC-2010 Piles of new documents are arriving at each day, many pertaining to the cost of the USM Beechcraft King Air airplane. The insert below highlights many of the direct costs attached to the plane over the last two months of 2010.
. . . breaking news . . Interim Title Scores Big for Wiesenburg HATTIESBURG – At its 19-Jan-2012 meeting, the Mississippi IHL Board approved a large raise for USM’s new interim provost Denis Wiesenburg. As the insert below indicates, in adding the “interim provost” tag to Wiesenburg’s vice president for research title, the college board added a nice raise of $35,000 per year to Wiesenberg’s paycheck.
January 20, 2012
Dear, A couple of days ago, I got a copy of the new Southern Miss anti-smoking policy. I don't smoke, so I think it's a great idea. However, the question a lot of us in the CoB have is who's going to monitor Mary Anderson [associate professor of accounting] for compliance with the new policy?
Communicate Directly with the IHL Dear University of Southern Mississippi Faculty, Many years ago, under IHL rules, faculty were permitted to address grievances directly with the IHL. That was changed. As a result, Southern Miss communications with the Institutions of Higher Learning come from President Saunders.
. . breaking news . . . Coffman Out as USM Chief Information Officer HATTIESBURG – Speculation that Homer Coffman’s recent assignment to administrative leave by the Martha Saunders administration – coming as a result of his participation in what is now infamously known as USM’s “Tabletgate” scandal – would become permanent appears to have come true.
The Farm News Briefs from Southern Miss Ours is Bigger than Theirs A billboard war between fans of Mississippi State and Ole Miss has been brewing for weeks now.
January 23, 2012
January 24, 2012
It's not President Saunders' money. Why should she care how she spends it? Ed Kemp at the Hattiesburg American reported on January 22, 2012: "The University of Southern Mississippi intends to build a fence along the Hardy Street side of its campus, with pedestrian safety cited as the key factor in the brick-and-mortar upgrade...".

Martha’s Podium An Editorial Cartoon Series from I am so happy to announce that a beautiful wrought iron fence will be installed around the outer borders of campus, as well as around the liberal arts building.
January 25, 2012
Springing Forward? Ancillary Expenses from USM’s Beechcraft King Air for April-May of 2011 The ancillary expenses associated with USM’s airplane are largely unknown to the USM and Hattiesburg communities. is working to change that. This report examines some of the April-2011 and May-2011 expenses, the bulk of which appear to be associated with a trip to Peachtree City, Georgia.
. . . breaking news . . . Willis Out, Driskell In . . . Even Deeper HATTIESBURG – USM vice president for administrative affairs Russ Willis communicated with USM faculty and staff (via e-mail) late on 23-Jan-2012 (4:23 pm) about his recent decision to leave the VPAA position for another in the USM Foundation.
January 31, 2012
In Memorium Ernest W. King 1959-2012 Ernest W. King was known to so many citizens of Hattiesburg and Oak Grove as a loving husband (to Kerri) and father (to Jessie and Wade).
GH Chatter Lots of talk about retirements in the CoB’s School of Accountancy. It sounds as though Charles Jordan will step out after the 2011-12 academic year, and that Roderick Posey and Patricia Munn may join him. hiring new “teachers” for years to come. All three are expected to step out by the end of 2012-13, at least from the sound of it. Chatter also indicates that SoA director Kirby “Skip” Hughes may not be far behind these three.
an update to 31st & Pearl Misery The student athletes on the USM women’s basketball team have earned PhDs in heartache and disappointment. Their major professor is head coach Joye Lee-McNelis. The fan base, a largely older, yet loyal population of Hattiesburg citizens that was cultivated by former head coach Kay James, has long since melted away. Now, echoes of crickets, are all that can be heard inside Reed Green Coliseum on game days. There’s little wonder as to why all of this is occurring. Lee-McNelis began her USM career in 2004-05, going 9-19 (0.321) that first season.
February 1, 2012
. . . breaking news . . . Herndon Now Out, ‘Tabletgate’ Still Boiling HATTIESBURG – “Mike Herndon has resigned.” With that quote, USM faculty senate president Timothy Rehner opened the 27-Jan-2012 USM faculty senate meeting. As long-time readers are aware, Herndon was the USM director of procurements and contracts who became caught up in the so-called Tabletgate scandal. That scandal involves the improper purchase by USM officials of more than 700 Samsung Galaxy Tab devices,
Martha’s Podium An Editorial Cartoon Series from Thank you all for showing up each week to watch me spin the ‘Saunders Administration Wheel of Destiny.’ It truly means a lot to me, as I love this university more than anyone. Please rest assured that the person fate eliminates will be replaced in short order.
Special Report Series, Hop on Gus, Former CoB Dean in Hot Water Once Again, part 18 The final portion of Jeremy St. John’s complaint against UT-T business school dean Harold Doty and other UT-T officials is inserted above. It begins with St. John’s recounting of his EEOC and UT System complaint against Doty and UT-T management chairman Stephen Bushardt, both formerly of USM. (editor's note: U-T has denied the allegations of the complaint.)
January 26, 2012
In Memorium Ernest W. King (1959-2012) Professor of Business Ethics Current USM business dean Lance Nail has righted some inherited wrongs during his 2008-present administration of the CoB.
February 2, 2012
Heavy Wait USM COMMUNITY SEEKING RESOLUTION TO TABLETGATE Thanks to Ed Kemp’s 1-Feb-2012 report for The Hattiesburg American, the USM community has learned that 135 of the Samsung Galaxy Tabs involved in the USM Tabletgate scandal are sitting in storage because that number of USM students decided to return the devices after they were told by the Martha Saunders administration that the devices belonged to USM, not them.
February 3, 2012
It’s Not Gonna Happen” The Saunders Administration’s Behind- the-Scenes Fight against Shared Governance At the 27-Jan-2012 USM faculty senate meeting, senate president Timothy Rehner reported to the faculty senate that the Martha Saunders administration has moved a significant portion of the institution’s student retention apparatus from academic affairs to student affairs.
In Memorium Ernest W. King (1959-2012) Scholar The 28-Jan-2012 passing of CoB Professor of Business Ethics, Ernie King, has been mourned by his many friends, colleagues and students.
February 6, 2012
President Saunders: Inefficient and Ineffective Use of Students' and Taxpayers' Money Part 1 2011 Costs and Use of King Air N777AQ's review of President Saunders' use of a multi-million dollar airplane, King Air N777AQ, continues with the receipt of Southern Miss' cost records for 2011.
Raynie Days Ahead? ATHLETICS APPARENTLY CONDUCTING BACKDOOR SEARCH FOR TENNIS COACH USM head women’s tennis coach Raynie Theis was pleased with her second recruiting class at USM. In a 1-Dec-2011 press release, Theis informed Golden Eagle fans that she was “very excited” about signing tennis stars from Texas and Oregon to national letters of intent that make them Golden Eagles in 2012-13 academic year.
January 27, 2012
DEAR USMNEWS.NET I just couldn't believe it! Whenever I think things at Southern Miss can't get more bizarre, somebody ups the ante.

Updated Aunt Martha’s Coaches Has Saunders Lost the Magic Touch? Or, Did She Ever Have It?
February 7, 2012
31st & Pearl Still Concerned Still concerned. That’s how USM interim provost Denis Wiesenburg characterized the Mississippi IHL Board’s attitude regarding the USM Tabletgate scandal.
Dear, How much longer is the IHL going to tolerate that foolish woman who pretends to be a university president? "President" Saunders' best excuse for the improper purchase of a mountain of Samsung Tablets is that none of the paperwork crossed her desk. C'mon!! Let me ask some of the questions that the IHL should, but probably won't, be asking her.

January 30, 2012
In Memoriam: has been advised that Business Law Professor Ernest W. King passed away Saturday, January 28, 2012.
February 8, 2012
Martha’s Podium: An Editorial Cartoon Series from, part 4 With all of the crimes on our campus in recent months, I understand that the parents of our local children are concerned about safety surrounding the many summer camps we put on each year.
Disenfranchised, or Just Plain Dis-sed? by Victoria Tyler At the most recent USM faculty senate meeting on 27-Jan-2012, senate president Timothy Rehner opened with the following remarks: “We’ve got to get the rest of the senators to show up . . . We’re just over 50% I think, counting our proxies . . .” The remarks clearly showed Rehner’s frustration with the current level of participation among USM’s elected faculty government.
February 9, 2012
Rest for the Weary A Closer Look at Russ Willis’ Resignation as Vice President for Administrative Affairs A Guest Column from C. Anna Hall The ink on Russ Willis’ Jan-2012 resignation as vice president for administrative affairs at USM is still drying, and was on 27-Jan-2012 when USM faculty senate president Timothy Rehner addressed the matter to open the senate’s monthly meeting. Rehner stated:
Saunders’ King Air . . . By the Numbers Airplane Facts USM Officials Might Not Want Out in the Public Several analyses of USM president Martha Saunders’ lease of, and use of, the USM airplane can be found in the President Saunders' Extravagance, Dr. Saunders' AirPlane, MS Opens Records Request Reveals USM's Actual Costs of President Saunders' Plane, and A Brief History of Dr. Saunders' "Lease" of Airplane pages here at