MSU looking to improve its ethical culture

STARKVILLE — A year after a landscaping scandal led to the retirement of a longtime university leader, Mississippi State University is looking to improve the ethical culture on campus with ethics and integrity initiatives.

The initiatives include increased employee training, the creation of a third-party reporting system and a new whistle-blower policy.

Last fall, Mississippi State was rocked by allegations that its interim president, Vance Watson, had authorized the misuse of MSU resources and personnel for landscaping work at then-Higher Education Commissioner Tom Meredith’s home.

Watson was vice president of MSU’s Division of Agriculture, Forestry and Veterinary Medicine and director of MSU Extension and Outreach when the work took place.

There is no uniform procedure among state universities for dealing with reports of wrongful conduct.

The Associated Press