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Dr. Micheal Thompson, a successful businessman and professor of marketing and management at Delta State University in Cleveland, Miss., has been named dean of East Central University's School of Business. He will join the university on Feb. 1.

He succeeds Dr. Bill Chapman who had served as interim dean since July.

Thompson has taught at Delta State since 1993 and is its only professor to hold two endowed chairs. He was selected to hold the university's first endowed chair, the B.F. Smith Chair for Economic Development, from 1995 to 2000, and how holds the Hearin Chair for Entrepreneurship.

He was selected by the Institutions of Higher Learning as the entrepreneurial expert for the state of Mississippi.

He has been the CEO since 2000 of a high-tech business start-up, Swing Dynamics in Cleveland, Miss., after developing a golf diagnostic system that is No. 1 in the industry worldwide, currently delivering products in the United States and 13 other countries.

"Dr. Thompson has a proven background in academics, business and fund-raising," said Dr. Richard Rafes, ECU president. "He will do a great job of building on the ECU School of Business' excellent reputation and helping it advance.

"He is an excellent choice," Rafes added, "especially given our commitment to community stewardship and economic development."

Thompson also delivers business-related seminars throughout the South. Last year he conducted more than 50 seminars for some 3,500 people. His customer service seminars have been held in 40 states with more than 20,000 attendees.

His grant proposals have brought more than $1.24 million to DSU's School of Business, the first grants the school had ever received.

He started a business development outreach program at DSU for minorities and women that has more than 500 graduates and has created or retained more than 300 jobs in the Mississippi delta.

Thompson also started two other successful small businesses that employed more than 125 people and was the liaison between the Palo Alto Research Center at Stanford University and the Xerox sales force as the world was introduced to the computer mouse.

Thompson earned a bachelor of business administration degree (management) and a master of business administration degree (marketing), both from Eastern New Mexico University. He received a doctor of philosophy degree in leadership from the University of Missouri at Kansas City.

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