Provost Khayum announces retirement

Ian Young, Staff Writer

Provost Mohammed Khayum worked at USI for 32 years. During that time, he was a professor of economics for 15 years, the dean of the Romain College of Business for 12 years, and provost for four years. (Photo courtesy of Elizabeth Randolph)
Provost Mohammed Khayum worked at USI for 32 years. During that time, he was a professor of economics for 15 years, the dean of the Romain College of Business for 12 years, and provost for four years. (Photo courtesy of Elizabeth Randolph )

Provost Mohammed Khayum announced Jan. 3 his plans to retire Jan. 1, 2024. Khayum has worked at the university for 32 years and has worked as a provost for the past four years.

Khayum said retirement is another stage in a person’s life, and it is the moment for him to take this step. He said he may have future plans after retirement, but he currently wants to take a step back and determine how to use his time in retirement.

“Some plans may include writing or community work,” Khayum said. “There are many, many possibilities, and I may end up choosing a couple of those.”

Faculty on campus said they will miss working with Khayum.

“One of the things I liked about him as a boss is that even though we are his support staff, he still values our opinions,” said Michele Duran, provost’s senior administrative associate. “It makes us feel like a vital part of this office.”

Michelle Simmons, provost’s administrative associate, said Khayum would be missed. 

“I worked for him when he was a dean at the Romain College of Business,” she said. “When this position opened up, I applied to work here, and I love working for him.”

I look back at my time here with good, fond memories as provost, but also my years at USI and the people and friends I’ve gotten to know and will last in ways in which I know I can still maintain relationships with them.”

— Mohammed Khayum

According to University Communications, the university plans to launch a national search for the next provost before Khayum’s retirement at the end of this academic year. 

“The plan right now would be to constitute the search committee to have its charge,” Khayum said. “If we were to follow what traditionally happens, I think during the course of the semester, more information will come out about that process.”

Provost Mohammed Khayum announces retirement at professional development day on Jan. 4 at the Screaming Eagles Arena. Khayum's retirement will begin Jan. 1, 2024. (Photo courtesy of Elizabeth Randolph)
Provost Mohammed Khayum announces retirement at professional development day on Jan. 4 at the Screaming Eagles Arena. Khayum’s retirement will begin Jan. 1, 2024. (Photo Courtesy of USI Photography and Multimedia)

Khayum said his time as provost has been enlightening.

“The provost level allows you to do the things you do as dean, but also has the ability to scale it in a way that allows you to change the lives of our students and faculty,” Khayum said. “I had the opportunity to use the skills I learned as a dean and use them for decisions that are long-lasting, like the transition into Division I.”

Khayum said he is thankful for his position as provost on campus.

“It’s been exciting and rewarding,” Khayum said. “I look back at my time here with good, fond memories as provost, but also my years at USI and the people and friends I’ve gotten to know and will last in ways in which I know I can still maintain relationships with them.”