Meet The Chancellor

On April 24, 2014

The chancellor’s office at A-State is a bright and open space that isn’t as intimidating as one might think.

Scarlet and black pillows decorate the comfortable couch and the Red Wolf mascot’s image is appropriately scattered throughout the room. The office’s simplicity reflects its occupant’s personality, shown through the few maps displayed on the wall and lack of decorations and clutter.

The person who lays claim to the office is not concerned with material possessions, but instead, experiences. Specifically, he craves experiences that allow him to learn, travel and more importantly, interact with people.

A-State chancellor Tim Hudson describes himself as someone who truly wants to know another person’s point of view.

“I have a lot of curiosity,” he said.

That curiosity was nurtured extensively upon entering college because he said he was fortunate to come across passionate professors at the University of Southern Mississippi who encouraged his interests in history and Latin American studies.

“What really steered me, and what I really still have a tremendous passion about and high regard for, was good faculty,” he said. “I just ran into absolutely stellar professors.”

Coming into college, Hudson wasn’t sure what career path to choose. Through his core courses of history, anthropology and literature, he benefited tremendously from the help of his professors and settled in as a history major, and began to understand all the choices available to him.

One such choice was a scholarship that enabled him to study in Colombia. Hudson’s history professor assisted him with applying and before he knew it, he was in South America learning Spanish and becoming involved in Latin American studies.

“It was really the good counsel and attention, and passion and mentorship of great professors that totally transformed my idea of what I could do and be,” he said.

After his bachelor’s, Hudson received his master’s in geography also from the University of Southern Mississippi and his doctorate in geography from Clark University.

The mentors who encouraged him throughout school eventually guided him to his work in higher education administration, even though he wasn’t expecting a career in that field.

During the time Hudson taught at George Mason University, the former president of the University of Southern Mississippi asked Hudson to return to develop international programs there.

As a faculty member at George Mason, Hudson said he didn’t have much of an idea about what a chairman or dean even did. For him, the teaching wasn’t a step on the way to administration.

“It absolutely never occurred to me,” he said. “It wasn’t on my radar screen.”

Hudson came from a family of farmers in Southwest Mississippi and said growing up, he didn’t even know he would attend college. His father told him he could attend school as long as he was still able to help out with the family business.

“I really thought I was going to play professional baseball,” he said. “That was my dream, that was my idea. I thought I had a shot to do it.”

Aside from a background in baseball, Hudson’s drive to learn shaped another hobby many may not expect of him. He owns a 1965 Fender Stratocaster guitar and practices enough to keep some callouses on his hands. Hudson enjoys playing rock, folk and a bit of country and has also played with some bands in Texas.

“I don’t read a lick of music,” he added.

In the rare moments of free time he catches away from his Red Wolf duties, Hudson reads a variety of literature ranging from his stacks of novels, Latin American pieces and the three to four newspapers he picks up daily.

Hudson’s family time blends into his work life, yet he still finds happiness in the activities he participates in with his wife and three children. Family time tends to consist of hosting university events at his home in the chancellor’s residence, but he takes it in stride.

“Our life is so intertwined with our work because we host so many events.” he said. “We have thousands of visitors in our home and we love that,” he said.

Despite the multitude of people walking through the front door of the chancellor’s residence, Hudson and his wife, Deidra (Dee Dee), make it a point to sit down together every night for dinner. The couple has been married 19 years and originally met in the Gatwick Airport in London.

“It was just one of those meant to be encounters,” Dee Dee said.

The Hudsons fit together perfectly with their passion for their work and support for each other. Dee Dee, director of A-State’s Study Abroad program, said she loves her husband’s work and knows he makes a difference with what he does, adding he is a truly brilliant man.

“He’s got an energy that is contagious,” she said.

Dee Dee sees her husband as a visionary, someone who isn’t aware there is a box to think outside of. He wants to know about and understand everything, and doesn’t see why something would be an obstacle. Because of this dynamic personality, Dee Dee cannot narrow down a description of Hudson to just one word.

“He’s incredibly honest,” she said. “He’s a man of great integrity. He has a very generous spirit and very generous nature. All those things combined, you can make an interesting person.”

Even while balancing meetings, events and spending time with his family, Hudson still keeps an eye on his vision for A-State. 12

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