Otha Burton appointed executive director of JSU’s Institute of Government

Otha Burton Jr., the chair of Jackson State University’s Department of Urban and Regional Planning and former chief administrative officer for the City of Jackson, has been appointed executive director of JSU’s new Institute of Government.

Otha Burton, Jr.

Otha Burton, Jr.

The institute, which will be housed in the university’s new downtown location at 101 W. Capitol St., will provide leadership development, research, education, consulting and training to help improve the performance of government and other public service organizations.

“I’m honored to be selected as the institute’s executive director,” Burton said. “This is an important and challenging endeavor, and the institute’s role and niche will be critical to mold and shape as it ensures effectiveness in meeting the needs of urban and regional communities, their elected and appointed officials, and the constituents that reside therein,” Burton said.

Since 2006, Burton has served as associate professor and associate dean in JSU’s School of Policy and Planning and chair of the Department of Urban and Regional Planning. In those roles, Burton managed the graduate and undergraduate degree programs, supervised one of the schools in the College of Public Service and directed the successful accreditation effort of the Master of Urban and Regional Planning Degree Program.

Burton’s public service career with the City of Jackson began in 1974. During his tenure with the city, he was appointed to numerous positions, including director of the Department of Human and Cultural Services from 1986-1990; director and chief financial officer in the Department of Administration from 1998-2000; and chief administrative officer from 1998-2005.

Burton received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from JSU. He received a Ph.D. in public administration from Mississippi State University.

“Burton’s vast experience as an administrator in the public sector and his expertise on policy issues make him the best candidate to direct the Institute of Government. He’ll lead JSU’s effort to serve as a resource for those seeking sound public policy practices,” said JSU Interim Provost James C. Renick.

The downtown campus is scheduled to open this summer. Burton’s appointment is pending approval from the Mississippi Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning.

Burton said his vision for the institute involves a focus on urban and regional communities. He said the institute will provide practical hands-on service, training and assistance and produce research and policy analysis by scholars and consultants that will be released through published reports, forums and updates.



  1. Mother, Sisters and all of your Atlanta Family says:

    Congratulations on receiving this position. Your mother has always supported you in all of your endeavours, and know you will be great in this position. Your sisters and all of your family members in Atlanta send their love and support. We have no doubt of your excellent skills, experience and dedication to JSU and the City of Jackson.

  2. Angela M. Gobar says:

    Congratulations and best wishes in your new positions!

  3. Otha Burton says:

    Thank you colleague for your kind works of support. Let’s get ready for the April CPS forum. Again, thanks.

  4. Otha Burton says:

    Thank you colleague for your support.

  5. Otha Burton says:

    Thank you. Keep workng on that final dissertation report!

  6. Otha Burton says:

    Thank you so much. I appreciate your kind words of incouragement. What are your son and daughter majoring in at JSU?

  7. Patricia Dean-Wilson says:

    Congratulations Dr. Burton. You are our Hero!

  8. Olu Ekundayo says:

    Congratulations Dr. Burton. More grease to your already illustrious elbow.

    God bless.

  9. Judith A. Hall Henderson says:

    Congratulations on your success from a former high school classmate and JSU colleague. With both my son and daughter currently attending JSU from San Diego, I frequently keep in touch with JSU campus news. What a wonderful way to learn of your appointment! All the BEST to you.

  10. Olga Osby says:

    Congratulations! This is wonderful for JSU and they certainly could not have pick a better person for the job. Best wishes.

  11. Otha Burton says:

    Thank you Sudha. I appreicate what you are doing as a graduate of our Ph.D. program. Give my regards to your father.

  12. Otha Burton says:

    Thanks frat. I look forward to this phase, perhaps this last in my career, to lay a good foundation for this Institute at JSU.

  13. Sudha Yerramilli says:

    Congratulations Dr.Burton!!! I am sure your vast experience would be an asset to the position!!

  14. Thomas Tolliver says:

    Congratulations Dr Burton on your appointment. I know this challenge will be filled with inovation motivations and successful outcomes.

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