Formal studio headshot portrait of Sid Salter

Sid Salter

Vice President for Strategic Communications
& Director, Office of Public Affairs

Phone: 662-325-3442

Sidney L. "Sid" Salter is Vice President for Strategic Communications and Director of Public Affairs at Mississippi State University.

The Office of Public Affairs serves as MSU's print, broadcast and digital newsroom, social media platform, strategic marketing and advertising agency, photography and videography studio, and graphic design operation.

Under Salter’s leadership, Public Affairs is also charged with managing and populating MSU's website, rapid response to outside media requests, and managing crisis information during emergencies. He also is the administrator of MSU's campus radio station, WMSV-FM, and the University Television Center.

After a career as an award-winning journalist and broadcaster, Salter joined MSU in 2011 as the university’s journalist-in-residence at the MSU Libraries and taught courses in the Political Science and Communication departments. He wrote a successful biography honoring longtime MSU radio broadcaster Jack Cristil. The project funded the Jack Cristil Scholarship in MSU’s Department of Communication, which annually assists MSU students seeking a career in broadcast journalism.

At MSU, Salter represents the university on the board of directors of University Press of Mississippi, the state’s academic press. He serves on the President’s Cabinet, the President’s Committee on Planning, the Crisis Action Team, the Executive Council, the Athletics Council, the Information Technology Council, and chairs the Special Events and Game Day Committee and the Symbols, Licensing and Trademarks Committee.

A Philadelphia, Miss. native, Salter’s career in journalism began in 1973 at the age of 14 at radio station WHOC-AM. Salter was a John C. Stennis Scholar in Political Science at MSU. At age 24, he became publisher and editor of the Scott County Times weekly newspaper in Forest. He continued in that role before leaving to become the Sunday op/ed section editor at the Clarion-Ledger in Jackson in 2001. He was a commentator on WTOK-TV in Meridian for a decade and hosted the afternoon drive-time show on the Supertalk Mississippi radio network for three years.

He was honored in 2004 as MSU’s National Alumnus of the Year. He received the Agriculture Ambassador Award from the Miss. Farm Bureau Federation in 2006.

Since 1997, Salter has served on the board of directors of Community Bancshares of Mississippi, a multi-bank holding company doing business in Ala., Fla., Miss., and Tenn. as Community Bank. He is chairman of the corporation’s Audit Committee.

A past president of the Starkville and Forest Rotary Clubs and a Paul Harris Fellow, Salter has served on the boards of directors of the MSU Alumni Association, the G.V. “Sonny” Montgomery Foundation, the Miss. Economic Council, the Mississippi Press Association and the Miss. Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. He is president of the Natchez Trace Council, Boy Scouts of America, serving 22 North Mississippi counties and a recipient of BSA’s Silver Beaver Award.

Salter has been a Mississippi syndicated political columnist for more than 45 years. In addition to teaching and writing at MSU as the university's first journalist in residence in 2011-12, Salter was the first journalist to hold the Kelly Gene Cook Chair in Journalism at the University of Mississippi in the 1990s, where he served on the faculty as an associate professor.

In 2018 and 2023, Salter was named to the “Mississippi Top 50” list honoring the state’s 50 most influential leaders.

He has been honored for lifetime contributions to journalism by the University of Southern Mississippi and Mississippi University for Women - and for both print and broadcast journalism by the Associated Press. Salter is a member of the Mississippi Press Association’s Hall of Fame.

Salter and his wife, Leilani, are the parents of four grown children and have nine grandchildren. They are members of New Journey Methodist Church in Starkville.