Vice President for Strategic Communications
& Director, Office of Public Affairs
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 multimedia newsroom, social media platform, strategic marketing and advertising agency, photography and videography studio, and graphic design operation. Public Affairs is also charged with managing and populating MSU's website, rapid response to outside media requests, and the management of crisis information during emergencies. He also is the administrator of MSU's campus radio station, WMSV-FM, and the University Television Center.
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 chairs the Special Events and Game Day Committee, the Symbols, Licensing and Trademarks Committee, and serves on MSU’s Executive Council, Athletics Council, Information Technology Council, Executive Enrollment Management Committee, and the President’s Committee on Planning.
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 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 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-elect 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 40 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. He has been honored for lifetime contributions to journalism by the University of Southern Mississippi and Mississippi University for Women - and has been honored for both print and broadcast journalism by the Associated Press.
Salter and his wife, Leilani, are the parents of four grown children and have nine grandchildren. They are members of First United Methodist Church in Starkville.