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Staff Council

The University of Mississippi

 Officers – 2017-2018

Officer Bios:

Johnny Price, President

Johnny Price  serves as  president of Staff Council. In this role, he serves as the representative of staff members for all campus locations. He is responsible for leading discussions and bringing attention to staff concerns with Staff Council members and the Chancellor. He organizes all meeting agendas, acts as the official spokesman for the council, and makes executive decisions without council approval when necessary. In addition, he presides over all meetings and attends monthly meetings with the Chancellor.


Gazel D. Giles. Photo by Thomas Graning/Ole Miss CommunicationsGazel Giles, Past President

Gazel Giles serves as  past president of Staff Council.  In this role, she serves on the Executive Council, assists with the transition of new officers, performs other duties as assigned, and attends monthly meetings with the Chancellor.


Unfilled , President-Elect

The president-elect of Staff Council prepares to assume the role of president, executes the duties of the president in the president’s absence, works with the secretary on maintaining a record of absences, contacts members who violate the absence policy to ask if they want to continue as a staff council member, arranges for replacement of representatives as necessary,  coordinates Staff Appreciation Week by serving as chair of the Staff Appreciation Committee, & attends monthly meetings with the Chancellor.


Ev Barrett. Photo by Kevin Bain/Ole Miss CommunicationsEv Barrett, Secretary

Ev Barrett serves as Staff Council secretary. She is responsible for preparing minutes of each meeting, assisting the president-elect in maintaining a record of unexcused absences, assisting in the preparation and distribution of correspondence and other council business to representatives, staff members, etc., and attending monthly meetings with the Chancellor.

Barrett joined the university in 2007 as coordinator of iStudy in the Division of Outreach. In 2012, she accepted a position as project coordinator for the dean of the College of Liberal Arts. Her responsibilities include providing administrative support for the dean and coordinating various projects related to faculty and chair activities such as Curriculum and Policy meetings, tenure and promotion, sabbatical leave, IHL reports and quadrennial reviews.

She received her Bachelor of Arts in accountancy (1981) and her Master of Arts in higher education (2010) from the University of Mississippi. She is married and has two sons.

Je’Lisa Hairston McGee, Treasurer 

Je’Lisa Hairston McGee serves as Staff Council treasurer. Her duties include managing the finances and financial records of the Staff Council to ensure compliance with applicable regulations, maintains and presents monthly treasurer’s reports to the Staff Council to ensure accurate financial statements are maintained, processes Council invoices for payment, assists the textbook scholarship administrator in managing finances, & attends monthly meetings with the Chancellor.

Je’Lisa joined the university in 1994 as a secretary in the School of Education. In 2008, she accepted a position as Staff Assistant in National Center for Remote Sensing and Space Law. In 2011, she joined the School of Applied Sciences as a Records Coordinator and in 2018 she received a promotion and her titled changed to Coordinator of Advising, Recruitment, and Retention. Her responsibilities include organizing and implementing the advising schedules for students. Assisting in the development and implementation of policies and procedures related to the academic operations and success of students. Advising students on their academic curriculum course scheduling, degree requirements and makes suggestions based on one-on-one interactions with students. She refers students to other centers on campus such as the Counseling Center, Student Disability Services, and Career Services. She meets with students who are returning from academic suspension or dismissal, on probation, and others to discuss methods of increasing the likelihood of their success. She advises undergraduate students, coordinating browse fairs for our local high schools and on-campus events. She is currently an Instructor for the Department of Leadership & Counselor Education teaching Freshman Year Experience.

Je’Lisa received her Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from the University of Phoenix (2009) and her Master of Arts in Higher Education/Student Personnel for the University of Mississippi (2017). She is married to Stevie McGee and they have three children (Jeremy, Jacquez, and Kelci).


Photo by Kevin Bain.Premalatha Balachandran, Scholarship Coordinator

Dr. Premalataha Balachandran oversees Staff Council’s Staff Textbook scholarship program. She announces scholarship application deadlines for each semester, processes and evaluates all the applications for eligibility and sends award mail to the recipients. She also coordinates with the Ole Miss Bookstore, issuing vouchers, with Contractual Services handling payments to the bookstore and also with the Office of Financial Aid. In addition, the administrator maintains a database of applicants and complete records of accounts to comply with the University Auditors office. She attends monthly meetings with the Chancellor.

Premalatha has served at National Center for Natural Products Research (NCNPR), School of Pharmacy, University of Mississippi for 14 years. She joined NCNPR as a Post-doc in 2002. In 2005, she was appointed as an Associate Research Scientist and was promoted to the current position of Senior Scientist in 2015.

As a Senior Scientist, Premalatha’s research interests include, discovering of new active drugs from the plants that contribute to human health benefits, especially those that exhibit anti-cancer and immune enhancing properties. In partnership with UMMC-Cancer Institute at Jackson, MS, she searches for more effective approaches in cancer therapy that will include both modern medical practices in addition to traditional medicine from various countries. One of the main focuses of her research deals with the development of new molecular biological screens that target signal transduction pathways known to be involved in the expression of cancer.  In overall, her research contributes to the efforts of fighting against life-threatening cancers.

Premalatha has authored approximately 30 publications that include research and review articles in high impact journals and also book chapters. She also serves as a reviewer for many journals.

Premalatha received a Bachelors of Science degree in Chemistry and a Master of Science in Medical Biochemistry from University of Madras, Chennai, India. She also obtained Ph.D in Medical Biochemistry from the same university.

She is married to Karthikeyan Rathinavelu, Owner and President of Thik and Thin Constructions LLC., They have 2 children, Keerthin and Sagan.

Deetra Wiley. Photo by Kevin Bain/Ole Miss CommunicationsDeetra A. Sims -Wiley, Marketing Coordinator

Deetra Sims-Wiley serves as the conduit between the UM Staff Council and UM staff to report events via website and social media channels (Facebook, Twitter, Staff Council website, UM Today, etc.).  Her responsibilities include managing the social media elements to promote staff awareness and foster interaction, education, engagement, and discussion regarding policies and issues significant to constituents through the use of online communities.  She attends monthly meetings with the Chancellor.

Wiley has served the University of Mississippi for 17 years, since May 1999. She serves as an applications analyst and business communications specialist in the Office of Information Technology. Her duties include teaching SAP training classes and assigning related authorizations, editing language for technical projects, writing technical articles/requested proposals, testing projects, providing latest language updates, etc. Other duties include but are not limited to managing of the SAP Support website, coordinating IT related events, marketing/advertising, etc. She also serves as Vice President of Membership for Ole Miss Toastmasters.

Deetra received her Bachelor of Arts in English (1992), Master of Arts in English (1997),  and  Master of Arts in Higher Education (2012) from the University of Mississippi.   She also holds  an Associate of Arts in English/Communication from Coahoma Community College (1991).  Her Motto: “Believe, Begin, Become!” Some of her hobbies include acting, motivational speaking, socializing.

She is married to Rev. Derell A. Wiley, Pastor of Sykes Chapel Church in Lambert, MS.  They have 3 children: Nya, Tyler, & Amber.

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