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franklin county times

Universities prepare for big budget cuts

By By Kelly Quackenbush/The Meridian Star
March 21, 2001
State Rep. Charles Young Sr. of Meridian was among legislative leaders who discussed higher education budget issues during a video conference Tuesday at Mississippi State University-Meridian Campus.
The conference was hosted by Institutions of Higher Learning and included representatives from all eight of Mississippi's public universities. It was broadcast from a distance learning classroom, with MSU Dean Bev. R. Norment, teachers and students attending.
The discussion focused on upcoming budget cuts that may amount to almost $27 million for state universities.
Young, a Democrat, said the budget-cutting process is not the only issue. He believes changes should take place and that an "examination" of each university should be done to determine how to preserve critical facilities.
State Sen. Hillman Frazier, D-Jackson, said teacher retention is important.
Norment said it is "comforting" to know legislative leaders are continuing to show support of education but it is "not comforting" to know the budget cuts are coming soon.
He said Mississippi State University officials take the long view, looking to identify areas where funds can be reallocated at the Meridian Campus, an ongoing process that occurs with or without fear of budget cuts.
The MSU-Meridian Campus has an enrollment of about 750, and school official expect more than 1,000 in the future.
Kelly Quackenbush is a staff writer for The Meridian Star. E-mail her at kquackenbush@themeridianstar.com.