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Chancellor: Ole Miss in great shape

By By Steve Gillespie/The Meridian Star
May 3, 2001
While educational institutions across Mississippi tighten their belts due to state funding cutbacks, University of Mississippi Chancellor Robert Khayat is delivering a message of stability and growth.
Khayat, in Meridian Wednesday for an Ole Miss Alumni Association meeting, did note some challenges.
Between 1995 and 2000, Khayat said the university enjoyed wonderful increases in state support.
The chancellor added that funding for buildings allowed Ole Miss to bring many of its facilities up to the best condition ever.
Khayat noted increases in student population, from 10,181 five years ago to 11,500 now. "At the same time the average ACT scores have increased," he said.
The chancellor said the African-American student population has grown from 7.2 percent to 12.2 percent. "We are probably the most diverse state university in the South," Khayat said.
Contributions from the private sector have risen for Ole Miss. The university recently announced the results of a six-year campaign that will produce $525 million.
Khayat has served as chancellor of the university since 1995. He said the university has worked to develop specific strategies for the future, including special academic programs to attract the best students.
Another indicator of the university's well-being, according to Khayat, is the school's library. "We've passed the one million volume mark, which was a milestone, we were readmitted to the Southeast Research Library Association, we increased the annual acquisitions budget from $1.3 million to $4 million and the endowment from $1 million to $14 million. Some people go to sleep when you talk about libraries, but the truth is, that's kind of the heart of the university."
Steve Gillespie is a staff writer for The Meridian Star. Call him at 693-1551, ext. 3233, or e-mail him at sgillespie@themeridianstar.com.

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