Elliott: USM expansion is not a wise move
By By Steve Gillespie / staff writer
March 10, 2002
The president of Meridian Community College said he believes the University of Southern Mississippi's planned expansion on the Mississippi Coast does not represent good use of state money.
MCC President Scott Elliott told The Meridian Star editorial board last week that opposition to USM's expansion was not a question of whether the Coast was a vibrant, growing region.
USM plans to offer freshmen and sophomore classes at its Gulf Park Campus in Long Beach letting students earn a four-year degree without attending class at USM's main campus in Hattiesburg.
Gulf Park now offers classes for juniors, seniors and graduate students.
USM and the state College Board which oversees the state's eight public universities were allowed to move forward with expansion after a state Supreme Court ruling last month.
Elliott and other community college leaders, however, disagree with USM's plan. Community college leaders fought USM, filing a lawsuit that led to the Supreme Court decision.
Community college leaders cited a 1972 state law that gave them a say in offerings at off-campus university sites. The state Supreme Court declared the law unconstitutional.
Meridian Community College President Scott Elliott talks about a wide-range of issues including public education funding, possible workforce training cuts and MCC's athletic programs in a question-and-answer session with The Meridian Star editorial board.