USM to cut budget by $8M, eliminate 20 staff positions

University of Southern Mississippi (Photo Source: WTOK-TV)

HATTIESBURG, Miss. (AP) - The University of Southern Mississippi says it must permanently cut its budget by about $8 million and eliminate 20 staff positions.

WDAM-TV reports university President Dr. Rodney Bennett made the announcement Thursday in an email sent to all faculty and staff.

Bennett says the move is a result of decreases in state funding, particularly over the past 18 months, and a recent board policy adopted by the Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning Board of Trustees that outlines financial expectations of institutions.

The cut will begin in the current fiscal year, and the 20 staff positions will be eliminated on Dec. 31. In addition, other visiting or temporary employees' positions will be eliminated after their current scheduled end dates.