MCC Considers Where It Could Trim Budget

By: Stephen Bowers Email
By: Stephen Bowers Email

Gov. Haley Barbour has instructed state agency heads to look at their budgets to try to find places they can be more efficient.

State revenues have been much lower than expected so far, and budgets have already been cut once.

If they're cut again, community college officials say they could really hurt.

Meridian Community College president, Dr. Scott Elliott, said when the 7 percent cut is all said and done, the financial impact at MCC could be near $1 million.

"Enrollment has exceeded projections, so we have been bolstered by revenues in that area," Elliott said.

Even with the enrollment increase, the budget cuts have led to reductions in all departments. Workforce development at MCC may be the hardest hit.

Shirley Nell Goodman is MCC's vice-president in charge of workforce education. She says right now the college is only making small cuts in things like travel and equipment.

"We'll be looking at all of our programs to see if there's any way we can save money or make it through this most recent round of budget cuts," Goodman said.

At this point, Goodman says if travel or equipment is not necessary, they simply are doing without it.

She also says they may have to look at the possibility of cutting programs all together in the future.

"We will be looking at the programs that are performing well, those that are very vital to the community and to our industry and to the training needs of our community because that's what career and technical programs are," said Goodman.

There are some things that could help MCC. An increase in the tax base and an increase in tuition. Bringing in more students or bumping up the dollar amount on tuition could be beneficial.

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