Lawmakers Discuss IHL Funding

By: Ashley Porter Email
By: Ashley Porter Email

Mississippi Valley State University president, Dr. Donna Oliver, said the majority of its funding comes from the state, about 60%.

"The concern would be having money to operate at a level that would keep us competitive," said Oliver.

She and all the other attendees were curious to find out the financial fate of Mississippi's public universities.

"We can't afford to wake up three to four years from now and find we have lots of mediocre programs," Oliver said.

IHL commissioner, Dr. Hank Bounds, appealed to lawmakers with a plan for consolidation and a proposal for a five percent funding increase.

"We're looking at things like, do we really need eight HR departments? Do we really need eight cafeteria plans?" said Bounds. "We're going to do everything that we can to prevent from having tuition increases. But at the end of the day, I can't guarantee that there won't be any."

"We can't really raise tuition because then we would cost our students out of coming to the Valley," said Oliver.

So any more cuts may force Oliver to consider more drastic measures.
Academic programs could also be on the table for other public colleges.

Lawmakers echoed their support for college funding.

"I'm going to do all I can to fund your requests," said Rep. Johnny Stringer
(D) Montrose.

But that encouragement does come with caution about the state's economy.

In October, the state's public universities will finalize the cuts they've already had to make, because the education budget was reduced by five percent last month.

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