Public universities in Mississippi could see layoffs - - Jackson, MS

Public universities in Mississippi could see layoffs in the next three years

JACKSON, MS -- During their monthly board meeting on Thursday, the Institutions for Higher Learning and university presidents from all over the state worked to come up with solutions to their revenue shortfalls.

Eight public universities in Mississippi could experience lay-offs among other downsizing in the next three years. IHL attributes part of this to the added 5-percent cuts that Governor Barbour is looking to pursue in the next several months.

It's a move the Institutions for Higher Learning say they may not be able to avoid given the state of Mississippi's economy.

"There are several hundred positions, that if the scenario plays out like we think that it will, unfortunately I think that we're going to lose individuals that are currently employed," said Dr. Hank Bounds Commissioner of the IHL.

An estimated 900 positions could be cut by 2013. Roughly 350 of those positions are currently unfilled, which would mean that personnel wouldn't get hired into those positions. However, 565 positions of the 900 that could be cut are currently filled, which could mean that lay-offs would be imminent.

"Every campus dealt with this issue differently. They are still working, for some campuses they have. They know exactly how their going to deal with [FY] 11, some campuses are still working on fiscal year 12," Bounds said.

Dr. Bounds says their doing all they can to make sure instruction of students isn't affected.

"We are doing everything possible to protect instruction. I mean that's the most important thing that we do," Bounds said.

Meanwhile, Jackson State University and Mississippi University for Women was not included in these projections. Dr. Bounds estimates these numbers could be higher once these two schools are able to provide their revenue projections.

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