JSU president defends merger idea - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

JSU president defends merger idea

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By David Kenney - bio | email

Jackson State President Dr. Ronald Mason says he doesn't support the Governor's merger plan, but he does have his own merger proposal.

This week information was leaked about mason's proposal to create a new University by combining Alcorn, Mississippi Valley, and Jackson State Universities. He believes this is the only option the historically black universities and colleges in Mississippi have, when facing the current state budget crisis.

Friday afternoon Dr. Mason took questions from the media. He says Jackson
State is facing a $25 million dollar budget cut in the coming year.

He sees combining the Universities as the as the only option to avoid closing, if they're not fully funded.

Mason put his ideas into a power-point presentation that shocked some black lawmakers.

The plan would combine the Universities into what he's calling Jacobs State University. The name comes from Jackson State founder doctor H.P. Jacobs.

Mason says he three campuses would stay open, and would make them stronger in academics, and athletics.

"We have challenges that are going to be different to face as individual institutions so that the thought of us working together is something I've always thought was a good idea, candidly I think my opinion and it's not a plan, is that one strong H.B.C.U. in Mississippi is better than three weak ones."

Mason says he's received mixed reviews on his proposal. He says he only sent his PowerPoint to one person before it was leaked.

Mason says not all the responses have been negative. He's got a small group of community leaders called Jacksonians for progress, who support his idea.

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