USM angers some with $104K billboard - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

USM angers some with $104K billboard

HATTIESBURG, Miss. (AP) - The University of Southern Mississippi has paid $104,800 to upgrade its electronic billboard near the entrance of the campus.

It's move that doesn't sit well with some professors, who see 29 of their peers being cut for the 2011-12 academic year, including 14 tenured professors, due to budget cuts.

Homer Coffman, USM's chief information officer, told The Hattiesburg American that the billboard now has full color LED lights with capabilities for text, photo animation and video.

He said the improved screen resolution and immediate update times allow USM to expand its community service, such as providing campus emergency alerts and traffic information.

But history professor Douglas Chambers said the money would have been better spent on faculty.

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