Madison mayor, Tulane ask board to reconsider JSU campus - - Jackson, MS

Madison mayor, Tulane ask board to reconsider JSU campus

Madison Mayor Mary Hawkins-Butler Madison Mayor Mary Hawkins-Butler
JSU President Carolyn Meyers JSU President Carolyn Meyers
MADISON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

Jackson State University announced two weeks ago it would expand by adding a campus in Madison.

Now, Madison Mayor Mary Hawkins-Butler and Tulane University are asking the state to reconsider allowing the expansion.

"At this time, The City of Madison and Tulane University request the Board to reconsider and rescind its premature approval of the Sorento lease until Jackson State has applied for and demonstrated compliance with the standards for establishment of an off-campus program," the letter stated.

In the letter sent Friday to the Board of Trustees of the Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning, Hawkins-Butler and Tulane University School of Continuing Studies Dean Richard Marksbury say Jackson State's announcement raises issues with respect to Tulane's Madison campus. The letter claims state law has been "disregarded in this case."

"Section 37-102-13 of the Mississippi Code is very clear that the IHL Board shall take into account the ongoing programs of private colleges before the Board authorizes off-campus programs by a state university," the letter stated.

Read the full letter to the Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning (PDF)

The Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning approved a 10-year lease for the Jackson State expansion two weeks ago, but in an interview Friday, Hawkins-Butler told WLBT she was surprised to hear about the lease. The mayor said she thought Jackson State was only looking at the space.

"We were very pleasant, enjoyed their company and our discussion, but it was a done deal when we visited, but they did not share that with me," Hawkins-Butler said.

The mayor's other concern was for the competition the JSU campus could create with Tulane's Madison location.

JSU President Carolyn Meyers said Monday she didn't realize that was a problem after her discussion with the mayor.

"It was mentioned, but I told her, or I pointed out to her and she agreed that the educational needs of the state of Mississippi are so great that we both can thrive," Meyers said. "We thought we had dotted our I's and crossed the T's and that's why we had been trying to meet with her for quite awhile and we had no concerns that she had any concerns."

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