Here’s The Consolidation Plans
…As outlined in Haley Barbour’s 2011 budget recommendations.
At the college level, Barbour made the expected announcement which proposes consolidating Mississippi University for Women with Mississippi State. MSU and MUW are separated by about 20 miles. MSU has the largest enrollment in the state while MUW has the lowest. Earlier today, I made note of plans by MUW alums to begin intensive lobbying efforts to keep MUW open.
In a bit of a surprise, Barbour proposed merging Mississippi Valley State and Alcorn State with Jackson State. They represent the three historically black, public funded schools in the state. This would leave the state with just one public historically black university. Previously, rumors had circulated with MSVU merging with Delta State, but Barbour opted to go this route.
Rep. Kelvin Buck (D-Holly Springs), who is the chairman of the House Universities and Colleges Committee, came out against this plan very quickly calling it an attack on education and saying we should not be limiting our educational options especially during economic difficulties. Buck is a member of the Legislative Black Caucus. The Chairman of the caucus, Billy Broomfield (D-Moss Point), had previously warned they would take “any attack on historically black colleges and universities very seriously.” Buck is also a graduate of Rust College, a privately funded HBCU in Holly Springs.
Senate Universities and Colleges Committee Chairman Doug Davis (R-Hernando) offered only a lukewarm response saying “I’m not willing to say that we will go forward or that we will stop the conversation.”
Barbour also proposed consolidating the 152 K-12 school districts down to 100.
Link to Barbour’s budget proposal outline
Link to letter to legislature from Barbour