The Possible Merger of Mississippi Colleges….

“JACKSON, Miss. (AP) Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour said Monday the state should consider merging some of its universities to save money.

Barbour, in announcing his budget recommendations, said Mississippi University for Women should merge with nearby Mississippi State University and that Alcorn State University and Mississippi Valley State University be merged into Jackson State University.

Barbour said none of the campuses would close.

The proposed change would leave Mississippi with five public universities rather than the current eight.

Barbour’s consolidation proposal would have to be approved by lawmakers. It is part of his suggested budget for the fiscal year that begins next July 1.

The Democratic chairman of the House Universities and Colleges Committee, Rep. Kelvin Buck of Holly Springs, opposes the Republican governor’s proposal. Buck said Mississippi would hurt its own economic future by limiting higher education.

Barbour also proposed that the state’s 152 public school districts be consolidated into 100.

He said he would expect the better performing school districts to remain intact while lower performing districts would be merged with others.

Barbour also suggested closing the School for the Arts in Brookhaven moving the program to Columbus on the campus of the Mississippi Math and Science School.” – news by