IHL Commissioner Weighs in on JSU, Tulane and Madison Mayor ControversyBy Lawayne Childrey | Published 01 Feb 2013 07:48pm |
Jackson State University is moving forward with its plan to open a campus in Madison despite opposition from the city's mayor. And as MPB's Lawayne Childrey reports, the historically black college also has plans to expand in other parts of Hinds and Madison Counties.
Tulane University has operated a campus in Madison for 3 years but before they opened, Madison mayor Mary Butler says they had to meet certain requirements mandated by state law. Now that Jackson State University is set to open a location in the city, Butler says the process is being overlooked by members of the states Institutions of Higher Learning.
" And basically state law says that IHL is suppose to determine that any universities that move into an area do not have a negative impact on private institutions so that was not done. So we have written a letter to revue that and to abide by their policy by state law."
But IHL commissioner Hank Bounds disputes Butlers assertion and says there are no laws in the state setup to protect out of state private institutions.
"It's preposterous to think that we have broken some law. We have a number of assistant attorney generals that have looked at this. We are following the right process, we are following the right procedures. And so if process is the only concern we ought to move beyond that fairly quickly."
Bounds says the intent of the legislation is to prevent the state’s 8 public institutions from setting up in places that would result in a duplication of programs. However, Bounds does admit that the last sentence of the law says private institutions should be considered.
"But here's the amazing thing about that fact. We live in a state that has the smallest percentage of our adult population with some education beyond high school. And so I think what you're going to see is Jackson State is going to be moving out into Hinds County and into other places in Madison County because this is about providing affordable access and opportunity for Mississippi citizens."
Even amidst the controversy Madison Mayor Mary Butler says her city remains committed to Tulane University which is based in Louisiana. Lawayne Childrey, MPB News.
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