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The College Board is Praising Lawmakers for Allocating Millions More to Universities and Colleges

By Lawayne Childrey | Published 21 Mar 2014 08:49am | comments

Mississippi's eight colleges and universities are on track to receive a $20 million dollar increase over last year’s legislative appropriations. MPB's Lawayne Childrey reports how educational officials say the funds will be used.

Institutions of Higher Learning Commissioner, Hank Bounds is praising the efforts of House and Senate lawmakers for  allocating an additional $20 million dollars in higher education funding. At yesterday's College Board meeting, Bounds said while the schools need more this is a step in the right direction. 

" We are significantly under funded by the state. We've take more cuts proportionally than any other state agency. It doesn't move us back to where we were but it certainly gets us closer to being at a place where we don't have to raise tuition every year hopefully. One year bump doesn't solve all the ills that we face but it certainly helps us to progress."

Bounds says the money would be divided between the 8 universities. Some he says could see an increase of around  2 percent.  Mississippi Valley State University President, William Bynum says the funds could make a significant impact on his schools recruitment efforts.

"Obviously what it will do for Valley is allow us to stabilize. I need time of course to build the school, build enrollment, to direct some priorities.   So again it allows more students to experience Valley, coming to Valley as well as allows us to retain more students at Valley."

Dan Jones is the Chancellor of the University of Mississippi. He says the additional funds will create enhanced opportunities in the school’s academic programs.

"The bulk of the money in our academic program goes to support our fine faculty. And this allows us to continue to recruit more faculty, to make progress on faculty compensation. And lets us use money to put in place for strengthening other academic programs as well."

In addition, university officials say they hope to use part of the money to fund a backlog of repairs and renovations. Lawmakers are currently working out the details of their proposals. Lawayne Childrey, MPB News.

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