Jackson State University is cutting positions and restructuring departments to reduce its budget, in the midst of a financial crisis.
Jackson State University is eliminating 42 positions, requiring all spending be approved by the chief financial officer and moving students from two leased hotels back to dorms. Those are a few of a list of cost-cutting measures Interim President Rod Paige announced to bring spending in line with revenues. While it's a moving target, JSU is hoping to slash its budget from $112 million to $105 million. According to university spokesperson Danny Blanton, since 2013, JSU has operated with an average annual deficit of $12 million.
"When you find yourself in these types situations you've got to own up to the mistakes that have been made in the past and you've got to show what you're going to do to fix them and make sure they don't happen again," said Blanton.
Blanton says the university spends more money than it takes in. He says although student enrollment increased, so did financial-aid, offsetting gains. Coupled with state cuts of $4 million and more expected, he says some departments will be restructured like the College of Business. No faculty will be cut. House Democrat Gregory Holloway of Hazlehurst, is Vice Chair of the Universities and Colleges Committee and a JSU grad.
"It won't solve the problem because the school is in pretty deep financial straits. There maybe some other things coming down the pipeline later," said Holloway.
Blanton agrees there's no quick fix. Other measures include a hiring and spending freeze along with eliminating vacant positions.