Mississippi's College Board Outlines Cuts to Public Universities and UMMC
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MS College Board Meeting in Progress
Desare Frazier

"We had some hint that it might be coming," said Woodward.

That's Dr. LouAnn Woodward, Vice Chancellor of Health Affairs at the University of Mississippi Medical Center. She knew state revenue projections were falling short, so she says it wasn't a shock when Governor Phil Bryant told agencies to slash costs by up to 1.5 percent. He wants $40 million cut from the state's $6.2 billion budget. Yesterday at the college board meeting, UMMC learned it has to reduce it's spending by nearly $3 million. Dr. Woodward. 

"We do have some very critical patient care services and very critical education programs that really we feel have to be protected at all costs," said Woodward. 

Woodward says they'll focus on reductions with the least impact. All eight public universities have to reduce their campus budgets by 1.5 percent. Alcorn State's agricultural programs will take an additional $100,000 dollar hit. University President Al Rankins.

"Well it's never easy to identify funds when you have to go through a mid-year budget cut. So it's always difficult, but we'll make the necessary adjustments and move on," said Rankins.

In spite of the unexpected cuts, college board commissioner Glenn Boyce, isn't talking layoffs.

"I do not anticipate any cuts to staffing, obviously as we move forward we'll be watching this very carefully," said Boyce.

Boyce says the universities are working with scare resources and he wants to ensure cuts don't negatively impact students. Programs such as Mississippi Cooperative Extension and the College of Veterinary Medicine will see reductions. Financial aid will not be touched.