Monday, November 16, 2009

Barbour: Merge the HBCUs; consolidate the W into State

At his 2:15 p.m. press conference, Gov. Barbour announced his plan to save money in higher education.  He wants to 1) merge Alcorn and Valley into JSU, and 2) merge the W into MSU.  He says that under his plan none of the campuses would close.  But I've got to wonder: if these mergers happen, how long will the campuses in Lorman, Itta Bena, and Columbus be funded?


(By the way, I'm a fan of consolidating all of our eight public universities into one Jackson-based school that wins the BCS championship every single year.  But maybe that's just because I like winning.)


nmisscommenter said...

is this going to work with the Ayers decision? Or is he going to just go with it and see if it flies?

Matt Eichelberger said...

There's no mention of Ayers anywhere in the budget recommendation, but doesn't Ayers focus more on funding for programs than on administration? If so, then I think it may pass muster. I really don't know, though.

nmisscommenter said...

Ayers is more about programs than administration.

But here it is: We have to cut administration. We're not going to talk about the whole State/Ole Miss/Southern/Delta State thing, or tie any of those together with ones more geographically close (e.g. Delta State / Valley State)-- we're going to pick the ones that are historically black and make THEM fire administrators, and just for balance throw in the women's college. That's ok, right?

If you don't think this will lead to litigation, you've spent to much time doing criminal defense work.

Matt Eichelberger said...

There won't be any litigation, because it'll never make it through the Legislature. This idea's D.O.A.

Jim Craig said...

That's probably true, Matt. All the alums of the different universities will make this impossible for any legislator (even in the Barbour-controlled Senate) to support.

If the consolidation (in any form) happened, I would think a motion to modify Ayers, in light of the consolidation, would be seriously considered by the Court. Judge Biggers has made clear that keeping the HBCUs is not necessarily mandated by the 14th Amendment.

For what it's worth, I've thought for a long time that combining JSU with Hinds Community College would be a good fit. It would create a metro-area university with an excellent racial balance of students and faculty.