Local universities are bracing for budget cuts since the state passed its $5 billion budget last week.
The College Board won”t approve its allocations to the eight state-funded universities until April 21. Still, Mississippi State University officials feel they are in a good place.
The college took a proactive approach to budget concerns. President mark Keenum put together a task force with a goal of consolidating services and other steps toward more efficient operations.
“We started preparing for the potential of budget cuts some time ago,” said Marideth Geuder, director of University Relations for MSU.
MSU, for example, offered an early retirement incentive, of which several hundred employees took advantage. Many of those positions were not replaced. The college also stopped offering print services for jobs such as business cards and posters.
“Through a combination of all these things, we feel like we are in good shape as far as the budget reductions — as good a shape as we can be,” Geuder said.
MSU operates on a $600 million, $165 million of which is from state appropriations.
The college anticipates cuts to be around $2 million (about 1 to 2 percent of state appropriations, Geuder said. State takes in about $100 million in tuition and fees.
Increased enrollment for the past years has helped offset budget cuts; MSU”s current enrollment is 19,644.
Mississippi University for Women is not speculating on how the state”s budget might impact the college, until they receive word from the College Board.
MUW operates on a $44.2 million budget with $13.9 million from the state. The college enrolls just more than 2,500 people.