Jackson State University Restructuring Looks to Shore Up Financial Position

On the same day that the board of the Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning confirmed the appointment of William B. Bynum Jr. as the new president of Jackson State University, the university announced a cost-cutting plan to deal with a financial shortfall brought about by a reduction in state appropriations.

For several years, Jackson State has had an operating deficit. This has reduced cash reserves from $37 million in 2012 to about $4 million today.

Under the cost-cutting plan, the university will lay off 42 employees and eliminate 65 vacant positions. The university has enacted a hiring freeze and will suspend all internally funded travel. The plan will consolidate satellite campus offerings and reassess academic and administrative restructuring. Academic restructuring and consolidation will eliminate one dean position and seven department chairs.

In a statement, Rod Paige, who has been serving as interim president, said that “we did everything possible to avoid implementing a reduction in force. I know these are tough changes, but they will leave the university in a much stronger position financially and will increase the efficiency of the institution.”

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