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Legislative Relations
Funding Request

The Statewide Strategic Plan establishes the state's goal for higher education as making "available an accessible, quality public higher education at an affordable cost that prepares Mississippians to become productive, financially self-sufficient members of society while meeting the human resource needs of Mississippi and its employers, including the creation of new jobs through the commercialization of university-based research."

Mississippi Public Universities are helping the state achieve its goal for higher education by enrolling 76,510 students in Fall 2021 and producing more graduates. In 2020, Mississippi Public Universities awarded 19,159 degrees, including 4,524 STEM degrees.

Mississippi Public Universities provide high-quality education, research and innovation to support economic growth and opportunities that benefit all Mississippians in a very competitive environment. As the workforce evolves to meet the increasingly complex demands of the global economy, our graduates will compete for high-skill, high-wage jobs that will drive future economic growth. Preparing students to succeed in this environment requires excellent faculty and support staff; sophisticated technology; and modern, safe, well-maintained facilities.

The FY 2023 IHL funding request includes an increase of $35.7 million over FY 2022 funding. The increase would provide new funding for a faculty pay raise to continue moving faculty salaries to the SREB average. Currently, IHL faculty salaries are approximately 79.3% of the SREB average.

On behalf of the Postsecondary Education Financial Assistance Board, IHL submitted a budget request for $54.4 million for Student Financial Aid. This represents an increase of $5.3 million over FY 2022 funding. Receiving these additional funds would enable full funding of undergraduate grant awards to all expected eligible applicants in FY 2023. The undergraduate grant programs are the Mississippi Tuition Assistance Grant, Mississippi Eminent Scholars Grant and the Higher Education Legislative Plan for Needy Students Grant.

The availability of one-time funding during 2022 Legislative Session presents an unprecedented opportunity to address critical deferred maintenance issues on the campuses of Mississippi's public universities. The IHL budget request includes $75 million in appropriated funds to address facility repair and renovation needs. Appropriated Capital Expense funds received by the universities in previous years have been vital to extending the useful life of older buildings throughout the system, and this investment of $75 million would have a transformational and lasting impact on university campuses.

Capital Improvements Bond Request

IHL develops a 4-year bond plan to support the annual bond request. The plan is developed using the facilities priorities identified by the universities. The Legislature funded the first two years of the plan in 2020 and 2021. The third year of the plan seeks to secure funding for important repair and renovation projects to existing campus buildings and to begin planning for future projects. Securing these funds this year will enable the institutions to address pressing facilities needs in a timely manner.