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2/6/2008 - Jackson, Miss.

On Wednesday, February 13, 2008, the Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning (IHL) will host a System-wide Strategic Initiative Summit with representatives from Mississippi's eight public universities. The purpose of the Summit is to focus university efforts on the Board's strategic goal of increasing the number and quality of Mississippi's baccalaureate graduates. The Summit, to be held at the Mississippi TelCom Center, 105 Pascagoula Street in downtown Jackson, Mississippi, will begin at 10:00 a.m. and will conclude around 3:00 p.m.

"To compete in today's global economy, Mississippi must increase the quantity and quality of its baccalaureate degree holders," said Commissioner of Higher Education Dr. Thomas C. Meredith. "The Board's Strategic Initiative Summit will give our public universities the opportunity to plan how they can work together toward this overall objective."

The Summit will feature a presentation by Kati Haycock, President of The Education Trust, as well as a Mississippi 2020 Report by State Economist Dr. Phil Pepper; a presentation by Commissioner Meredith; and a Community College Transfer Report by Assistant Commissioner of Community and Junior College Relations Dr. Reginald Sykes.

Following the noon program, university representatives will meet in institutional groups to discuss how they will work to implement the Board's strategic objective. The Strategic Initiative includes focused attention on such issues as increasing student retention and graduation rates; increasing student passage rates on exams such as the NCLEX and PRAXIS; increasing enrollment of non-traditional and part-time students, community college transfer students, and first-time, full-time freshmen; producing more and higher quality school teachers and leaders; and increasing need-based student financial aid; among others.

For more information, contact Communications Director Annie Mitchell at (601) 432-6493 or amitchell@mississippi.edu.

Under the leadership of the Board of Trustees, IHL governs the public universities in Mississippi, including Alcorn State University; Delta State University; Jackson State University; Mississippi State University including the Mississippi State University Division of Agriculture, Forestry and Veterinary Medicine; Mississippi University for Women; Mississippi Valley State University; the University of Mississippi including the University of Mississippi Medical Center; and the University of Southern Mississippi.


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