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8/21/2008 - Jackson, Miss.

During its regular monthly meeting, the Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning (IHL) today adopted a conceptual framework to begin discussions with the Governor and Legislative leadership about consistent, stable funding over a five-year period, with an overall goal of enabling Mississippi to reach the midpoint funding of the 15 neighboring states which comprise the Southern Regional Education Board (SREB).

"This conceptual framework lays the foundation for discussions with the Governor and the leadership of the Legislature about Mississippi's public university system," said Board President Amy Whitten. "Higher education investments and increasing the number of our citizens holding university degrees will improve Mississippi's future quality of life and enhance our economic competitiveness."

During the meeting, the Board reviewed a variety of scenarios based on enrollment and tuition assumptions. Currently, Mississippi's University System is at 92 percent of the SREB average in terms of appropriation per full time equivalent student. The Board's conceptual framework would bring Mississippi up to 100 percent of the average SREB appropriation per full time equivalent student within five years. It also provides a means for the Board, Mississippi's public universities, and Mississippi's elected leadership to plan for adequate, stable funding for Mississippi's public university System as well as discuss what is needed in state appropriations for the classroom to offset tuition increase amounts. The conceptual framework lessens the impact of the Board's six year implementation plan for its funding allocation formula and requires all institutions to redirect existing dollars to Board established funding priorities through institutionally initiated efficiency efforts.

In other news, the Board approved the University of Mississippi to enter into an inter-local agreement with the City of Oxford to help fund the Oxford University Transit authority to provide public transportation to the City of Oxford and on the University of Mississippi Campus. The Board also approved the selection of Campus Apartments, located in Philadelphia, PA as the developer for Alcorn State University's student housing project.

The next meeting of the Board of Trustees will be held Wednesday and Thursday, September 17 and 18, 2008, in the IHL Board Room in Jackson, MS.

The Mississippi Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning 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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