State Economist Gives Economic Forecast, Fiscal Summary
During last week's meeting of the IHL Board, State Economist Dr. Phil Pepper, who also serves as IHL Assistant Commissioner for Research and Planning, presented the state's economic outlook and fiscal summary for the upcoming year. Click here to view the entire IHL Board meeting, with Dr. Pepper's presentation beginning at 1:50:50. He noted that despite substantial slowdown, the national economic situation has not affected Mississippi's revenue collections yet. While current collections suggest there will be a surplus at the end of the fiscal year (June 30, 2008), several agencies are requesting additional appropriations this year. This could use up any potential end of year balance in the General Fund. Medicaid has already requested an additional $70 million to cover its current budget deficit for the remainder of the year, and another $40 million is needed for debt services. For fiscal year 2009, the state is expecting to have about $5.05 billion for allocation, which is about $7 million less than what was available in the current fiscal year. However, if the economic slowdown continues, revenue streams are likely to slow down as well, so the situation may be more difficult than currently anticipated. In the current fiscal year, about 45 percent of the general fund went to K-12 education; 16.8 percent went to the colleges and universities; 10.5 percent went to Medicaid; and 5.8 percent went to debt services. Despite the fact that considerable time is spent discussing the general fund, it represents less than 30 percent of the state budget. In most years, about one-third of the overall state budget comes from federal sources, and the other third comes from special state sources like the highway fund. The Legislature will consider the economic forecast as well as reports from the state treasurer and the state tax commission when finalizing the state budget and passing appropriation bills later in the Legislative Session. View the PowerPoint slides used in Dr. Pepper's presentation, or contact Dr. Pepper at (601) 432-6742 for more information.
IHL Executive Staff Welcomes Eric Clark as SBCJC Leader The IHL Executive Staff is pleased to welcome Dr. Eric Clark as the new Executive Director of the State Board for Community and Junior Colleges. Dr. Clark previously served the state publicly as Secretary of State from 1995 to 2007 and as a member of the Mississippi House of Representatives for four terms. Dr. Clark stepped into the leadership position on Tuesday, as Dr. Wayne Stonecypher retired after his five-year tenure with the Board. As the executive director, Dr. Clark will coordinate the efforts of the state's 15 publicly funded community and junior colleges. "The Board for Community and Junior Colleges has made a fine choice," said Commissioner of Higher Education Dr. Thomas Meredith. "Among other things, I look forward to working with Dr. Clark to improve the state's transfer rate. We have one big public education system that stretches from pre-kindergarten through the universities; we must work together to provide the best educational opportunities for Mississippi's citizens."
Dr. Eric Clark
Review Team Finalizes Title II Grant Recommendations The second of three phases of the No Child Left Behind: Improving Teacher Quality Grant Program was completed on Saturday, January 12. Eight review team members as well as Assistant Commissioner of Academic and Student Affairs Dr. Lynn J. House, Director of P-16 Initiatives and director of grant program administration Dr. Susan Lee, and Director of Student Affairs Pearl Pennington, reviewed 19 grant proposals and finalized recommendations for awarding approximately $1.04 million. The award announcements are scheduled to be made in early February. The grant proposals, submitted by the state's universities, outline the universities' plans to partner with local educational agencies to provide professional development activities during the summer months when school is not in session. The development activities focus on core subject areas to help teachers, paraprofessionals, and principals have subject matter knowledge in the academic subjects they teach or in computer-related technology to enhance instruction. The program is designed to help the state abide by the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, which requires reform of traditional teacher training, innovative expansion of alternative routes to teacher licensure, and more effective in-service training and professional development for teachers currently in the classroom. The collaborative nature of the grants is designed to ensure that conversations, initiatives, and modification of existing practices continue to improve not only the performance of teachers but the improvement of teacher preparation programs at the institutions of higher education, which is very important to the success of education in Mississippi. Contact Dr. Susan Lee for additional information.
Grant review team members include: (first row) Ms. Lillie Bryant, Ms. Dana Pittman, Ms Mariea Jackson, Ms. Marsha Wansley, Ms. Juanester Russell, (second row) Ms. Viola Parnell, Mr. Arthur Holbrook, and Dr. Fred McCaleb.
Items included in the "University News" section of the System Review are submitted each week by the universities. The news items are listed in rotating alphabetical order by university.
UNIVERSITY OF MISSISSIPPI MEDICAL CENTER NEWS
Clinic Enhancements Represent New "Face" of OB-GYN at UMMC
A makeover in Suite C of the University Pavilion is immediately apparent from the bold black-and-white photographs of women at all stages of life. The pictures, though, are just the outside face of many improvements in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Mississippi Medical Center, according to Dr. Harriette Hampton, associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology. "This is the new face of ob-gyn," Hampton said. "Patients now have a private waiting area and it's a warm, peaceful environment." Learn more.
OB-GYN Faculty Host Women's Discussion Series
UMMC Alliance Recognizes Honorary Taste Chairs for "Invaluable" Contributions
UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN MISSISSIPPI NEWS
Southern Miss Department Lands National Forest Grant
When Hurricane Katrina crashed into the Gulf Coast more than two years ago, Mississippi forestlands also took a blow as more than 100,000 acres of DeSoto National Forest were strewn with vast piles of pine and hardwood trees. Seeking to expedite restoration of the woodland, the United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service has awarded a grant for anthropology students from The University of Southern Mississippi to conduct archaeological survey work in the forest. The $670,254 grant, awarded in October, provides funding for six students to assist the National Forests in Mississippi in surveying the hurricane-damaged forest, which spans 379,000 acres. The partnership helps the Forest Service meet federal regulations that require archaeological testing to be conducted on public land before any ground disturbing activities such as road construction, utility installation, and timber removal take place. Learn more.
Southern Miss Math Zone Increases Students' Math Performance
College of Business Offers Free Access to Mississippi and U.S. Economic Data
Southern Miss Schedules Events to Commemorate Black History Month
Southern Miss Professor Named Founding Co-Editor for New Journal
UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN MISSISSIPPI GULF COAST NEWS
Southern Miss Gulf Coast Library Reopens at Gulf Park Campus
The Gulf Coast Library on The University of Southern Mississippi Gulf Park campus in Long Beach, which has been closed due to damage from Hurricane Katrina, reopened on Jan. 14 for the first day of spring semester classes. Students are now able to access the 55,000-square-foot facility for research, Internet access, and meeting rooms. The hours of operation for the Gulf Coast Library are Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from 2 to 6 p.m. Learn more.
ALCORN STATE UNIVERSITY NEWS
Alcorn Faculty Member Serves as Adams County Board of Supervisors President
Daryyl V. Grennell, Alcorn State University faculty member, successfully combines two careers. He serves as the president of the Adams County Board of Supervisors and also teaches microbiology and genetics at Alcorn State University. As a county supervisor he helps people in his community to implement the various programs that the federal and state governments provide. Grennell has served as Adams County's board president almost consecutively since 2002. In 2006 Grennell received an Outstanding Faculty award from the Mississippi State Legislature and Alcorn State's Outstanding Faculty award. Besides teaching at Alcorn, he is also taking the most active part in the Saturday Science Academy project. Alcorn's Saturday Science Academy provides instruction and hands-on experiences in the sciences and mathematics to middle school students in the school districts adjacent to the university. Grennell will speak about the Saturday Math and Science Academy at the National Association of Counties' (NACo) Justice and Safety Retreat in Wilmington, N.C. later this month. Learn more.
Vote Miss Mississippi Kimberly Morgan "America's Choice"
DELTA STATE UNIVERSITY NEWS
Delta State Takes Top IHL Honors
During its most recent regular monthly meeting, the Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning (IHL) announced the winners of the 2007 Best Practices Competition, with Delta State University earning top honors in the finance, business and administration category for its "Increased Efficiencies in Business Processes through Barcoding" initiative within the Alumni Foundation area. The Best Practices Competition is an annually-sponsored program designed to highlight efforts that create efficient and effective practices initiated within the System's institutions in the categories of academics; finance, business and administration; student services; and technology. Proposals were judged by peer groups within each of the universities. Delta State's winning initiative - "Increased Efficiencies in Business Processes through Barcoding" - began in the Alumni-Foundation area, when the staff realized they needed to change the way they gathered and maintained data on alumni and donors because the software processes in place at that time were cumbersome, labor intensive, and prone to error. Today, every piece of correspondence from the Alumni-Foundation bears a barcode so that locating records is as easy scanning the barcode with the hand-held barcode reader. Entering information is as easy as scanning a piece of correspondence. Training takes less than five minutes and accuracy has increased from 10 errors per 1,000 characters to 1 per 3.4 million characters. Learn more.
Statesmen Baseball to Kickoff 2008 Season with John Grisham Event
Delta State Students Volunteer to Celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
Lady Statesmen Ranked No. 1 in Latest WBCA/ESPN/USA Today Top 25 Poll
Delta State Participates in Center for Spectator Sport National Risk Management Conference
JACKSON STATE UNIVERSITY NEWS
Better Fleet Management Nets Jackson State Third Straight IHL Award
For the third straight year, Jackson State University has been recognized for exercising some of the best operating and business practices among Mississippi's universities. On Jan. 17, Mississippi's Institutions of Higher Learning recognized JSU as one of the recipients of the 2007-08 "Best Practices" awards during the IHL Board of Trustees' meeting. JSU received second place for a facilities and construction management program that identified inefficiencies in the management of university vehicles. For example, a review of the vehicle fleet suggested only 71 percent of the 70 university-owned vehicles were being used on a daily basis. Of those, about 65 percent were 10 years old or older, posing reliability issues and requiring higher maintenance and fuel costs. The plan calls for eliminating the vehicles from the fleet and updating them with newer, more fuel-efficient models. The IHL award comes with an incentive of $5,000 for the university. Troy Stovall, JSU's senior vice president for finance and operations, said the award illustrates how the university is "being a good steward" of its resources. "This was something the (IHL) commissioner started as an attempt to showcase across academic, service, and operations areas what we're doing at different institutions," Stovall said. He also said the program gives the universities ways to learn from one another. Learn more.
Jackson State Looks to 'Pack the House' for NCAA Competition
JSU to Host Town Hall Meeting on Domestic Violence
JSU's Comegy Named Man of the Year
MISSISSIPPI STATE UNIVERSITY NEWS
MSU Prof, Valuation Expert Named International Forestry Fellow
Ian A. Munn of Mississippi State is a new fellow of the Society of American Foresters. A professor in the university's Forest and Wildlife Research Center, he is being honored by the international organization for contributions to society and the forestry profession. "Dr. Munn is considered an expert on forest resource economics and management," said Jim Shepard, MSU forestry department head. "He routinely is called upon to provide forestry-related expertise to the state Tax Commission, help lead training seminars for county tax assessors, and field an array of questions from the general public concerning ad valorem taxes for forestland." Munn annually works with tax commission officials to survey more than 2,000 private and industrial landowners to determine the value-in-use of Mississippi's extensive forestland. The Society of American Foresters is the national scientific and educational organization representing the forestry profession in the United States. Founded in 1900, it is the largest professional society for foresters in the world. Munn, a Kingston, Ontario, Canada native, holds a bachelor's degree from the University of North Carolina, masters' from Syracuse and Louisiana Tech universities, and a doctorate from North Carolina State University. Learn more.
Sandra Harpole of MSU Named to Major Research Governing Board
MISSISSIPPI STATE UNIVERSITY DIVISION OF AGRICULTURE, FORESTRY AND VETERINARY MEDICINE NEWS
MSU Leads in Catfish Industry Battle Against Off-Flavors
Catfish sales soared years ago when producers began to consistently deliver delicious fillets to consumers, but the industry continues to fight an off-flavor problem. With today's tight markets and strong international competition, it is especially important for farmers to deliver a high-quality product to the marketplace as efficiently as possible. Terry Hanson, an agricultural economist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said off-flavor is a very serious problem for the farm-raised catfish industry. "Survey information indicates that every pond in the Mississippi catfish industry averaged seven off-flavor occurrences per year," Hanson said. "Off-flavor prevents ponds from being harvested an average of 59 days per pond each year." According to a 2001 study by the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station (MAFES), these flavor-related harvest delays cost the industry in Mississippi an average of $23 million annually from 1997 to 1999. The ultimate goal is to reduce the possibility that consumers will buy off-flavor fish. Craig Tucker, a MAFES researcher at the Thad Cochran National Warmwater Aquaculture Center in Stoneville, said off-flavor is caused by odorous compounds in the water or feed of catfish. Learn more.
State Government Asks 4-H Youth to Serve Through MSU
MSU Equine Therapy Classes Prepare for New Season
MSU Scientists Investigate Higher Cardiovascular Incidence in Deep South
MISSISSIPPI UNIVERSITY FOR WOMEN NEWS
MUW Recognized for Best Practice
Mississippi University for Women was awarded $5,000 by the State Institutions of Higher Learning Board of Trustees for winning second place in the Best Practices Program for its entry on "Increasing Advisor Knowledge and Information Access." The IHL Board began the Best Practices Program in 2005 in an effort "to highlight efforts that create efficient and effective practices initiated at institutions." MUW has placed three years in a row. A first place award of $10,000 and a second place award of $5,000 were awarded in the categories of academic affairs; student affairs; technology; and finance, business and administration. Judging was by peer groups. MUW has taken several steps to ensure high quality academic advising by developing problem-based advisor training, creating a comprehensive advisor manual and making resource materials available for advising transfer students. Training sessions are scheduled annually for all new faculty members and academic administrators, and an online version of materials is available for review. A comprehensive advisor manual also is provided to academic advisors. These initiatives began in 2003 with the online advisor training added in 2007. The costs for implementing this program were minimal, which is a goal of IHL in the Best Practices Program. For more information about MUW's programs, please visit www.muw.edu. Learn more.
MISSISSIPPI VALLEY STATE UNIVERSITY NEWS
Mississippi Valley State University Online
UNIVERSITY OF MISSISSIPPI NEWS
Larry Ridgeway Chosen to Lead Renamed UM Division of Student Affairs
The new year has brought significant changes for one of the largest administrative divisions of the University of Mississippi. Larry D. Ridgeway has been named vice chancellor for the Division of Student Affairs, formerly known as the Division of Student Life. Previously, he served as associate vice chancellor for student life for six years and director of financial aid from 1996 to 2001. The mission of Student Affairs remains unchanged: to facilitate student development and to offer educational programs and services that stimulate the learning process. Discussions of a name change have been ongoing for several months, Ridgeway said. "Changing from Student Life to Student Affairs better describes the diversity of programs, services, and facilities in the division." Ridgeway was named interim vice chancellor in July 2007, replacing Thomas Wallace. In December, he was chosen as permanent leader of the division. "I hope to energize staff members to maximize their contributions to the university," Ridgeway said. "I want the directors and staff to dream big for how we can improve the quality of service for students." The division is composed of Admissions, Campus Programming, Campus Recreation, Career Center, Dean of Students Office, Financial Aid, International Programs, Luckyday Programs, Orientation and Parent Programs, Registrar, University Health Services, Student Housing and Residence Life, Student Media Center, University Counseling Center, and University Police Department. Learn more.
DNA Testing Produces Evidence State Prisoner is Innocent of Rape
Professor Helps Tackle Case of Headless Corpse on Discovery Channel's 'Bone Detectives'
Alumnus Gives $300,000 to Chancellor's Trust
Southern Studies Spring Brown Bag Lunch Programs to Focus on Oxford
Jan. 25 - Jackson State's public radio station WJSU will host a Black and White gala at the Mississippi Museum of Art at 7 p.m. Tickets are $50. For more information, call (601) 979-8672. Learn more.
Jan. 29 - Mississippi State University's Department of Music presents performances by Michael Huff on trumpet and Rosangela Sebba on piano at 7:30 p.m. in McComas Hall. For more information on this free event, contact Jennifer Winter at (662) 325-3070. Learn more.
Jan. 29 - Time for Three, a young, dynamic trio of classically trained string musicians, performs at 8 p.m. in the University of Mississippi Ford Center for the Performing Arts. General admission tickets are $27, $24, and $12 for various seating and available by calling the UM Box Office at (662) 915-7411. Learn more.
Jan. 29-30 - Mississippi State University's Career Center presents Career Day at Humphrey Coliseum from noon until 4 p.m. The Jan. 29 activities will be for business and non-technical jobs, while the Jan. 30 activities focus on engineering and technical fields. For more information, call (662) 325-3344. Learn more.
Jan. 30 deadline - On Feb. 12, the Mississippi Crop College at MSU's Bost Extension Center previews the 2008 growing season for crop consultants and Extension agronomists. Contact Larry Oldham at (662) 325-2701 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Learn more.
Jan. 30-Feb. 1 - Southern Miss Theatre will restage its production of "Doubt" at the Gilbert F. Hartwig Theatre in Hattiesburg. Order tickets online at www.southernmisstickets.com or call the Southern Miss Ticket Office at (601) 266-5418 or (800) 844-8425. Learn more.
Jan. 31 - Big band musical sounds take center stage at 8 p.m. at the University of Mississippi's Nutt Auditorium in a scholarship fundraiser concert for music students. The show, hosted by the Patrons of Music, also features period costumes and swinging dance moves. Learn more.
Jan. 31 - The Southern Miss Symphony Future Stars Concert will feature the winner of the William T. Gower competition at 7:30 p.m. in Bennett Auditorium. For more information or for tickets call (601) 266-5418. Learn more.
Jan. 31-Feb. 7 - The Mississippi State University Extension Service coordinates the 43rd Annual Dixie National Junior Round-Up, the showcase for the 4-H and FFA livestock programs and livestock industry. It is the largest junior market livestock show in Mississippi. Learn more.
Feb. 1 deadline - 4-H volunteer adult leaders from across the state will gather for their annual conference Feb. 29 at the Bost Extension Center at Mississippi State University. The registration deadline is Feb. 1. For more information on this conference, contact Harvey Gordon at (662) 325-3350 or email@example.com. Learn more.
Feb. 3 - Mississippi State University's Riley Center presents the Monterey Jazz Festival tour at 2 p.m. at the performance center in downtown Meridian. Learn more.
Feb. 6-8 - The Creating Futures Through Technology Conference will take place at the Beau Rivage Resort in Biloxi, Miss. The conference, a collaborative effort of IHL and the State Board for Community and Junior Colleges, will explore the use of technology in higher education. Learn more.
Feb. 7-8 - Jackson State University's School of Social Work will sponsor the Sixth Annual Mississippi Child Welfare Institute Conference. The registration fee is $90 for non-students and $45 for students with identification. For more information, call Eunice Harris at (601) 432-6816. Learn more.
Now through Feb. 14 - The Southern Miss Museum of Art presents "Sculpting America," a mixed-media exhibit featuring the works of six celebrated American artists. The Museum of Art is located in the Fine Arts Building on the Hattiesburg campus. Hours are Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Learn more.
Now through Feb. 17 - "The Prints of John L. Winters" display in the Adair Skipwith Gallery at Ole Miss is a retrospective of the professor emeritus of art's graphic works from 1967 to 1997. Museum hours are 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday, and 1 to 4:30 p.m. Sunday. Admission is free. Learn more.
Mar. 27 - Delta State University will present "The Very Hungry Caterpillar" in the Delta and Pine Land Theatre of its Bologna Performing Arts Center at 7:30 p.m. For ticket information, please call the Box Office at (662) 846-4626. Learn more.