JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) — An alarming concern about Jackson State University Finances, a new report shows that the school’s reserve cash balance is so low, it would only cover one week of operations.
JSU will continue to operate, and they’re getting help to rebuild their cash balance.
The Institutions of Higher Learning has been watching JSU closely for the past two years as their cash reserves dropped lower and lower.
As of Thursday, JSU has about $4.2 million in reserve, that’s only enough for a little over a week of operating cost.
Compare that to 2012 when they had over $37 million, it’s nearly a 90 percent reduction in just over four years.
“Well we won’t be able to reverse this trend quickly to get back up to the cash balance quickly,” said Dr. Glenn Boyce, the commissioner of higher education. “This is going to take some hard work. It’s going to take a while before we can get back up to these type of cash balances.”
He along with other IHL leaders are working with JSU on cost-cutting measures, and they will meet weekly about it.
IHL also hired an accounting firm to analyze university spending. It’s important for JSU to have enough cash on hand, so they get a good credit rating, and in a case of emergency.
“As was mentioned in the presentation, universities can have things that are costly happen very very quickly. And there are things you cannot anticipate in the University world,” he said. “So it’s absolutely essential to keep a strong cash balance for things you cannot anticipate.”
WJTV asked JSU for an interview with President Dr. Carolyn Meyers, and that request was denied. In a Tweet, the University said they’re taking steps to restore cash reserves by leaving education and general funded jobs vacant, limiting travel, holding excess revenue in reserves, and installing energy conserving lights in dorms.
JSU said this would add $10 million to reserves by the end of the fiscal year.
“I think there’s obviously some management issues. And I would tell you that at this point that is why we put a team in there was to find out exactly how the expenses were spent, where the money went and what it went to. Those decisions and how they were made still we’re trying to determine what those are.”
In 2012, JSU had enough money on hand to operate for more than 72 days. IHL governs the eight state universities and the average cash fund for that system is 114 days.
Cash reserves is not JSU’s only source of money, it is the school’s savings account.