JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – Jackson State University is facing layoffs, suspending its golf programs and consolidating departments. This stems from a budget shortfall the college is working to turn around.
JSU Interim President, Dr. Rod Paige remains hopeful for his college. “The university is in solid condition.” Thursday the IHL Board approved a $6 million loan. However, it’s possible JSU could end its fiscal year in the red according to Marvel Turner, Senior, the interim vice president of finance.
“There was some bleeding we stopped the bleeding. And so right now we are taking a look at all of the areas, making sure that all of the expenses are recorded on the books, and so I’m not going to sit here today and tell you that it’s going to be one dollar below or one dollar above. But we are working in that direction. We would certainly like for it to be in the black,” explains Turner.
The board also approved to consolidate nine departments in the university, moving them under the Colleges of Liberal Arts, Business and Science, Engineering and Technology.
“We’ve adjusted our administrative structure to be more consistent with excellence in terms of providing services to students,” says Paige.
Dr. Paige says 42 employees will be laid off, mostly administration and its support staff. He calls the changes minimal.
“We’ve tightened the operation and brought together all changes that we could make that would not have any, at all significant change in the way students’ lives take place at the university,” adds Paige.
JSU is currently under a hiring freeze along with Mississippi’s other seven, public universities. Vacant positions will not be filled.
In July, Jackson State will start a new chapter under the leadership of Dr. William Bynum.
However, one more time Interim President Paige, who raised over $300,000 in donations for the university, has words of encouragement for the Tiger family. “The university is in solid condition, continue to serve students, even better than before.”
Paige also confirmed today the university is suspending the men and women’s golf programs for two years. The college will honor previously awarded scholarships.