USM approved up to seven percent tuition increase - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

USM approved up to seven percent tuition increase

By Kevin Wheeler - bio | email 

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - The states eight universities are scrambling just like most state agencies to come out with a balanced budget.  USM'S budget was cut five percent last year and has been cut eight percent this fiscal year.

"We've cut operations, we've cut travel, we've cut equipment purchases, and our services," said USM chief financial officer Joe Morgan.

Morgan said those cuts will remain in place. The university will continue its hiring freeze.

"Unfilled positions will take care of most of the salary and wage cuts that we're going to have to utilize," Morgan added.

The university has been given the go ahead to raise students' tuition up to seven percent.  But the university did not request an increase for out-of-state students.

"We never really want to raise tuition obviously; it's a fact of life.  It will go a long way towards allowing us to balance our budget," said Morgan.

Morgan said the tuition increase could be smaller if appropriations come in higher than expected. He said the university has put itself in a good spot to come out of this recession strong.

"What we offer here is education and as we all know education is a primary reason for our organizations to come out, like the state of Mississippi, to come out of poor economic times," Morgan said.

Copyright 2009 WDAM. All rights reserved.

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