USM announces $15 million in budget cuts

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - The president of The University of Southern Mississippi will make an official statement at 2 p.m. regarding budget cuts and layoffs.

USM President Martha Saunders told faculty and staff about the planned cuts in a letter sent out to the campus Monday.

"It is especially painful that this announcement comes at a time of record enrollment and unparalleled successes within the university," wrote Saunders.
Saunders said the anticipated budget losses for 2012 amounts to around $15 million.

The University Priorities Committee recommended reductions in many departments and degree programs.

"Regrettably, these reductions will result in job losses for faculty and staff. Students enrolled in programs targeted for elimination will be allowed a reasonable time to complete their degree programs. Also, an appeal process is being developed for programs requesting reconsideration," wrote Saunders. 
She added, "Selected degree programs and academic initiatives will be eliminated in all five of the academic colleges. Twenty-nine faculty members have been notified that the current academic year will be the terminal year on their contracts. These include 3 Tenured Professors, 11 Tenured Associate Professors, 11 Untenured Assistant Professors, and 4 Instructors. Ten of these individuals serve in the College of Arts & Letters, three in the College of Business, eight in the College of Education & Psychology, four in the College of Health, three in the College of Science & Technology, and one in the University Libraries. Six of the affected faculty members teach on USM's Gulf Coast campus."
The following is a full list of cuts outlined in Saunder's message:

Academic Program Deletion or Consolidation


Allied Health, Bachelor of Science Gulf Coast *

Allied Health, Bachelor of Science Hattiesburg *

Art, Bachelor of Arts (retain Bachelor of Fine Arts in Art) *

Art Education, Bachelor of Fine Arts *

Engineering Technology (Computer Science), Master of Science *

Criminal Justice (Consolidation to Hattiesburg)

Early Oral Intervention, Master of Science *

Education of the Deaf, Bachelor of Science *

Engineering Technology Master of Science (CM, LM, ACV) *

Geology, Master of Science *


Higher Education Administration, Education Specialist *

Interscholastic Athletic Administration, Master of Science *


Management Information Systems, Bachelor of Science in Business Administration *

Marine Science, Bachelor of Science Gulf Coast *

MBA (Consolidation to Gulf Coast)

Paralegal (Consolidation to Hattiesburg)

Philosophy, Master of Arts *

Physical Education Licensure, Master of Science *

Political Science, Master of Arts (Consolidation to Hattiesburg)

Psychiatric Nursing, Master of Science in Nursing *

Recreation Leisure Management, Bachelor of Science *

Recreation Administration, Bachelor of Science *

Religion, Bachelor of Arts *

Sports and High Performance Materials: Bachelor of Science, Master of Science, Doctor of Philosophy *

Technology Education: Bachelor of Science, Master of Science, Doctor of Philosophy *


* Program closures require approval by the Board of Trustees

Recommended Budget Reductions for FY 2012


Academic Program Deletion/Consolidation


Academic College

Amount of Savings



Arts and Letters








Education and Psychology








Science and Technology










Academic Support Services









Administrative Support Services




Amount of Savings



Assessments to Self Supporting Units








Business and Finance




Gulf Coast












Student Affairs










Campus-Wide Initiatives




Amount of Savings



Other Possible Considerations


    Furloughs (one day per month for all employees) *


    Retirement Incentive *




Redistribution of Research Indirect Costs


    (40% to Educational and General Fund)








* Furloughs require approval by the Board of Trustees

* Retirement Incentive requires approval by the Board of Trustees