USM president Bennett sets up scholarship fund with pay raise amid staff layoffs

USM president Bennett sets up scholarship fund with pay raise amid staff layoffs

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - Some employees at the University of Southern Mississippi are losing their jobs and many vacant faculty and staff positions have been eliminated because of state budget cuts.

Three people have been laid off and another 33 faculty and staff positions were cut.

USM officials said the cuts were necessary because the university received $7.96 million less in education and general appropriations funding for fiscal year 2018.

Meanwhile, USM president Rodney Bennett is using a pay raise he is getting from the State College Board to endow a new scholarship through the USM Foundation.

Bennett said in an email to faculty and staff that he was sensitive to the university's budget situation.

He also said the College Board extended his contract through June 30, 2021.