UPDATE: College Board president says mergers not discussed

By The Associated Press

JACKSON — College Board president Scott Ross says the board has had no discussions about merging any of Mississippi’s public universities.

Ross told lawmakers Thursday that the board assumed Gov. Haley Barbour’s proposal to merge eight universities into five was “dead on arrival” because the House Universities Committee chairman opposes it.

Ross’ comments prompted murmurs of approval from many of the roughly 200 supporters of historically black universities who packed a committee room to hear discussions about higher education.