UPDATE: MSU mulls merging departments

By Chris Kieffer/NEMS Daily Journal

Mississippi State University is considering merging two colleges and nine departments and eliminating 17 degree programs in response to state funding cuts.
The university has already seen its state funding cut by 8.6 percent for the current fiscal year. It is anticipating bigger cuts over the next two years that could result in the 2012 budget being 23 percent less than the budget was to begin this year. If that happens, the university may lose as much as $47 million from 2009 to 2012.
“I needed to have ideas and recommendations for efficiency and savings across our campus,” MSU President Mark Keenum said. “It is a very serious issue for us.”
In response, Keenum formed a 33-member committee in October to recommend savings from both academic and non-academic areas. That committee released its report Wednesday with 59 recommendations.

Department mergers
On Wednesday, a Mississippi State University committee released 59 recommendations to save the school money in the face or current and looming budget cuts. Among those proposals is the merger of the College of Forest Resources and the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. It also called for the merger of several departments:
Accounting and Finance
Agricultural Economics and Economics
Animal and Dairy Science and Poultry Science
Biochemistry and appropriate department(s)
Educational Psychology and Psychology
Entomology and Plant Pathology and Plant and Soil Sciences
Kinesiology: Teaching and coaching programs to Curriculum, Instruction and Special Education; non-teaching programs to Food Science, Nutrition and Health Promotion and/or appropriate departments(s)
Music to College of Architecture, Art and Design
Theatre to College of Architecture, Art and Design

Degree Deletion
Among the 59 recommendations in Wednesday’s report by Mississippi State University was the deletion of 17 degree programs that award low numbers of degrees:
Agriculture Pest Management, B.S.
Integrated Pest Management, B.S.
Trade and Technology Studies, B.S.
Electronic Visualization, M.F.A
Architecture, M.S.
Biological Engineering, M.S.
Biomedical Engineering, M.S.
Computational Engineering, M.S.
Food Science and Technology, M.S.
Horticulture, M.S.
Education, Ed. D.
Biomedical Engineering, Ph. D.
Computational Engineering, Ph. D.
Elementary Education, Ph. D.
Environmental Toxicology, Ph. D.
Secondary Education, Ph. D.
Weed Science, Ph. D.

Read more in Thursday’s NEMS Daily Journal.