USM to lay off 29 to deal with funding cuts

HATTIESBURG (AP) — The University of Southern Mississippi will lay off 29 faculty members and make other cuts to deal with an anticipated reduction of $15 million in funding from the state in the 2011-2012 academic year.
USM President Martha Saunders outlined the reductions in a letter Monday to faculty and staff.
Saunders said degree programs were being eliminated in five academic colleges.
She said 29 faculty members have been notified that their contracts would not be renewed after the current academic year — 10 in the College of Arts and Letters, three in the College of Business, eight in the College of Education amp& Psychology, four in the College of Health, three in the College of Science and Technology, and one in the University Libraries.
Six of the affected faculty members teach on USM’s Gulf Coast campus.
“Campus-wide initiatives may include the redistribution of indirect cost funds from research grants and contracts, possible furloughs for all employees, and a possible retirement incentive program,” she said.
Saunders said in the letter that the planned cuts were “especially painful that this announcement comes at a time of record enrollment and unparalleled successes within the university.”
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,” she said.

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