Mississippi College Merger Plan Dead

In an update to the story of the controversial merger of HBCU colleges proposed by Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour, Diverse Issues in Higher Education reports that it doesn’t look like a merger’s happening anytime soon:

It has been “politically unfeasible.” Politicians, educators, and students and alumni and community leaders have vehemently opposed the concept of any merger, and the state College Board president called it “dead on arrival” at a legislative committee meeting. On Tuesday, the proposal failed to gain legislative committee approval and will not be considered by the full legislature.

Jackson State University President Ronald Mason, who publicly opposed, while privately planning, a merger, remains a controversial figure in Mississippi. Meanwhile Barbour, who proposed the fusion of the colleges in order to save money, has to find another way to accumulate $35 million. One state legislator proposed a lottery to generate money but the governor and religious groups opposed the plan. The bill didn’t get out of the state’s gaming committee.

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Daniel Luzer

Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer