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Holding their feet to the fire

After reflecting more about the story reported by our Amy McCullough a couple of weeks ago on the plight of Mississippi Valley State, we really shouldn’t be satisfied with what we know.

Look back as far as 30 years ago, and Mississippi has been dealing with budget cuts and deficits at our institutions of higher learning.

Most have been making tough, thoughtful decisions, that while not always popular, which show an understanding of being good stewards of the state’s money.

Many administrators have taken great pride in the struggle with budget cuts over and over again. The feeling has been that to show the ability to make something out of sometimes near nothing with the state’s money would prove that funds spent on a particular school was well invested.

Then there is the fiasco in Itta Bena. A near 20 percent loss in enrollment over the last five years has made MVSU the smallest university in the state.

Yet the school continues to receive the same amount of funding.

The state has invested nearly $100 million to build new facilities on the Mississippi Valley campus. Yet, other facilities have been left to disrepair and are literally crumbling in the shadow of the new, shiny and expensive.

Has all of the heartache of past and present budget cuts and the countless years of making every cent count been a waste of time?

Most of the college administrators of the last 30 years, like their decision or not, have worked hard to do the right thing for their students as well as with the state’s money they have been trusted with.

They have made the tough calls.

Now, it’s time for current leadership to step up and be willing to do the right thing.

Please be smart. Please be thoughtful. Money for education in this state is hard to come buy. Making investments on foolhardy spending and ever-plummeting returns is a poor example the rest of the system and a worse example to students in the system today.

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