Jackson State University released the following statement to the media on Oct. 21 following reports of the university's cash drain.
The historic growth of Jackson State University over the past five years has been phenomenal, including launching new programs such as the School of Public Health, JSU Global and the School of Journalism and Media Studies; enhancing state-of-the-art facilities in the renowned College of Science, Engineering and Technology; and increasing the university’s footprint by opening new campuses, including JSU Madison and JSU Downtown. These expansions, as well as capital and academic upgrades to the university, have resulted in the use of the university’s reserve funds – its savings account.
An example of this occurred in August 2015, when JSU leadership informed the Institutions of Higher Learning that the H.T. Sampson Library needed its entire brickwork replaced on all three sides of the structure because, if left unattended, it could cause injury to people and property.
President Carolyn W. Meyers contacted IHL and indicated that the project was critical for safety but could result in a $3 million dip into the reserves. “Unfortunately, we cannot save the money for reserves and spend it at the same time. ... I wish we could,” she noted. Meyers added that it was more prudent to use cash reserves than risk potential harm to anyone on campus.
The project received approval and support from IHL, which indicated it understood the situation and appreciated the university’s decisive action to fix the problem and ensure the safety of students and the JSU community.
This action, along with other capital and academic upgrades, has led to the need to rebuild the university’s cash reserves. The university implemented a program in September that first-quarter projections indicate will add an additional $10 million to the university’s cash reserves by June 2017.
The university’s priority is taking care of students, faculty and staff and providing a world-class education expected from a major research institution.