March 9, 2012 12:08:05 PM
As state legislators continue to cut the education budget, tuition now is the principal method of financing for colleges and universities, Mississippi University for Women President Dr. Jim Borsig told members of the Columbus Exchange Club Thursday.
"These are challenging times for higher education," he said. "This is the first year state appropriations are second to tuition in terms of school funding. We are shifting the costs of education to the students."
Borsig noted MUW students will face continued tuition increases, in response to the budget cuts.
"Tuition is going to continue to go up, as long as the state appropriations continue to go down," he said. "We have to invest in our faculty and our certified programs."
Recruiting students and retaining students to graduation are the key points of Borsig's vision for the university.
"We want to recruit the best students we can and we want to keep them engaged, once they are with us," he said. "Enrollment only means something when we are looking at the budget. We are in the business of graduating students. We want to retain them and graduate them in four years. Graduating a student in four years is one of the things we can control; it cuts down on the amount of debt they have at graduation, as well. One of the worst things that happens, in education, is when a student borrows money for college and doesn't graduate."
Borsig noted his vision for the future calls for emphasis on mathematics and science.
"(MUW's) mission is our history and it remains important, but we have to figure out what that means in the 21st century," he said. "We want to address some fields where women are under represented. This means increasing our hard sciences and mathematics. The size of our university means students, who weren't normally successful in school, can be successful on our campus."