Article Comment 

Changes at MUW




Is this the beginning of the end for The W? 


As much as we might hope otherwise, it would appear so. The state College Board on Thursday charged Mississippi State University and Mississippi University for Women to explore consolidating operations. 


Also Thursday, two of The W''s marquee programs -- nursing and culinary arts -- were melded to State programs. Now, an undergraduate at Mississippi State who is admitted to The W''s nursing school can graduate with a degree from State, as well as one from The W. And a new degree, culinology, blends courses from MSU''s food science department and ones from MUW''s Culinary Arts Institute -- also leading to a degree from MSU, as well as one from The W. 


MUW President Claudia Limbert insists the process of finding savings on the business side, and these academic collaborations with State, are "not a merger." 


If they aren''t a merger, then what are they? 


Consolidating operations, for example, could mean combining the two schools'' human resources, physical plant, and other departments into one, which would serve both schools. If that is the end result of this process, it certainly sounds an awful lot like a merger. 


And, allowing students at Mississippi State to transfer to The W and graduate with a State degree sounds very much like a merger, too. 


We believe that''s where this process is heading. 


A merger between the two schools won''t happen overnight -- it appears The W will die a death of a thousand cuts. An employee here, a department there. A degree here, one there. Only the Legislature can revoke a school''s charter. But the two could consolidate to the point that they were essentially two campuses of the same school -- it''s a matter of how far the College Board is willing to go. 


A few weeks ago, alumni who opposed a name change for The W, who successfully lobbied the Legislature to allow the move to die, cheered that they "won" -- that they saved their beloved school. 


We warned that they were "loving it to death." 


The events of Thursday show that they may very well have. 


A name change wouldn''t cure all of the school''s ills, but it was The W''s best shot to remain relevant and independent, and breathe new life into the state''s smallest university. 


Now, it appears the College Board, which had supported a name change, has cut bait, and is pursuing consolidation instead. 


Perhaps this fact is now clear to those who wanted The W to remain unchanged: With its small enrollment and lack of funding, remaining the same was never an option. 


Merger? Consolidation? Whatever you want to call it, The W has started down a road that will change it forever.



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Reader Comments

Article Comment Susan commented at 2/19/2010 3:00:00 PM:

Well she was hired to close the W and by God I guess the IHL is going to let her do it. I can't believe our legislature is letting them get away with is.. they hide their head in the sand so none of their constiuents will get mad at them and not vote for them anymore. This is outrageous!!!!!!!!!


Article Comment Susan commented at 2/19/2010 3:01:00 PM:

Well she was hired to close the W and by God I guess the IHL is going to let her do it. I can't believe our legislature is letting them get away with is.. they hide their head in the sand so none of their constiuents will get mad at them and not vote for them anymore. This is outrageous!!!!!!!!!


Article Comment Does it matter? commented at 2/19/2010 5:44:00 PM:

A future without Limbert will be a much better one for the W. Period. She's attempting to tear down as many walls as possible on her way out--childish to be sure, but I'll not be sad to see her go. Don't wave your finger in our faces when you look for resources from the one who has a not so hidden agenda.


Article Comment I Just Wonder commented at 2/19/2010 7:07:00 PM:

That's it. Let's get rid of Limbert and welcome the savior. After all, The W has a long track record of selecting productive CEOs. What's that record? About 30 years of failed presidents. But this time they'll get it right. I can't wait.....Could it be that it really hasn't been the presidents after all? Hmmmm.


Article Comment Disappointed commented at 2/19/2010 9:40:00 PM:

Hey, this is great press for MUW and the city of Columbus! The Dispatch is doing a great job of supporting the university that I thought they wanted to keep alive, and an editorial like this will be just the ticket to recruiting lots of new students! Way to go editorial staff! One thing for sure ..... you are not "loving it to death".....


Article Comment carol commented at 2/20/2010 2:05:00 AM:

I have to agree with Disappointed. This is not the time to write "I told you so" editorials. It is the time to band together and fight for MUW.


Article Comment Paul commented at 2/20/2010 2:11:00 PM:

Well, there were plenty of options for the school and every one of them has been shot down leaving the College Board with little other option than consolidation. People should have seen this coming back in late 2008 and early 2009. As much as a lot of people would have hated it, a name change would have been a much better option. It would have at least given the school a lot better chance at surviving independently. Then again, maybe the signs of trouble can be traced back a bit further when they didn't rebuild the W's gym (I might be wrong but I'm pretty sure that it was the MUW's gym that wasn't rebuilt after a couple of violent storms). The fact they were talking about Merging any of the colleges and universities should have told people that the government had a very limited number of options to begin with.


Article Comment Frieda Lintereur, class ''69 commented at 2/20/2010 4:01:00 PM:

It'll always be the W to me for I graduated when it was still an all girls school. When it became a University , it was then that it should have had a name change. But alas, that was a choice made a long time ago. Change is good in this case and I think a merger or consolidation or whatever it is will make the the great state of Mississippi even better with more choices for our students. Like I said, it'll always be the W to me.


Article Comment frank commented at 2/20/2010 5:11:00 PM:

The controvesey surrounding the "W" should have been expected. Who cares what it is named, and who cares if it merges with MSU. I for one am sick and tired of hearing about the "W" and I hope it does close.


Article Comment Bubba Gump commented at 2/22/2010 7:40:00 AM:

I hate to tell all you girls, but the day of your "we need a place where we can..." is over.

You wanted equality, you're getting it. You don't get a "special place"... you get the same place where everyone else goes.

You should be careful of what you wish.

Personally, I'm looking forward to the passing of the Blue Haired Mafia, the wrecking ball swinging over the "Long Blue Line" (which is female, by the way), and a school that offers something other than junk liberal art degrees.


Article Comment Change the name commented at 3/4/2010 7:19:00 PM:

If the W was serious about survival it would demand a name change. Until then a further decline in the W can be expected.


Article Comment peon commented at 3/5/2010 2:45:00 PM:

look at the poor folks who work at the W, a "significant Number" will lose their jobs by July 1st. Hmmm, wonder why THAT hasn't made the news?


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